Mike Fisher is a 23-year-old from Ontario, Canada, who's been snowboarding since he was 13 years old. At the age of 18, he was involved in a motorcycle crash that necessitated the amputation of one leg below the knee. He says, "At first, I felt that my life was coming to a crashing halt. But I just pushed myself to recover as fast as possible and get my life back on track, go to school, get back into snowboarding and motorcycles-just anything so that my life wasn't affected at all. I had a lot of support, and I would say that I was pretty optimistic about it and took it almost as a challenge. By the time that I was 19, I was happy. I was walking again, I was back in college in London, Ontario, and everything was good. The accident was a minor setback to me, and I rose above it. I was just continuing with my life."
Every spring since 1999, the Diabetes Education and Camping Association (DECA) has distributed our publication to their young campers. In honor of their youthful enthusiasm, our springtime issue always focuses on people who inspire us, from the young to the old. In this issue, we bring you the stories of people who refuse to let their diabetes limit them, people whose example re-ignites our determination to live our very best and healthiest lives. As a publisher, I am always seeking inspiration, and each of these individuals is a fresh reminder of what we can do if we put our minds to it.
As diabetes climbs to epidemic levels in the United States, and finding adequate resources to fund future U.S. healthcare remains in question, the need for an already existing "boots on the ground" group that can address the disease is greater than ever.
Diabetes Health recently submitted some questions to CVS Caremark Corporation regarding its "The State of the States: Adherence Report." The report compiled data from more than 50 million patients to track their level of adherence to drug prescriptions for four chronic diseases: diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Dear DH, I'm a 47-year-old man who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2008. For two years, I haven't been interested in sex. I have a demanding retail job and two teenage children. I can still perform, but I am usually so tired that I fall asleep after dinner. I don't miss sex much, but my wife does, and I don't want to lose her. By the way, my A1C usually runs around 6.8%.
Scientific studies -- and our own common sense -- tell us that staying motivated and engaged helps control our diabetes. We know what we should resist temptation at the dinner table, monitor our blood sugars avidly, and get regular check-ups. But knowing all of these things, and knowing that self-motivation is the way to achieve them, isn't quite enough.
Type 2 patients who use only a sulfonylurea are less likely to take anti-depressant drugs than diabetes patients on other medications. That's the conclusion of a report delivered recently in Honolulu at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.
Swimsuit season lasts for at least five months in the South. The good news is that we live close to the beach, but the bad news is that after 25 years of living with diabetes (and three Caesareans), my body is starting to read like a map of my medical journey.
A 10-year study by Harvard University scientists found that diabetes puts people at risk for depression and that depression puts people at risk for type 2 diabetes. The two-way connection between the diseases was discovered in 55,000 nurses surveyed over the decade.
When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, someone said brightly to me, "Well, at least you don't have cancer!" Others told me with naïve confidence, "You can beat this thing!" Another person remarked to my mother, "If anyone could do a good job with diabetes, it's Rachel! I'm too scared of needles." Not one of these comments, nor about ninety percent of the others I received, was helpful, encouraging, or beneficial.
Dear Diabetes Health, I am a 55-year-old man who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago, and I think it made me depressed. The depression eventually got so bad that I didn't want to get out of bed in the morning. My doctor referred me to the psych clinic, where they put me on Paxil (paroxetine). The medication is helping my depression, but ruining my sex life. Basically, I can't get an erection, but I don't really care because I'm not interested anyway. I have no desire. My wife is still interested, however, and she is really upset about my lack of desire for sex. I don't like hurting her, and I don't want us to break up over this, but the depression was awful. I don't want to go back to that. What can I do?
A university survey of 92 doctors and their 1,200 patients who have diabetes and hypertension shows that the two groups don't always agree on which conditions are the most important to manage. The survey, conducted by the University of Michigan Medical School, asked doctors and patients to rank their top treatment priorities. While 38 percent of the doctors ranked treating hypertension as the most important, only 18 percent of their diabetes patients gave it the same ranking. Instead, diabetes patients are more likely to list pain and depression as the most important targets for treatment. In fact, the patients suffering the most from those conditions were the most likely to list them as priorities.
A ten-year study that tracked 652 women with type 1 diabetes found that 35 percent of them reported some sort of sexual problem, including loss of desire (57 percent of those reporting problems), problems experiencing orgasm (51 percent), pain during intercourse (21 percent), reduced arousal (38 percent), or decreased vaginal lubrication (47 percent).
Until fairly recently, low testosterone in men (I call it "low T") was treated only in patients with severe and obvious T deficiencies, such as men with congenital hormonal conditions that affected their pituitary gland or those who had lost both testicles to trauma, tumors, or infections. However, as the medical community has learned more about the benefits of T therapy for men with less obvious causes of low T (e.g., improved sexual desire and function, energy, and body composition), there has been concomitant interest in how T relates to other medical conditions, including diabetes. It turns out that the relationship between low T and diabetes is quite involved, although the final chapter on the ultimate nature of the relationship is still to be written.
A recent study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, said that patients with type 2 diabetes run a 52 percent higher risk of suffering depression than nondiabetics.
Imagine someone pressing a pillow over your face while you sleep. You wake up and struggle for air. After 10 seconds, you're allowed to breathe again. But pretty soon, the pillow goes back over your face.
The table was set for Thanksgiving and all the family was there. Joey, the baby, was the center of attention. This would be the second Thanksgiving he had witnessed in his relatively short life. Somebody remarked that he looked thin, but Sandra, Joey's mother, thought that it was just a sign of growth. As the turkey and mashed potatoes were served, the family turned its attention away from the cooing baby to ladling piles of food onto plates. Joey didn't eat much that night, but kept asking for more to drink.
Startling statistics are only one reason sufferers should get help and why
research into this lethal combination must continue. On the list of deadly diseases in the United States, diabetes ranks fifth. And
for so many reasons: major killers like heart attack and stroke are among a slew
of diabetes' potentially lethal complications.
You and everybody else alive encounter stress, daily, hourly and minute by
minute. As unavoidable, inscrutable, and sometimes as aggressive as the IRS,
stress is part of the human condition. It is not just a sense of being tense but
is any event that causes a complex physiologic response called the "stress
A recent study about the interplay between diabetes self-care and depression
surveyed 879 patients with type 2. Nearly a fifth had probable major depression,
and a shocking 66.5 percent reported at least some depressive symptoms.
Depression, according to new research just published in The Lancet, is more damaging to your everyday wellbeing than chronic diabetes, angina, asthma, or arthritis. But the most disabling of all is the combination of depression and diabetes: If you have both, you are living at the equivalent of only sixty percent of full health.
In a recent study out of Britain, 253 people with their first
diabetic foot ulcer were assessed for depression. Sadly, a full
third of them suffered from clinical depression; to be precise, 24.1
percent had major depressive disorder and 8.1 percent had minor
Here at Diabetes Health, we're planning to write a primer on
depression and diabetes. We want to delve into how the two
intertwine, how depression impacts diabetes self-care, when to see a
professional or consider drug therapy, how to talk about depression,
and whether depression affects spouses of people with diabetes.
INDIANAPOLIS Data from a pooled analysis of three studies suggest that in patients with pain caused by diabetic nerve damage, or diabetic peripheral neuropathy, who are treated with Cymbalta (duloxetine HCl), improvements in both average daily pain and night pain severity were associated with less pain-related sleep interference than in those patients taking sugar pill.
If you’re a woman who’s noticed unusually thick and coarse hair on your face and body, you may have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). It’s the most common cause of excessive hair growth, called hirsuitism in medical terms, in women.
It’s well known that depression is not good for your sugar numbers and that alleviation of depression is accompanied by improved glucose control. The question has been whether the improvement is due to body weight reduction and better self-care, or whether it might be partially due to healing of the depression condition itself, independent of the aforementioned two factors.
There's an ancient Greek myth about a man named Sisyphus who was cursed to roll the same rock up a hill, then see it roll down, then roll it up again, for eternity. There's something a bit like diabetes self-care in that myth.
Have you lost interest in the world around you? Are you more difficult to engage in conversation or in doing chores? Have you lost interest in doing things or in starting new activities? Are you apathetic or indifferent? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you may be suffering from apathy syndrome.
They're fighting a war, but it isn't on foreign soil. This war is in their own homes, and it involves a diabetes diagnosis for their child. The outcome—post-traumatic stress disorder—is all too real among these reluctant "soldiers."
With nearly 20 percent of type 1s and 2s suffering from some form of depressive disorder, depression is an issue of paramount importance for the diabetes community, and one with far-reaching ramifications. The May issue of Diabetes Care reports that a new class of antidepressant agents has just finished its first round of clinical trials, and the results look good.
Gregory Nichols presented a study at the American Diabetes Association's scientific sessions in June, which found that 18.5 percent of type 2s are depressed. He also says that depression in diabetes produces greater cost per patient.
Patrick Lustman, PhD, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues recently conducted a study of people with diabetes who were suffering from depression. The purpose of the study was to determine the effects that depression might have in managing blood glucose.
In addition to the stresses of maintaining a job, keeping up with daily home and family responsibilities, and somehow finding time to relax, people with diabetes have a whole new set of concerns to deal with.
Does living with diabetes cause an increased prevalence of depression? Recent studies on the prevalence of depression in adults and adolescents with diabetes suggest that this may be the case. In a study published in Diabetes Care (December, 1993), the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among adolescents with diabetes was found to be 33.3% higher than in the non-diabetic control group, and that adolescents with diabetes in the study suffered from "significantly more introversive symptoms,...especially somatic symptoms, sleeping disturbances, compulsions, and depressive moods."
Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine have discovered that people with diabetes are at higher risk of depression than the general population (Diabetes Care, August '93 issue). Their findings indicate that people with diabetes are almost three times as likely to develop mild clinical depression (more than 14%) than people without diabetes (around 4%). Unlike other chronic diseases (including arthritis, heart disease, chronic lung disease, and hypertension), diabetes appears to be a risk factor for depression only, not for other psychological disorders. According to the study, women with diabetes are more likely to suffer from clinical depression than their male counterparts, as are people of low economic status.
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