I interviewed Brandy Barnes in late 2011 ("Support on the Diabetes Journey," article 7400 on the Diabetes Health website) about the inspiration for her 2008 launch of DiabetesSisters (www.diabetessisters.org). The rapidly growing organization of women with diabetes has struck a chord with its optimistic message of sisterhood and loving mutual support. As Brandy prepares for two major conferences this year, I got her to hold still long enough to give us an update.
The first thing I would have said to that frightened 18-year-old girl back in 1994 is, "It's not your fault." You didn't do anything wrong. You weren't out breaking mirrors, spitting on leprechauns, or walking under ladders. Your body simply turned on itself. Your immune system decided to attack the wrong guys and here we are.
It comes as no surprise to a person with diabetes that having high blood sugar can have a huge impact on your entire body and how you feel. But did you know it can also cause many problems in your mouth? Your teeth and gums are heavily affected by the excess glucose in your system, and without proper preventative care, people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes can experience serious long-term damage to their mouths.
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