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From Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada:

My father is 77 and has been a diabetic for many years. He lives far from us. He recently was involved in an accident and came to recuperate with us. He seems to eat well but has many reactions to his condition. He tests his blood daily; for instance, this morning it was 7 mmol/l [126 mg/dl], and he was out of sorts all day. Just before supper tonight he had a very sudden insulin reaction. We ask him about this and he just says that's the way it is. Is this true, or is there a way to prevent this?


Diabetes can be very complicated, especially to someone in a situation like yours, where you are suddenly an "observer."

When a person takes insulin, we are attempting to control from the outside of the body what is normally a fine tuned mechanism inside the body. The way the insulin is injected and absorbed, exercise, food intake, stress and illness all have an effect on blood glucose levels. You mentioned that your grandfather is monitoring his blood glucose levels. That is great! However, using these numbers (taking them to his diabetes team or doctor on a regular basis or calling/faxing them in) is a big part of diabetes care. With proper care and education, we can't prevent all of the extreme ups and downs of blood sugars, but we can spot patterns and make changes in medication, diet and/or exercise.


[Editor's comment: If your dad will be staying with you for a while, I'd also suggest you seek a nearby diabetes team to back things up (see Finding a New Diabetes Doctor when you move for some hints).

It's very unlikely that there's no way to improve his blood sugar control, but it will take some effort and desire on his part to do so, and he would need to be re-motivated to look for better control, which might not be possible in the short time he's staying with you. But encourage him anyway! WWQ]

Original posting 3 Apr 1998
Posted to Daily Care


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:58
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