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Question:

From Minnesota, USA:

My mother-in-law died about 6 months ago from diabetes. She was extremely overweight and did not follow the diet restrictions she was supposed to. Twenty years ago her foot was amputated leaving her wheelchair-bound. Last week my 18 year old sister-in-law was diagnosed with diabetes. Please help me with recommendations for ways to encourage her to follow the diet and exercise recommendations. She is also very overweight. I'm afraid that she will view her diagnosis as a death sentence, destined to follow in her mother's footsteps. Please help!

kahl0006@gold.tc.umn.edu

Answer:

It is well demonstrated today that intensive treatment can very probably stop or at least delay the onset and/or the progression of diabetic complications. The aims are a "global" metabolic control including the prevention of macrovascular (big vessels of our body) lesions similar to those which afflicted the foot of your mother-in-law.

In the case of your sister-in-law, the key message is that success in learning how to take better care of oneself can make a real difference in the course of diabetes. This requires a knowledgeable health care team approach that includes a physician, a nurse educator, other health care professionals, and the patient and her family. In fact, family history of obesity may indicate the presence of psychiatric conditions, such as depression and eating disorders, sources of stress in personal or work life, or underlying family conflicts, that can affect blood glucose concentration and therefore metabolic control.

You might consider talking to your sister-in-law's doctor, because individual and/or family therapy may ultimately be of benefit to treat obesity.

MS

Original posting 17 Apr 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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