Diabetes Denial Still A Major Issue

by Mark Benson on December 14, 2011

Denial is one stumbling block for many diabetics

The family history of Barb Landes from West Liberty, Ohio is so typical of diabetes denial sufferers. Her father suffered from Type 2 diabetes since he was forty years old and also was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Because of these her father’s heart was severely damaged resulting in strokes and multiple heart problems.

Her father’s failing health impressed upon the younger Landes, thus making her one of the premiere nurse educators in the country today. She has been in her crusade for the last thirty years as she herself was diagnosed with the condition in 2008.

Her work started in 1980 when as a registered nurse she began working with cardiac rehabilitation programs at a local hospital that soon turned to diabetes education. She changed employers in 1999 and despite such change, she continued with her crusade as diabetes nurse educator until today. After a Christmas party in 2008, she began feeling woozy and was diagnosed to have pre-diabetes because of her elevated blood sugar levels.

She has included her experiences in her crusade. She often tells newly diagnosed diabetics that there are no forbidden foods. She educated them from the thought that because of diabetes, there are no “good” foods to eat. This is not the case though as diabetics can still have their fill of pies, cakes, cookies and sweets but only in smaller portions as there are ways to eat them safely even with the condition.

Her spiel on diabetes includes educating many of early signs of diabetes such as fatigue, extreme thirst and frequent urination. When diabetes is left unmanaged, the complications include loss of energy, foot sores, blindness, strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure. She points out that denial, where people having symptoms but refusing to see a doctor, is a major issue with many people. She recommends that doing something about the condition would only help the individual in the long run.

When people refuse to recognize the danger signs, their bodies would continue to build up sugar in their bloodstream because of the lack of insulin to help in metabolizing the glucose as fuel for cellular processes. In the end, the cells are starved for fuel and damage to nerves and blood vessels progress because of the condition. These diabetic denials hope that the symptoms and condition just goes away but instead only progresses to become precursors to more major health issues.

This is what it’s all about with diabetes management according to Barb Landes as denial is the first step to a better and healthier life.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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