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From Ossining, New York, USA:

My 21 year old boyfriend has had type 1 diabetes since age 13. Two years ago, when I first met him, he weighed 275 pounds (he is 6 feet tall) and now he weighs in at about 190 pounds. He does not control his diabetes at all. He eats more ice cream, cakes, and cookies than the average person. The last time we checked his blood sugar was above 500 mg/dl [27.8 mmol/L]. I have noticed a lot of muscle loss, and his eyes look sunken in. He is ignorant and doesn't want to listen. Please help me with information that would scare him into listening to me about the seriousness of diabetes.


Individuals with typeá1 diabetes do not have enough insulin to make use of the calories presented to their body. He is wasting in the presence of adequate nutrition, if only he would get enough insulin on board. However, it sounds like he is in denial about his diabetes. It is not enough that he has wasted down over 80 pounds. He is also setting a care pattern which will make it difficult for him to avoid the long-term complications of diabetes. Unfortunately, his denial does not allow him to see that he could lose kidney function, develop blindness, or risk poor health status if he does not take his health care more serious. The American Diabetes Association has a number of informational publications with statistics about the likelihood for problems if poor control continues. I would suggest you contact them for more information. I wish you good luck. The good news is that it is never too late to address his diabetes and get better control.


[Editor's comment: Unforunately, the health behavior literature tells us that "scare tactics" don't work. Though, I know it will be difficult to get him there, it appears that your boyfriend is in need of counseling by a social worker or psychologist specializing in diabetes. Perhaps, if you can't succeed in getting him to go alone, you could go together or go yourself to get ideas on helping him. SS]

Original posting 14 Dec 2000
Posted to Behavior


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:18
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