Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Time to get a pre-paid funeral plan...?

Take a look at this article, about a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has found that diabetic men are living longer these days. Hooray!

But not diabetic women. Huh? Men are looking good - living a lot longer. Today's treatment for diabetes - with better diet knowledge, regular testing, better insulins and more carefully worked out doses, has really done something! But...

"Not only have mortality rates for women with diabetes not declined, but the difference in death rates for diabetic and non-diabetic women has actually widened over the three decades as females without diabetes started living longer."

What are women doing differently? The article suggests that doctors are less aggressive in looking after a woman's heart health. Medications may suit men better than women.

Forgive my generalisations here, but:

Another article doing the rounds at the moment is about Diabulimia - the bulimic tendencies of some people on insulin: missing insulin doses so that the body can't use glucose for energy and ends up using fat, thus the diabetic loses weight quickly and easily while eating what they want. AND of course spends a lot of time with high BGs, which brings on all those horrible complications...

Are too many women doing this, and making it worse for themselves? Maybe, but I bet it's not THAT common.

Are women less likely to take a logical mathematical approach to diabetes, which I believe is a good approach for dealing with insulin / carb / BG levels? I wouldn't be surprised - it's a fact that men & women have different brain chemistry, but I think if it comes to that sort of thinking, then women are actually the ones to have the better approach to their health, so this idea doesn't stick.

Are women too busy these days dealing with the stresses of jobs and family etc? No time to pay diabetes the attention it needs? Possibly, but aren't men busy, too? And don't men have that macho image to keep up, which for some makes it hard for them to test, inject and take pills in front of others?

Can it really be, as they stated in that article, that women's heart health just isn't treated as aggressively. Is it not taken seriously? I suspect there has to be more to it!

I've read a few studies over the last few years that suggest doctors don't spend as much time on women's health and are less likely to take them seriously. Sexism is alive & well, unfortunately, and it seems deeply ingrained.

I'm doing what I can to lead a long & healthy life. Diabetes gets in the way, naturally! But it's a fight I'm willing to battle to the end. Are my choices being taken away from me? Am I doomed anyway?

This is the kind of study I've been waiting to read for a long time! Diabetes treatments have got better over the years, I've wanted to the facts & figures to reflect that. To show that insurance companies and employers don't need to worry so much any more. And our families need not worry about us keeling over so young. This particular study is great for my male friend & father with diabetes, but doesn't look so good for me! Add this to the fact that our insulins don't have c-peptide any more (and it's suspected that we need it) and I feel a little doomed!

I thought Diabetes was meant to be a treatable disease. Something we can take control of and deal to, while living a fairly normal healthy life. Am I naive in thinking this?

Note: This study never says whether it looked at type 2s, type 1s, or both...

Other note: As I write this I'm totally distracted by the lawns man outside my window and his dog barking on the driveway... I've done a study of my own, it shows that women who have only had one cuppa since they woke up don't think or write too well with distractions :p

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