How Diabetes Can Affect Your Relationships

Erectile Dysfunction, Alcohol and Fear

There, these are – the big ones. Diabetic RelationshipsDiabetic Relationships are all difficult subjects to talk about so I want to tackle them head-on.

We should perhaps start by sharing the text book type info on Diabetic Relationships. Incidentally I define these as relationships where one or more of the partners is diabetic.

In my personal blog area I will be sharing with you my own intimate experiences of these problems.

At the moment I’m still trying to summon up the courage to go into these on a personal level but I will be trusting you to read my accounts with an understanding a sympathetic approach.

In the meantime here is the less personal side of things.

ED or Erectile Dysfunction

A subject close to the heart of many  men and also their partners.

The sad truth is that diabetes itself and some of the medications used to treat it can have an adverse effect on the male member. this is not to mention illnesses that often go hand in hand with diabetes such as obesity and heart disease.

Most web sites point us in the direction of little blue pills but this is not the only solution. In my personal articles I will be trying some of the recommended treatments assisted by some friends.

I wont be doing this alone because as soon as I find a really good cure my search will be over, but that may not work for every one. If you want to make sure that you don’t miss this then I recommend that you sign up for the regular news letter, after all there’s a free ebook as well.

One of the biggest problems with ED is that men develop a fear of failing and that fear may persist long after the physical cure has been found. For this reason a two fold solution is likely to be necessary.

I think this is sufficiently important to make it the subject of a small series of future posts.

In any eventuality staying close to your partner and working through it together is the best way to get a solution.

Caring Relationships are Vital

Relationships are fragile things. Whenever two people come together there will be conflicts, and some relationships are impacted by the health conditions of one or even both partners.

Type 2 diabetes is one condition that can make an impact on relationships with your significant other, and even those with family members such as parents and siblings.

Of course, type 2 diabetes is not the leading cause of relationships breakups, but it is something that can take its toll. One of the reasons for this is that diabetes is mainly managed by lifestyle choices. It takes education, understanding along with sacrifice to implement such knowledge in order for the sufferer to maintain an optimal level of health.

Typically, without the support of the well partner, the partner with diabetes will have difficulty in implementing the changes required to take control of the disease. This applies to those who are married, living together or in a serious long-term relationship. Diabetes control centers on healthy lifestyle choices, and changing habits that maybe heavily engrained and this can have a psychological impact on both partners.

Those who have type 2 diabetes are not able to eat whatever they want and whenever they want. They may need to change smoking and alcohol drinking habits. They also need to exercise regularly and pay attention to their blood sugar levels.

This can lead to problems in the relationship if the well partner does not understand or support these changes. One small example is when that partner buys donuts and keeps them in the house, even when that maybe a temptation the diabetic partner does not need. Sacrifices have to be made, and the partner without diabetes will have to make them just as the one that is diagnosed.

Alcohol maybe another issue, and if drinking was a regular occurrence in the relationship, then the sudden need to cut down and change those habits will place stress on both of the parties. Partners who do not wish to stop drinking or adjust their habits to meet the needs of the diabetic, may try to use peer pressure, and convince the other that a few drinks won’t hurt, simply because they want to drink themselves. Not only can this type of unsupportive behavior be a cause for anger and hurt from the diabetic, it can cause them to question how much the other person cares. And, since diabetes can lead to serious complications, such as, heart disease, amputations, blindness, coma, and death this concern would be well justified.

There is a certain level of maturity that is required in any relationship, but perhaps even more maturity is required in relationships were one partner is dealing with diabetes.

Not everyone has the ability to put other’s needs over his or her own, and this type of dynamic can lead to feelings of resentment on both sides.

Understanding and support is key. The one with diabetes needs to understand that the changes they need to make in their life will impact their partner, and of course that partner needs to also understand and support the needs of the one diagnosed.

This takes sacrifice, and selflessness that not everyone can deal with and it may scare those who cannot deal with it away.

Fear And Resentment

Another issue that may come up is dealing with feelings of fear, guilt, and resentment. A newly diagnosed person can naturally experience feelings of fear and resentment at the diagnoses itself. Diabetes is scary as it is the 7th leading cause of death. They maybe angry towards being the one diagnosed and since human nature typically dictates that we take out worst feelings out on those close to us, the other partner is right in the line of fire.

It really takes a lot of love, and a very astute partner to recognize that the one with diabetes is struggling with intense issues and not to take such attacks personally. Many times this is not the case and constant fighting and hurt feelings can eventually result in a break up.

Communication is key. Both parties need to be open about how they feel about the situation, and support each other in whatever ways are needed. Sometimes it is helpful to make a list of the changes the diabetic needs to make and to create a written plan as to how both parties will deal with them.

Diabetes does not mean the end of life, and many of the more than 28 million diabetics in existence lead perfectly normal and healthy lives. Education and acceptance of the lifestyle changes required helps tremendously.

Talk with your partner; explain the condition, complications, and consequences. Express what you need from them. Then ask your partner what they need from you. This helps to open the lines of communication and may prevent heartache when the going gets tough.

And above all ensure that you sign up for future posts on this subject and also get the FREE eBook. You’ll find the little form on the home page.

Hba1C Test – What is it and What does it Mean to You

Getting Hba1c level right can save your sight, heart and legs. Find out what it is and how to improve it – before it’s too late.

This is one test that you can’t cheat.

The Hba1c test shows the level of sugar in the blood, not just at this instant ( like the blood sugar test), but as an average level over the last 3 months.

What is it Hba1c?Hba1c Test

When your body processes sugars, glucose gets attached to haemoglobin ( contained in red blood cells).

The amount of attached glucose is directly proportional to the quantity of sugar in your blood stream.

because the red blood cells survive for about 8-12 weeks the average level of glucose over that period can be determined.

So there’s no point being good for a week before you go for your blood tests as this won’t get you off the hook.

The hemoglobin A1C is an important measure of how well a person with diabetes is doing with regard to their blood sugar.  Also known as the glycated hemoglobin, the hemoglobin A1C is something like a measure of how “sugar-coated” your red blood cells are.

Even in those people who do not have diabetes, glucose, one of the main sugars of the body, circulates through the bloodstream and gets attached to protein molecules like the hemoglobin molecule.  The hemoglobin molecule is a large protein and sugar molecule that carries oxygen in the blood.  Depending on what the glucose level is in your system, the hemoglobin molecule will have more or less glucose attached to it.

How do we determine the effectiveness of medications for diabetes?

 

In past years, doctors and patients with diabetes relied on fasting blood sugar levels obtained from glucose meters the patients had at home.  They often checked their blood sugar levels after meals as well.  These blood sugar numbers were written down and shared with the doctor during regular visits. Using these numbers helped doctors decide whether or not the blood sugar was under control and changed the medications as was appropriate.

 

The problem was that people with diabetes have good days and bad days.  Sometimes, depending on the level of exercise or the type of food the diabetic was eating, the sugars could be really high or in the normal range.  It was difficult to look at page after page of blood sugar readings and understand fully what was happening inside the patient’s body.

 

The hemoglobin A1C was first identified in 1958 and was further characterized as a sugar-coated protein by researchers in 1968.  It wasn’t until 1976 that it was first proposed as a way of measuring the effectiveness of diabetes medicines and diabetic control.  Its use by doctors has gradually increased so that now it is the preferred way of determining diabetic control.  In 1980, it became the standardized method of testing for a diagnosis of diabetes.

 

Those home blood glues tests however remain an important tool for people to track sugar levels in between doctor visits, and greatly help to manage the disease.

 

What should the Hemoglobin A1C level be?

 

Normal people generally have a hemoglobin A1C that is less than 42mmol/l (6.5%).  If this test is to be used for a screening tool for diabetes, levels above this number may indicate further testing is needed to see if the patient really has diabetes or not.  In such cases, tests like the fasting blood sugar test and the three hour glucose tolerance test are performed to clarify issues.

 

Diabetics can have hemoglobin A1C levels in the range of 48mmol/l or more, definitely indicating poor blood sugar control.  The doctor can then add on more diabetes medications to bring this number down to normal levels.

 

What are acceptable Hemoglobin A1C levels?

 

Doctors prescribe medications, recommend healthy low sugar diets, and exercise for patients with elevated hemoglobin A1C levels until the level approaches normal. What is considered an acceptable hemoglobin A1C level in a diabetic?

 

Let’s look at these numbers:

 

  • According to the UK guidlines, the hemoglobin A1C level in diabetics should be less than 48mmol/l (6.5%).
  • Levels below 34mmol/l have recently been under fire as being too strict. If the hemoglobin A1C level is that low, the diabetic individual is at a higher risk of having dangerous hypoglycemic episodes (episodes of low blood sugar).

 

The hemoglobin A1C level is generally measured every three months. Because the red blood cells that contain hemoglobin have a half-life of three months, it pays to have red blood cells turn over and be replaced by a new set in order to have the number be valid and helpful for treatment.

How to Improve Your Chances

According to two UK studies there are great rewards for reducing your Hba1c levels.

The UKPDS study and the Diabetic Control and Complication Trial have produced this startling set of figures.

Improving Hba1c levels by 1% cuts the risk of

Retinopathy, Neuropathy and Diabetic Nephropathy ( Kidney Disease )   BY  25%

as a type 2 Diabetes sufferer if you can reduce Hba1c by 1% you are:

  • 19% less likely to suffer Cataracts
  • 16% less likely to suffer Heart Failure
  • And the Big One – you are 45% less likely to suffer amputation or Death due to peripheral vascular disease.

Now that’s what I call an incentive and that’s where I am aiming to be.

I hope you will follow me and also join in on the journey at http://www.man-v-diabetes