A friend of mine has an elderly father with complex health issues. He’s recently lost a lot of weight and had his BG tested by the doctor on 3 occasions. First time it was 19(362) , next time it was 11(198) and the most recent was 13(234). Apparently the doctor says the glucose is coming down and hasn’t given a diagnosis. Of course the answer is to change doctors, but that’s not always so easy in the British NHS system and with an elderly person set in his ways. I suggested to my friend that she get her mother to reduce the carbs in his meals. I understand that the doctor my be focussing on some other aspect of this man’s health, but surely fasting BGs like that over a period of time are diagnostic.
I have read about many people in the UK who have gone through this kind of inappropriate treatment without a diagnosis. Unfortunately it happens to some extent in the USA too. In the UK it is very common for Type 2 diabetics to be denied test strips and they are sometimes denied insulin even though their meds are no longer working. The government in the UK cuts corners to save money and diabetics die as a consequence of this. It is a sad situation there.
I fight for my strips. As a type 2, I am officially rationed to 3 packs per year by the health authority. I steal from my type 1 husband who has an unlimited supply. the doctor knows this and occasionally, I can wheedle some out of him. the logic behind it is that type 2s cannot “Tweak” their BGs, so don’t need to test frequently. I have Starlix tablets and have researched carefully and use them to “tweak”. I have been told that Starlix isn’t prescribed that way, but I think the real reason we have difficulties here in Britain is Chronic lack of interest and knowledge among our doctors and Diabetes UK. As to insulin, I know at least one type 2 who was put onto it too quickly, when Byetta was probabaly the right thing for her. She’s become “brittle” and gained so much weight she can no longer walk. she had limited mobility before and an assistance dog. Low carb diets are ridiculed too, while the medics wonder at the excellent control of low carbers. their reasoning is that it’s hard to comply. Yes the NHS is not doing us a good service on this. If only Diabetes UK would wake up, someone would look again.
Welcome to the reason WHY people with diabetes end up with amputations, blindness and heart attack death.
This kind of treatment is typical.
Thanks to my Blood Sugar 101 site I hear from a lot of people with fasting bgs over 200 whose doctors are “watching” their blood sugars and maybe giving them a pill to take. After they watch them for a year, maybe they’ll start them on Lantus, almost always at a pathetically low dose, and when they get their fasting down to about 160 the doctors tell them to come back in a few months.
There are further developments to this case. My friend called this afternoon to say that her father has been admitted to hospital. His weight has dropped to about 100 pounds. ( this is a man in his 80s, of small stature, but still!! 100 pounds) Let us hope that the hospital will investiate properly. she had called his doctor, without letting her parents know and it was arranged like that. Elderly people often don’t know how to deal with doctors.
If this were the USA, I suspect there might be a law suit, but we are still not a litigious society in Britain. I’ll get my friend to keep me informed about her father.
The system under the NHS is that everyone is registered with a GP (general practitioner) who is a family doctor. Type 1 diabetics and those with problems are cared for by the Hospital team and a Senior consultant. Type 2s who are doing OK are cared for by GP and/or Specialist diabetes nurse. My doctor and nurse are both lovely people with hearts of gold, but still following the Diabetes UK line. I’ve been trying to get Diabetes UK to see sense on diet. I bombard them with letters several times a year, but they won’t budge. they agree that diabetics do well on low carb doets, "but we don’t recommend that!"
I wonder if it’s because diabetes used to be a disease of the elderly and if they developed complications, it was just “getting Old” so didn’t matter and complications often develop slowly and may not be affecting the length or quality of life much, beeyond the aging process. i think that the medical world now accepts that failing health is not an inevitable part of aging.
Hanah, thanks for your post. Your concluding paragraph is a jewel. You have a very keen insight. I really like that!!!
Thanks. I’m writing as the 61 year old daughter of a 90 year old mother. I’d like to enjoy my grandchildren for a long time yet.
oh Hana…just found this post - I am in the U.K. and have just written a discussion about bs testing - and obviously this is why they do not want me to test regularly - because of the strips!!! … I am a 67 year old daughter of a 91 year old mother and with gorgeous grandchildren as well, like you - and I want to enjoy them for a long time as well…thank you so much for this insight…smiling…Cathrynn x
where are you Cathrynn? Where have you written your discussion? I have just been ploughing through the latest NICE guidlines. there’s too much to take in at one go, but my interpretation of some of it is that it gives GPs the leeway to prescribe strips to patients whose careplan makes them necessary.
I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning and shall press him on it. I exercise about 5 days in each week and it would be very helpful to know what my BG is doing. also I’m battling weight and since most medication puts it on you and I want to take off some more ( 35 pounds down now) I need help with the balancing act.