Turn down the volume with stable blood sugars
A client once told me that having diabetes is like having an amplifier on a stereo. Anything that happens to the body goes through the diabetes amplifier and is made louder.
Just to make sure this gentleman understood what he was telling me I asked him to explain what he meant by his statement. He went on to say that his body is like a radio that used to play music and he controlled the volume with a simple knob.
Now that he deals with diabetes any thing that his body does is amplified. If he has a cut or abrasion, diabetes turns up the volume and a simple scrape takes longer to heal. A cold or flu when plugged into the diabetes amplifier is louder and more intense.
Pleased that the man was accepting and understanding the effects of this disease we continued to add to his examples. Even normal body functions are affected by the diabetes amplifier.
His vision and hearing naturally are affected by the aging process; heredity and lifestyle predict their functioning or loss of functioning. Diabetes makes any slight defect worse. The small blood vessels in the eyes and ears are damaged by elevated blood sugars.
High blood glucose actually makes blood thicker. Consider the difference between the thickness of a warm and a very cold milk shake. The higher the blood sugar the thicker the blood; the colder the milk shake the straighter the straw stands. When the blood or the milkshake is thick, it is more difficult to flow through blood vessels or the straw.
My client was making a lot of sense. Diabetes amplifies even the blood running through the body. The thicker the blood, the more difficult it is to get to the tiny blood vessels of the eye and the ear and everywhere else it needs to travel.
If the blood is full of sugar it doesn’t leave room for life sustaining oxygen to travel to those much needed places either. Diabetes amplifies the process of oxygenated blood getting to the brain, the kidneys, the lungs, the heart, you name it.
The number one reason why people with diabetes die is heart disease or stroke. One of the reasons that the blood pressure is amplified with diabetes is because it has to push heavier blood throughout the body.
The poor heart is working overtime just to keep the body alive. Also, higher blood pressure increases the risk of debris from the inside of the blood vessels to dislodge and travel at a fast rate. When one of these particles or clots gets caught in the brain, it blocks off the blood flow and a stroke occurs.
By this time in the conversation the gentleman was pumping his arms and speaking loudly. He was amplifying his demonstration of diabetes and his body.
I simply asked him, “Now that you understand what is happening to your body, what are you going to do about it?” He quietly replied, “Turn down the volume by keeping my blood sugars between 70 and 130 in the morning.” I agreed.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator and a registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital, Orrville. Contact her at email@example.com or 330–684-4776.