Conversation Chit-Chat: When I Offer Advice About Type 2 Diabetes

By Paul Koffman
Updated 2024-03-24 16:20:14 | Published 2022-07-22 22:14:39
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Conversation Chit-Chat: When I Offer Advice About Type 2 Diabetes

Last week in Philadelphia, as I was crossing Germantown Avenue, I noticed a larger gentleman with a bag of fast food, limping beside me. He was wearing a massive surgical boot on his right foot. Upon reaching the opposite sidewalk, I acknowledged the boot, expressing my understanding as I had worn a similar one in the past for a broken foot during a scorching summer.

Sympathetically, I said, No fun. To which he responded, Mine's not broken, it's gone. Surprised, I apologized and asked if it was due to an accident. However, he revealed that it was a consequence of type 2 diabetes. He explained, First my toes, then the foot.

Despite the advances in diabetes care and surgical techniques that have significantly reduced amputations caused by type 2 diabetes, it is still possible in cases where the disease goes unchecked. Some people deny their condition, face inequalities in healthcare, lack access to healthy food, reside in unsafe neighborhoods with limited exercise options, and struggle with the cost of medications, among other social problems. These factors make treating type 2 diabetes to prevent complications a challenging endeavor, including amputations, heart disease, and vision loss. There was much left unsaid between us on this topic.

Instead, we engaged in small talk, discussing the warm weather for a June day and the outcome of a recent local election. But as our conversation progressed, I pondered whether I should mention that the bag of greasy fast food may not be the most suitable meal for someone with significant blood sugar issues. Should I share how adopting a pescatarian diet and losing weight had improved my blood sugar levels? Or should I continue with light conversation until we parted ways?

This dilemma was not unfamiliar to me. Although I am not a medical expert, I have dedicated years to studying, contemplating, and writing about type 2 diabetes. However, I have learned not to offer unsolicited advice as it often does not receive a positive response. I recalled an encounter with my sibling who has type 2 diabetes and has gained over 50 pounds. When I suggested that even a 10% weight reduction might lower their blood sugar, they brushed it off, claiming they didn't need lectures. Similarly, I have a close friend who refuses to take diabetes medication because they do not feel sick and believe pills are only for the ill.

Paul Koffman is verified user for iMedix

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