Reasons why diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in a person cannot be a death sentence again

For the Okons, a huge  cloud  fell over their  household when 60 year old Mrs Okon was found to have diabetes  mellitus on a routine medical visit. Her first reaction was to reject the doctor’s pronouncement. “It is not my  portion”, Mrs Okon replied the doctor. At home, Mr Okon and the children  concurred that “it’s not our portion”.

For  several weeks, Mrs Okon refused to  take the  oral medications which she thought was for the newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus. She, also, refused to  adhere to the dietary restrictions prescribed by the doctor.

In the  next couple of weeks,  the  symptoms of diabetes mellitus were  becoming more and more obvious in her. It was after  a visit to another medical  consultant who, also, confirmed  the  ailment that she decided to accept the diagnosis. When it dawned on the household that the situation is real,  she was depressed, worried and anxious. She asked several questions which included:

“God,  why me? “.

“When  will it be over? “.

“Don’t  eat this, don’t eat that, for how long? “.

“I do not take sugar much, how  come  diabetes for me? ”

“My parents never had diabetes mellitus, where did this one come from?”

These were some of her numerous unanswered questions. This  reaction of the  Okons to the  diabetes  mellitus challenge was not out of place. Most people living with diabetes reacted  in similar way at the onset of their illnesses.

The question now goes:  is the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus a death sentence? Is it  the end of the road for someone diagnosed with the illness?

Diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is,  definitely, NOT a death sentence! Reasons abound to  support this stand.

Firstly,  diabetes mellitus is just one of several diseases like hypertension, obesity,  cancers, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, senile dementia and  so on. They are not  curable but people live with them and  age gracefully. People have lived with diabetes for 20, 30, 40 or more  years.  It, rather,  calls for some discipline, cost burden and some bodily inconveniences.

A second  reason why diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is  not a death sentence is because with the current advances in medical sciences and surgical procedures coupled with the current understanding of diabetes mellitus as a metabolic disease, many patients with type 2 diabetes have it reversed or “cured” after  bariatric surgery is performed especially for those who are obese. Again, some  dietary manipulations such as use of low-carb diets,  intermittent fasting or use of ketotic diets have been promising in people living with  type  2 diabetes.  For type 1 diabetes  mellitus, bio-engineered pancreatic B-cells have  been used to cure it when  implanted on someone. More so,  many scientists are  currently in the laboratories in many parts of the world working assiduously to  get a  cure for diabetes. This  could  happen any day from now!

Finally,  with a positive  mental attitude. one  soon realizes that one can  live and age gracefully with diabetes mellitus. It’s just  a cross  one  may be  called  upon to carry. Just imagine the case of someone living with diabetes who confessed  recently  that  having  diabetes is one of the best things that  ever happened to  her.  Because of  her understanding of the disease,  she  has been invited  to many  countries  of the  world  and at different  fora to make  speeches and give lectures on diabetes.  That’s positive living with diabetes!”.

On the contrary, if one decides to  see only  the  ugly side of  diabetes, then, it can be so. The choice is ours… view diabetes with a positive or negative  mental attitude.


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