Friday, April 27, 2012

Prevention, e.g., amputations from diabetes

We had a client die, one of our Meals on Wheels clients in Muskoka. Basically, he died from unmanaged diabetes. He had an amputation, sat in a chair at home for weeks, then had renal failure, and died in hospital.

Several of my clients are facing diabetes. As far as I know, they haven't even been referred for chiroprodist care.

Who is responsible for these tragic amputations?
Do you think it is the GPs? For many patients, they are ignorant about diet and nutrition. Some make bad choices and need help creating balanced meals, having low sugar intake, limiting caffeine, and increasing exercise, quitting smoking, and practicing sleep hygiene. For those who cannot afford healthcare, like chiropodists, they are not getting the education and treatment that they need.

Caffeine abuse and hypokalemia, is well-known:


What should GPs do?
Yes, we need diabetes screening, but more importantly, education programs, nutrition counselling and physiotherapy to keep circulation going.
Physicians must be regularly testing eyesight, blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Many do not.
Many get test results back, but do not speak truthfully about the consequences of diet, smoking, and self-abuse to clients. At this point, it is up to the patients to take responsibility. Lanark COunty has a very high rate of smokers, but also unemployment and poverty. Many cannot afford the time for treatments, to pay for physiotherapy, or to go to appointments. Those employed are on hourly pay.

They need to speak to patients about preventing issues and managing their own care.
Patients go to doctors for cures, but they need to ask clients:
How are you responsible for your health conditions?
And explain: these are the things you can do to change your situation.

Amputations on the rise in Eastern Ontario

High amputation rates prompt health officials to make diabetic foot ...

Eastern Ontario has a high rate of amputations

In an effort to improve diabetes care and cut the number of costly and avoidable hospital visits, regional health officials have hired two full-time chiropodists to provide free foot care to diabetics who are referred to the service by their doctors. The lack of public health insurance coverage for diabetes foot care, which can cost at least $45 a visit, is a key reason the service is out of reach for so many diabetics — especially if they are low income or live in rural communities, where diabetes is rampant.

Caffeine Abuse

Woman's 8-litre-a-day Coca-Cola habit cited in death

20 Apr 2012 – Experts say a New Zealand woman's 8-litre-a-day Coca-Cola habit probably contributed to her death, a conclusion that led the soft-drink giant

Natasha Harris, a 30-year-old, stay-at-home mother of eight from Invercargill, died of a heart attack in February 2010. Fairfax Media reported that a pathologist, Dr. Dan Mornin, testified at an inquest Thursday that she probably suffered from hypokalemia, or low potassium, which he thinks was caused by her excessive consumption of Coke and overall poor nutrition. Symptoms of hypokalemia can include abnormal heart rhythms, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

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