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I am totally ignorant when it comes to diabetes and I need help in learning all that I can about the disease because my boyfriend has it.

I am worried about him because he never goes to the doctor (eye, medical or any other). He takes insulin and he is very dedicated to it. He never misses his shots, but he doesn't do any glucose monitoring or anything else.

Could you please give me some information about the side effects of not getting tested regularly and where I can learn some general information about diabetes so that I might be able to convince him to monitor himself better? He is very stubborn and when I bring the subject up about him getting check by a doctor periodically he keeps telling me that he is fine.

Please help me to that I can help him. I know they don't call diabetes the silent killer for nothing and I am very, very worried.


The DCCT research study showed that the lower the blood sugar levels, the less the possibility of developing complications. The American Diabetes Association has set standards of care for people with diabetes:

  1. Check blood sugar 4 times a day
  2. Get a glycohemoglobin lab test every 3 months
  3. Get an annual eye exam
  4. Get a lab test called microalbumin every year to evaluate he status of the kidneys
  5. Get lab tests for lipids and for thyroid disease every year

Contact your local ADA Affiliate or call a nearby Diabetes Educator (in the USA, you can call 1-800-338-DMED to find the name of an educator), to see if they can help.

Don't push too hard: educate! Insulin is not a cure. Managing diabetes is hard work, and your boyfriend will have to learn to work on it. If he won't, he'll be at high risk of future problems. If he will, he'll decrease the chance of trouble later.


Original posting 25 Oct 97


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