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The Lifestyle Doctor: Real Stories
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George always has a biscuit near-by just in case he feels himself becoming hypoglycaemic. He'd had a very rushed morning when I took this photo and he'd caught himself just in time.

Life as an Insulin-dependent Diabetic

Constant self monitoring and daily Insulin injections are now an essential part of George's life. He has to carefully choose his food and have neither too much or too little intake of carbohydrate. These are the usual difficulties experienced by a well-controlled but insulin dependent diabetic.

George thinks his illness may have started in the laboratory where he worked as a technician from 1958-1978 and then again from 1984-1994. His chemical exposures to formaldehyde, phenol, xylene, acetone etc were mostly in his early years. He didn't have overt reactions to chemicals but one day at work in 1994, experienced his first autoimmune-type of "butterfly rash". This lasted less than a week but has recurred several times since then.

Around July 1995, George developed symptoms of diabetes. He started to lose weight and had episodes of "amazing" thirst and urgent need to pass urine. He also noticed some sticky drips on the bathroom floor that he decided were his own sticky urine! His self diagnosed Diabetes was soon confirmed.

George was 51 at the time of diagnosis but this is not the usual type of "late-onset" diabetes. This is autoimmune diabetes. It probably started at the time of George's first autoimmune butterfly rash in 1994.

George now has a successful home-based picture-framing business. He is fit and well apart from his diabetes.

LEARN ALL ABOUT GLYCAEMIC INDEX FOODS AND DIABETES

Inherited Recessive Gene Muscular Dystrophy

School Sport's Days were a "nightmare" for Karen. Although her MD was not diagnosed until she was 23, she looked back on a childhood of constant struggles. She remembers acting out scenes of climbing a mountain when she was having difficulty climbing stairs, just to fit in with others' expectations.

Her real trial came after she had given birth to her first child and didn't have the strength to lift her baby. Health Practitioners she visited were dismissive of her weakness and no tests were undertaken for a further 18 months. Her MD was finally diagnosed from a muscle biopsy in 1982. She had the same condition as her younger brother who was diagnosed some years earlier.

Karen's health grew worse as she gradually lost more and more muscle function. As well as a facial tic, fixed facial expression and extreme difficulty in walking, she had frequent headaches, difficulty concentrating, poor memory, palpitations, swollen glands and difficulty swallowing.

Karen now walks with a frame and needs help from her supportive husband and four lovely daughters but she is able to join in most activities, including overseas travel and really enjoys life. Her astonishing progress has occurred after taking nutritional supplements and a great deal of positive thinking.

 

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Five years ago, Karen couldn't smile. She spent her days in bed and not only could she not walk but she had difficulty swallowing.