Dementia and Diabetes.

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,638
Kent
I had a call from our GP today.

The results of my husband`s Diabetic check shows his diabetes is not being well managed.

I have found out that when my husband goes out alone, he buys chocolate. And at home, although I make sure I have only the right food in, he forgets he has eaten and eats more.

He thinks nothing of having a banana whilst I`m dishing up dinner. If I ask him to wait, he either says he`s starving or gets stroppy, thinking I`m rationing his food.

He `cheats` his blood test. He still knows it will register a lower glucose level after exercise, so will test his blood after a walk, instead of before.

I have read many posts on the Forum which have mentioned diabetes, so I wondered how other carers manage to control diets.
 

Cate

Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
1,370
Newport, Gwent
Hi Sylvia

Mum was diagnosed Diabetic when she had the heart attack last May, so I am very much a novice in this area.

When she comes home with me for the day, I try to keep Diabetic friendly 'snacks', to hand, (she is a terror for biscuits), and would munch her way through a packet whilst I am dishing up her dinner. They are a bit expensive though. I have even managed to find Diabetic ice cream, another fav of mums.

How on earth you cope though when hubby can snack on his trips out I dont know, you can only do your best.

He `cheats` his blood test. He still knows it will register a lower glucose level after exercise, so will test his blood after a walk, instead of before.

Have to say, sorry, but this made me smile, crafty or what.


Hope someone is along shortly with more sensible help than me.

Love
Cate
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,638
Kent
Thanks Cate. I didn`t know about diabetic biscuits and icecream, I`ll look around.

I wonder if they make diabetic KitKats?

Love xx
 

sandrah

Registered User
Jul 11, 2007
19
west midlands
Hi
My dad is diabetic but as he lives with me it is quite easy to watch what he eats. Morrisons have diabetic icecream and Asda have quite a few sugar free sweets, they did used to have a range of chocolate but I am not sure if they still do them as I buy the bags of mini size ones and give him one of those, they do there own brand and they are nice. Also I get sugar free jelly no added sugar custard and dream topping and with tinned fruit in its own juice you can make a trifle. Dad will not let me test his blood but when he goes to the diabetic clinic his blood works always come back well managed but if he could go out on his own it would be another matter. good luck.
Sandra
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,638
Kent
Thanks Sandra.
My husband doesn`t like the jelly, but I will try to get the other things you recommended.
The problems really are a] the fact he still goes out alone and b] that he doesn`t seem to have any control when he`s hungry, ie just before a meal.
Love xx
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
Hi Sylvia,

This must be an almost impossible situation to manage. My husband has been a Type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetic for about 16 years now and it is his father who has mixed (VaD/AD) dementia. I often wonder how I would help my husband to cope if he lost the ability to manage his sugar control.

Can I just ask what did the GP suggest? I suppose the test that he used was the HbA1c (Glycated haemoglobin) test (http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Treatment__your_health/Monitoring/Blood_Glucose/Glycated_haemoglobin_HbA1c_and_fructosamine/)

If so, it should have given an indication of how far off target Dhiren's control had been over the past few months.
He `cheats` his blood test. He still knows it will register a lower glucose level after exercise, so will test his blood after a walk, instead of before.
Actually that is really good news - he is actively doing something positive to counterbalance the carbohydrate taken in the food. A walk is a great way to actually reduce blood sugar and improve circulation (also important for diabetics, and all of us really). Could it be worth looking into any local community/fitness centres to see if they have keep fit classes for older adults - something you could do together?

Since he does have that awareness of his sugar levels and is generally minded to keep himself in as good a shape as possible, why not focus on regular blood sugar monitoring?

I would make sure that he has a really good meter (my husband just got a new one from the GP that requires only the smallest amount of blood). He seems like the analytical type - would he be interested in keeping the test results in a table or on a chart? If he felt a bit more "ownership" of those numbers in a visible/tangible way, it might be easier for you to say "Before you have that banana, you might just want to check your blood sugar". He may or may not choose to do so, but at least it will be his choice (rather than you "rationing" his food).

Another thing to consider (and the GP would have probably already done this) is to consider the effects of other medications on blood sugar control. Doing some quick searching this morning I found information that indicated atypical antipyschotics could raise blood sugars:

http://uuhsc.utah.edu/pharmacy/alerts/19.html

http://www.clinicalanswers.nhs.uk/index.cfm?question=4067

You might want to try contacting Diabetes UK via their Careline:

http://www.diabetes.org.uk/How_we_help/Careline/

I didn't find anything specific on their website about managing diabetes with dementia. Maybe that could be a good joint project between Diabetes UK and the Alzheimer's Society?

Take care,

Sandy
 

Sandy

Registered User
Mar 23, 2005
6,847
he doesn`t seem to have any control when he`s hungry, ie just before a meal.
How about offering him 1/2 glass of dry white or red wine (lowers blood sugar) and a few cubes of cheese before dinner?

Take care,

Sandy
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
I do my mother blood test before after breakfast , before after lunch , before after dinner .

The thing is that how its meant to me done and how mum let me do it , is a different thing .

at one point my mother was like your husband eating food behind our back , that doctor had to up her metforrmin tablets from 500 mg to 850 mg told me that if mum does not get her diet under control she will have to have insulin (sp ) and they no way that my mother would go on insulin, that would do the trick to stop her eating food that she not meant to .

but as the decease progressed she got worse as in forgetting what she was told and go back into her old habits of eating the wrong food and when I reminded her that she not meant to eat that food she would get very angry at me or my daughter for telling her that so we just had to just let her eat it or sometime she put it back if we catch her in time


Now I just stop worrying as long as mum take her medication for her dietetic , she can get away with having something sweet now then .

Is that still an issue your husband not taking his medication for dietetic ? as I know you have mention that in the past that he won't take his medication

did you mention that to the doctor that he does not take his medication or is medication all under control now ?


In between meals I have been told that a banana is OK .
 
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Cate

Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
1,370
Newport, Gwent
Changing the subject slightly. Sugar free jelly is great for us slimmers, I keep one made up in the fridge all the time, its instant balm for a "I need something sweet, and I need it now":) and only about 80 cals the whole lot:D
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,638
Kent
Dear Margarita and Sandy, thank you for your posts.

Sandy,
Thank you for the links. I will contact the diabetic careline and see what they might be able to suggest.

The GP has said the next move would be Insulin, which we want to avoid. He hasn`t yet told be how near we are to this.
My husband does have a good meter and does keep the record himself. However, if it`s high, he says he couldn`t care less and if it`s lower, he says he must be doing the right thing.
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
if it`s high, he says he couldn`t care less and if it`s lower, he says he must be doing the right thing.
Sounds like my mother , only thing is with that attitude with my mother her sugar level went so low , that she pass out started shaking , but they gave her spoon full of sugar , sweet drink that brought it back up and she came around

PS
try keep an eye on the records that it does not go lower then 5 , for mum in the morning it can read 3 which is a danger sigh , when given breakfast it go up higher then 6 so she safe
 
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noelphobic

Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
3,452
Liverpool
Grannie G said:
Thanks Cate. I didn`t know about diabetic biscuits and icecream, I`ll look around.

I wonder if they make diabetic KitKats?

Love xx
This kind of food is not generally recommended. It can have a laxative effect. It is also generally very expensive. My son has type one diabetes and we never use 'diabetic' foods.

http://www.diabetes.org.uk/About_us/Our_Views/Position_statements/Joint-statement-on-diabetic-foods-from-the-Food-Standards-Agency-and-Diabetes-UK/

http://www.diabetes.org.uk/upload/FSA_joint_position_statemen_July2007t.doc
 
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Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
what I am now finding with my mother in the last 6 mouths , she forgetting that she has dietetic , gone the other way in not wanting to eat and is not eating in between meals when she at home with me , as in for example

she would have breakfast at 8 am then by 9 am saying she needs something to eat , would want to be snaking till around 1pm when I gave her lunch .

where I was told from by dietetic nurse , she should just a tea toast ( toast brown bread )at around 11am or a fruit before lunch .

then in-between lunch and dinner a biscuit tea or a fruit

where now days she have breakfast not want to eat anything in-between breakfast lunch which is 5 hours , if left longer with out anything to eat , I have found her sugar level go really low , and she argue with me that she does not want to eat till her lunch and I have to remind her that she has dietetic .

I do wonder if this is because she getting use to day centre , in how they feed her . Or just the progression of the decease, what ever it is I just check, her sugar level . Just try not to worry that it go to low .
 
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elaineo2

Registered User
Jul 6, 2007
945
leigh lancashire
Hi all.I have been reading this post with interest.In the home i work we have a resident whose B.M's(blood millimoles.i am not trying to be clever,just know what the abbreviation means) were very,very,erratic.To the point that they may have to move into nursing care.After a spell in hospital,the resident returned to the home.BM's still erratic.We have (with district nurse advice),put the resident on a non diabetic diet.Guess what?BM's have been stable for the last 3 weks.I wouldn't do this without advice,but it may be worth a try.love elainex
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,638
Kent
Thanks Elaine, but it`s the lack of a strict diabetic diet that has caused the glucose levels to rise.

My problem is my husband`s now lack of understanding of all that diabetes means.

True, he knows exercise will lower his glucose levels, but he also thinks it`s OK to eat the soya ice cream that I have in for our grandson, who`s allergic to all things dairy. :eek: