Long-term insulin treatment has its own unique set of problems. Because this insulin is given to patients often multiple times a day for several years, small changes in their lives, such as the need to go to the bathroom more often or get less exercise, can lead to enough strain on the body’s renal function to pose a threat to long-term survival. Some of the most troubling cases involve young insulin-dependent diabetics who still have typical childhood energy levels and active lifestyles and could be affected by loss of energy or fewer opportunities for physical activity. When on-going periods of vigorous activity force these young diabetic patients’ kidneys to work harder than they ever have before, it can lead to kidney disease and even failure.
It’s important to be aware of the various trends in increasing health problems for insulin-dependent diabetic patients. Sometimes these problems are of one’s own making, as with nutritional issues, or sometimes they are attributed to adverse events with drugs. The proportion of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes increased by 15 percent between 1988 and 1993, and the rate of new diagnoses has continued to rise steadily in the years since. These trends contribute to the increasing number of diseases that develop later in life.
In order to help maintain proper health and manage the condition, it is important for long-term insulin-dependent diabetics to work with their doctors to implement a comprehensive treatment plan that helps them maintain good health and their life, while still providing the insulin dosage they need to provide the caloric and insulin properties they need in order to meet their everyday needs. It is common for long-term insulin-dependent diabetics to fall prey to numerous diseases during their life because of their short attention span, and they can suffer more serious consequences than a diabetes diagnosis.
To read more and view a gallery of images taken by Washington Post health columnist Christine Palubinsky during a visit to the Catheter Dispensary and Laboratory at Rush University Medical Center, click here.