It’s not the food. It’s not the medication. Nor is it lack of exercise or merely aging. If your blood sugar is poorly-controlled, the problem is something else entirely.
In decades of treating diabetes, I’ve become convinced the problem is one of relationship.
Now why would I say that? Doesn’t medication matter? Yes. Isn’t diet important? Also yes. But the most important factor in the whole equation is your relationship with your doctor, and even more so, with yourself.
People don’t lose weight for the same reason they don’t control their blood sugar. We nibble, we cheat, we avoid exercise – basically, we lie to ourselves, all the time. Tomorrow will be different, we say. A little won’t hurt. We’ll go for a walk when it cools off.
Believe me, doctors know when their patients aren’t taking their insulin, or watching their carbs, or getting any exercise. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know, either. Just ask your kids. They know why your blood sugar is high.
But just like Dr. House says, patients lie. Patients lie to their doctors all the time. Why? Good question. Why would a patient lie when it’s in his or her best interest to be honest?
In many ways, the doctor-patient relationship is much like any other. We want to look good in our parents’ eyes. We want our children to think highly of us. We can’t bear for people to know who we really are.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a doctor with whom you could be 100% honest? Someone you could tell anything to without fear of reprisal?
But then, what would a doctor expect from us? Would a physician pat us on the head and say, “That’s OK”?
People aren’t merely afraid of disappointing their parents, or their kids, or their doctors. It’s not just that we’re seeking approval. The problem is, patients know that if they’re really honest and confess their failings, their inadequacies, their doctor will ask them to do something more. It’s like asking my own teenagers to help with the dishes. They know, next it’ll be empty the trash, do your homework, sweep the floor. Better to hide from mom, from the doctor, from ourselves.
If you want your sugar to be better controlled, get honest with yourself and get honest with your doctor – a tough prescription, but truly the only answer.
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