PDA

View Full Version : Need to know more.



Need2know
12-22-2008, 10:38 AM
Hi.... I'm here because I need to learn more about Lupus.... My husband has just recently (last week) been diagnosed with Lupus. Last Christmas he was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and this Christmas he gets Lupus. I am hoping he will get to a point where he, himself, will come here to gain knowledge and support. I have read much about Lupus on the internet, trying to educate myself, to help him. A major concern of mine is regulating his diabetes as he tries to manage the Lupus. Is there anyone here who has both? His rheumatologist has ordered numerous lab tests to give him more definitive answers regarding what type. I'm scared for him, as he is not totally compliant with his diabetes, as it is now. He started off very determined and compliant, but has recently begin to cheat with his diet. I feel responsible for him, but deep down, I know he must choose to do the right things for himself. He is a very private person and doesn't really want anyone to know of his illness. He is losing his hair and he has really lost his energy and doesn't act himself anymore. I know this has to be obvious to others as well. Any input is greatly appreciated.

KathyW1958
12-22-2008, 11:15 AM
Hi,
I am sorry to hear that your husband has been diagnosed with Lupus as well as Diabetes. I don't have diabetes, but I do have Lupus. I am sure there will be others that come in here that will know about the Diabetes problem. As far as the Lupus, I hope that he stays medically compliant. I hope that he gets the courage to come in here and post messages. Lupus is a hard illness to deal with at times. I am so glad that you care so much for him and have come here as this is a really great site with great folks. Rob one of the moderators in here has Lupus and he can have more incite from the male agle of this illness. I hope that you keep posting.

Hugs,
Kathy

Saysusie
12-22-2008, 11:59 AM
Like Lupus, Diabetes is an auto-immune disorder. Lupus is a disease that often co-exists with other diseases/illnesses. Lupus and diabetes, as overlapping diseases, is not that uncommon. Focusing on the clinical features common to both diseases that a patient can present can prove to have many challenges when trying to managing these complications.

It is important that your husband (and you) educate yourselves about both diseases and what is necessary to help manage the symptoms of both. If one disease becomes active and/or flares up, it could adversely affect the other.

When his doctor diagnosed the diabetes, did he not suggest that your husband attend diabetes classes? It is required that doctors do this for every diabetic patient! If he did not, call your doctor and ask for referrals to diabetes classes.

If your husband needs prednisone for his lupus, then his diabetes will be harder to control, and he may need a change in his diabetes medicines or insulin. Unfortunately, both lupus and diabetes can cause damage to the same organs, (the kidney, heart, liver, & brain), so you husband will have to be followed closely by his doctors for any signs of these problems.

Finally, the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is increased with both diabetes and lupus, and that risk is probably added together because he has both Lupus and Diabetes. So it is imperative that he does not smoke, that he is very careful to watch what he eats, that he makes sure that his weight is in the recommended range, and that he has his blood pressure checked regularly.

I hope this has been helpful and perhaps someone else, with personal experience, will be along to give you more information.

Peace and Blessings
Saysusie

Need2know
12-22-2008, 12:29 PM
I really appreciate your responses. Yes, my husband did attend diabetes education classes, some of which I attended with him. He is controlled with Metformin at this time with a lifestyle change in eating habits and weight reduction efforts. He is also on two medicines for high blood pressure, which he has been on for two years now. Recently, however, he has had blood pressure spikes, even on these medicines. With what you've shared with me here and what I've read, I am concerned that he will be eventually insulin dependent to better control the diabetic aspect of his illness, whenever he begins corticosteroids for his Lupus. This last year he had a diskectomy in his neck and has degenerative disc disease. His shoulders, feet and hands give him much pain. He is continuing to work, but is probably taking a severence package at his employment in February, due to prior economic turmoil in the plant he works in. He has worked a lifetime of shift work and I truly believe this has contributed to the health issues he has. To add to this, he has worked in a chemical plant now for 25 years. So many of his co-workers have retired and then diagnosed with a terminal illness and passed away. My husband will be 60 in January. His doctor also pointed out that his ethnic origin (American Indian and Latino) puts him at greater risk as well. He has four siblings who are deceased, all diabetics and one who had a lung issue, which no one ever pinpointed the exact diagnosis. It makes me wonder now. He has two living siblings who are insulin dependant diabetics. Right now, he really doesn't understand the severity of what he is dealing with. He feels the doctor must be wrong and is awaiting the results of further testing. In short, he's in denial. He is vey precious to me and I will do all I can to get him here, so he, himself can vent. Maybe he's trying to spare me. I don't know. Just know it's a life changing set of circumstances and I'm in it with him. Thanks for what you've shared.

Saysusie
12-23-2008, 05:51 PM
You are most welcome. Your husband is very lucky to have you and I want to commend you for being there for him through all of this. It is very wise of you to take the time to learn as much as you can about his Lupus and his diabetes. In that way, you will have a better understanding of why he is presenting the symptoms that he complains of.
I hope that he does not have to become insulin dependent, but even if he does, this is still not the end of the road. I've had several friends who had to use insulin and who, then, became very diligent about their diets and exercising. After several years, they were taken off of insulin and now take the pills. They continue to be diligent in their health care.
It sounds as if your husband only needs to become educated about his diseases (once he comes out of denial) so that he can be proactive in his health care.
No one wants to have any disease, let alone two or three of them. But there are so many of us here at WHL who have to live with several overlapping illnesses and we support one another, educate one another, and provide comfort and understanding to each other. I hope that you are able to convince your husband to join us so that we can help to alleviate some of his fears and trepidation. If you are or are not able to convince him, please know that you are most welcome to continue to avail yourself of everything that we have to offer here.

I wish you the very best!
Peace and Blessings
Saysusie