My Mom has diabetes and could never get her blood sugar down. Any advice? - AgingCare.com

My Mom has diabetes and could never get her blood sugar down. Any advice?

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They could never get her blood sugar down at the nursing home. They have been trying for months and just recently it was found she had a raging urinary tract infection that caused her to go into septic shock. Can sepsis cause that? Could the UTI have been the problem with the sugar the whole time?

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One of the big things is to make sure that the home provides the right diet for her. Diabetes should be a controllable condition with food. With the alzheimer's diagnosis, is it possible that it's the UTIs causing the crazies. My mother is completely irrational when she gets a UTI.
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I want to thank everyone for their responses and suggestions. I apologize I did not respond sooner, but have had my hands full helping my husband get everything arranged for his mom. We found a new home and feel it will be a MUCH better place for her. This was her third fall at the prior home and though none of the falls had resulted in any breaks, three is just unacceptable. It is crazy but this last call actually saved her life since she fell due to her being dizzy as her bp had fallen to 50/30 in the home and 40/20 by the time she reached the ER. She was in full septic shock and was in ICU for 3 days. She pulled through and is on the mend. Unfortunately, she has to be in isolation in her new home because the antibiotics she was on for the sepsis, caused another infection. What is very disturbing is that the home totally missed all of the signs of the UTI. As palomitaamorosa pointed out, there are definite signs of a UTI and when Mom lived at home with us, we could spot them quickly – confusion, strong smelling urine, dizziness, etc. We saw Mom at least twice a week and when we asked about some of the changes we were noticing, we were told it was due to the progression of her Alzheimer’s. Now we are both kicking ourselves that we did not push more – especially if we had known about the high sugar correlation. Being in a skilled facility, we had put our trust in their expertise. She is on two oral medications for her diabetes. Up until she went into the home, we were able to keep it under control with diet. Since we knew her disease WAS progressing, which is why we had to make the very hard decision to place her in the home, we knew the progression would continue. We so wish we could keep her home but her lack of bowel control and letting things happen no matter where she was, really forced our hand. No matter how many Depends or plastic we put on things, I felt like we were constantly steam cleaning and sanitizing our home. About six months prior, we laid linoleum over her carpeting as she would get up and remove her Depend in her room , squeeze it out, and put it in her pockets or dresser and then urinate all the way to the bathroom. It had come time where she needed 24 hour skilled care and have confidence she is in a better facility. It hurts us so tremendously that the rest of the family is always laying a guilt trip on us that we did not continue to keep her at home. They do not stop to think about all the extra professional care a home provides, the interaction with others in the home, the availability of onsite therapy, etc. that a good home can provide. We will continue to visit regularly as we have along with our children and their children.
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Maybe she needs a combination of medication for better control. Make sure she speaks with her physician. Make a list of questions before you go as dr.'s don't have a lot of time. If you are not satisfied with his answers, get a second opinion. Some people do have problems with sugar control, & it does seem like the UTI's go along with diabetes. Make sure you ask the doc this as well.
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I agree with the above advice. My dad and I are both T2 diabetics. I insisted on him eating only a little meat with veggies at the NH. He eats the odd potatoes but his BS is kept below 140 range. I keep mine in the 90-100 range, by eating a low-carb-high-fat diet. As Sunnygirl says, an Endo is a good place to start and have her HBA1C checked. I think the NH should be able to keep her BS under control, at the very least, with the food she eats.
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It is my understanding that essential oils are good as antibiotics and for controlling blood sugar. Check into DoTerra or Young Living Essential Oils if the traditional methods need a boost. Good luck to you and your mother.
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Being vibrant can only help her. She might need to try sit & fit or any possible activity to include physical therapy, and she would love to have familiar face when she's working out ;-) for a positive support!
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If she is a Type II, then the proper pills can really make a difference. My cousin eats for the most part what everyone else in the Memory Care unit eats. She even gets snacks, however, with the right two pills, her blood sugar levels are really good and considered in the controlled category. They take her blood sugar every morning and her A1C was good too. Sometimes, it takes while to get the right combination.

Medicare should cover her supplies such as kit, test stripes, etc. with a prescription from a doctor.
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Many elder facilities have very high carb meals--a friend of mine in assisted living was told by his doctor to move because their hamburger & carb meals would kill him. Having dealt with Type 2 diabetes myself and with my husband, I find it surprising that a simple blood sugar test isn't done at least every morning. (You can get inexpensive test kits OTC at Walmart.) High blood sugars contribute to UTI's because when the sugar spills over into the urine it feeds bacteria and yeasts. I know it's difficult to do low-carb with someone who is used to lots of bread and potatoes and sweets, but it is the best way to work on sugar control. BTW, cinnamon helps, but it takes quite a lot--my favorite snack is plain original yogurt (full fat, no sweeteners) with a teaspoon or so of cinnamon swirled into it; a little stevia if needed, and blueberries. Also BTW, avoid artificial sweeteners, particularly sucralose (Splenda) which can cause diarrhea and other digestive upsets.
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These nursing homes have in house doctors that come into the patient's room once a week, charge hundreds of dollars to pop their heads in, and then don't think that confusion or non healing wounds may be due to UTIs and high sugar readings? It wouldn't be that hard to check sugar levels again if things were going this way. I have to wonder if staff and in house doctors are stupid or just that lazy.
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One thing to keep in mind is that the nursing facility will probably need a doctor's order to do the blood sugar testing. If someone is not on Insulin blood sugar testing is not necessarily done. My mother was a diabetic and ended up in a rehab facility after a stroke and because she was not on Insulin no one asked for an order to perform glucose testing. She ended up with a UTI with confusion and until we(the family) asked to have it checked they just thought she was being uncooperative. Her blood sugar was high for her due to the UTI and therefore causing the confusion. We must be our own as well as our loved one's advocate. If you have a process in place at home and your loved one needs hospitalized or nursing home share these with the medical personnel. This may help to alleviate and prevent potential problems.
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