There is this belief among the Hispanic community (and perhaps other sections of the population) that diabetes is caused by a susto
(scare) or coraje
(anger). I've heard time a time again from friends and relatives "so and so got diabetes when he got in that car accident" (scare) or "so and so got diabetes when she found out her husband was cheating" (anger).
I try to explain that diabetes is not caused by these events. Usually these events (car accident), lead to the detection of DM the person already had and didn't know it.
I know there are plenty of myths out there, but I was just wondering if this myth is just prevalent in the Hispanic community or have you heard this from other people too?
A diabetes nurse educator gave a speech as part of our orientation this week, and she said something to the effect of "As long as people know how to follow their diet and medication regimen, they don't ever need to know where their pancreas is." What she meant is that you do not have to know the correct pathophysiology of a disease to comply with treatment.
She stated that one of her patients (an adolescent) was convinced that her pancreas was attached to her uterus. The diabetes educator did not try to continue to correct her because the patient was not changing her mind. She said that if these false beliefs aren't hurting anything, you have to let them go because otherwise you will be wasting a lot of time that you could be using on more meaningful (to the patient) teaching topics.
I found her perspective to be very enlightening because she helped me to look at what my priorities should be as far as patient teaching.
Last edit by ICRN2008 on Jan 20, '07
I do believe that stress can be a factor in developing diabetes in some people. I was diagnosed with diabetes two weeks ago and my blood sugars are still mainly in the 300-range even though I have been very compliant with my meds and diet. This has been about the most stressful year of my life. I started a new job this past Spring, working 12-hr nights on a tele floor (new to cardiac), so even though I enjoy it, it was stressful going to a new hospital and new area of nursing. I have two teenagers...which can be stressful enough in itself, LOL! My mother has had me worried all year. She moved a few years ago about 8 hours away and this year, she has had an MI, cholesterol sky high even though she's tiny & eats like a bird, two heart caths with stents, and half the time hasn't told me about being sick until after she's doing better. So, I'm always wondering and worrying about her. October 28th, my youngest brother unexpectedly died and two days after his funeral, my father-in-law, whom I loved as my own dad, died from an infection post-op. My husband was transferred to work an hour away this year and already works 12-14 hours a day as it is, so he's not around much to help dicipline the kids. So yeah, I could say I've had plenty of stress this year. I did have a grandmother with diabetes, but none of her 6 children or 10 grandchildren (except me now) have had it. No one on the other side of the family has ever been diagnosed with it. I could stand to lose some weight, although I'm not obese, but I do have an obese cousin without diabetes and my sister is a lot bigger than me. I admit my diet hasn't been the best in the world and is probably the main reason, but I do think that the stress played a big role in it too. My blood glucose was checked earlier in the year and was WNL.
Last edit by SCRN1 on Jan 21, '07