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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 19335
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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my partner is 67 and diabetic , over the last year, he has

Customer Question

my partner is 67 and diabetic , over the last year, he has put on weight is tired all the time, shakes in his hands pain in all joints and is totally unreasonable in his attitude to all, he shouts and upsets people and refuses to accept that his behaviour is awful. He falls asleep all the time and refuses to do anything in the house, but seems to think he does it all and I am not taking care of him at all. I think there is a serious problem with him now and need some advice, I have suggested his going to the doctors but he refuses to believe that there is a problem and plays the victim. Can you help please
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information:
What is his blood sugar running?
Do you know his most recent Hgb A1c?
Have you checked his blood sugar during one of the episodes when his behaviour suddenly changes?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It runs from about 5 up to 22. He does not stick to his diet and uses the insulin to balance sugar levels. He eats far too much carbohydrates still drinks alcohol, his legs are playing him up, and he will not accept that any problems lie with him. His attitude now goes on for days with him not speaking, so do not think it is to do with his blood sugar, I feel that there is something more sinister going on with him,

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 4 years ago.
The blood sugar may still be contributing to his symptoms, particularly if it is changing dramatically. Extremely high or low blood sugars or rapid changes in blood sugar can cause swelling of the brain and a variety of symptoms related to brain dysfunction.

We had a patient admitted to the hospital some time back in what appeared to be an acute psychotic episode, which included violence against the people and structures around him (including ripping a toilet out from the wall in the bathroom attached to his hospital room). Once we were finally able to get him calm enough to allow for blood tests to be obtained, the entire episode was due to abnormal blood sugar levels.

It certainly is possible that there is something else going on, and other conditions that can affect brain function would be the primary concerns, such as stroke, inflammation, or tumour. It is also possible to have other metabolic conditions that can affect brain function, such as electrolyte abnormalities, thyroid dysfunction, or accumulation of toxins in the blood because of liver or kidney dysfunction.

It is true that unexplained weight gain would be a concern for thyroid dysfunction, but weight gain can also occur if he is not following a proper diet and not getting regular exercise.

The symptoms that you describe are not specific for any particular condition that causes brain dysfunction. Ideally, he should go to the doctor for a proper evaluation. But if he continues to refuse to do so, then since his blood sugar is fluctuating significantly, it would be reasonable to try to get more consistent control of his blood sugar.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for how you can convince him to be seen. You can discuss the possible conditions noted above, but he may still refuse to go to the doctor. The other option would be to perform a group/family intervention, in which all close family and friends meet together with him to express their concerns over his health to try to convince him to see his doctor. In these group/family interventions, he may have a harder time maintaining denial in the face of multiple people expressing their concern, whereas he can more easily ignore a single person expressing the same concern when you do so.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.