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Inside the body of Henry VIII

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Mon December 20th, 2010, 5:34 pm

Given my own battle with weight issues, I suspect that Henry may have been a type II diabetic. Any one who has had to cope with slow healing, blood sugar highs and lows and the like can tell you that your mood can go from pretty ok to the raging inferno in no time flat. It would also explain the impotence problems, and the rapid weight gain from the start. And that ulcerous leg. The fact that the Tudor diet of the time was heavy in meat, alcohol and bread didn't help matters either.

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Mon December 20th, 2010, 8:05 pm

Have to agree with Telynor on this. My husband hates it when I suggest that he's being cranky because of his blood sugar, but he does tend to be more irritable when it's high.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon December 20th, 2010, 9:49 pm

I always assumed that type II diabetes was a given for Henry. He fits the pattern to a T. No symptoms when young and active, but give him a few years and a few pounds, and bam!
Also, you can look at the family. Grandpa Edward IV was exactly the same physical type, and died the same way, give or take the ulcers.

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Post by annis » Tue December 21st, 2010, 12:18 am

Drs Lucy Worsley and Catherine Hood come to the same conclusion in this fascinatiing clip which shows you today's equivalent of Henry's staggering weekly diet from the Inside Henry VIII's Body doco.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbgcDxAQSgQ

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Post by Margaret » Tue December 21st, 2010, 4:39 am

Absolutely the most convincing theory yet, to me.
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Post by SonjaMarie » Tue December 21st, 2010, 4:41 am

Finally found this listed as airing on National Geo and set it to record on my DVR.

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Thu December 30th, 2010, 1:10 am

[quote=""LoveHistory""]Have to agree with Telynor on this. My husband hates it when I suggest that he's being cranky because of his blood sugar, but he does tend to be more irritable when it's high.[/quote]

Oh, I get the nasties when my blood sugar drops. Mornings are not my favourite time!

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Post by Rowan » Mon January 24th, 2011, 10:26 pm

I'm late to the conversation, as always, but after reading all of this I'm wondering why can't both explanations of what he became be true. What I read that the documentary states caused his personality change seems valid enough, but it doesn't explain the ulcers whereas the diabetes would explain that side of things. I mean I didn't notice anyone saying that the jousting accident never happened and that he wasn't unconscious for 2 hours so something had to have happened there.

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Post by annis » Tue January 25th, 2011, 12:18 am

I feel sure that brain injury could well have exacerbated Henry's already established tendency to violent and sometimes irrational impulses, which certainly wouldn't have been helped by existing diabetes.

We commented earlier about Katherine of Aragon's influence in moderating the volatile Henry, and I recently read a theory along the lines that Cardinal Wolsey also played a significant part in keeping Henry under control. With both these influences gone Henry's tyrannical nature had full rein.

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Post by BrianPK » Sat March 26th, 2011, 12:12 am

I watched this twice recently with my wife as I thought it very good. I was surprised at his weight at the time of death,was it 28 stone? and also the reports that his ulcerous leg was so putrid that a foul smell continuously accompanied him.I was interested in the theory of his severe fall from his horse being responsible for his cruelty but I've also seen other documentaries recently which seem to suggest that Henry was cruel from the time of his coronation as other posters have stated. In his "The 6 Wives of Henry VIII",an excellent series,David Starkey states that some time after the death of his 3rd wife, Jane Seymour (whom Henry genuinely mourned) it was decided that a new wife was required,so a search was made in Europe. Eventually a suitable candidate was found but Henry's reputation had, however, preceded him and the lady declined saying that she would only marry Henry "if she had two heads".
According to Starkey, Henry then decided that he needed a big woman to wed so the search resumed and a suitably large lady was found but she declined, agreeing that she was a big woman but that she had a very small neck. it seems that black humour was in fashion even in those very trying times.
Years ago I read of a rhyme relating to the outcome of the six wives starting with Catherine of Aragon,Anne Boleyn,Jane Seymour,Anne of Cleves,Catherine Howard and ending with Catherine Parr.

Divorced;beheaded;died;
Divorced;beheaded;survived.

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