No matter what other images, articles and comments you might see in the media about “diabetes management” for the 10% of “diabetics” who have type 1, the ONLY thing that keeps us alive is insulin. No diet, no exercise, no tablets will stave off the death of a type 1 denied insulin. Those of us in affluent countries are blessed to have access to affordable insulin, but just imagine being in a place where this wasn’t possible. In many parts of the world insulin costs many times the annual wage of an average person and/or supplies of insulin can’t be guaranteed. The fate for such people is as described by a 2nd Century physician, known as Aretaeus, the Cappadocian
Diabetes is a wonderful affection*, not very frequent among people, … Life is short, disgusting and painful, thirst unquenchable, death inevitable.
Heard lots of discouraging things about the danger of health information on the net? What about the dangers of NOT doing so?
The lovely “Endocrine Witch” posted this picture that had been doing the rounds on her Facebook feed. She has blogged about why she took on her colleagues to say she found the note offensive, thanks Iris, proof that many doctors are embracing 21st century technology!
I can imagine that it’s irritating when a patient comes to you convinced that they’ve got bubonic plague or smallpox, but you need to deal with it, it’s part of the job and whether it’s the internet or Dr Smith’s medical encyclopedia people always have and always will self-diagnose. Continue reading →
Diabetes Australia has launched a Diabetes Week Campaign. So be aware of this-the week is 12-18 July. To quote their website
“Diabetes Australia has developed campaign material to launch in National Diabetes Week (12 – 18 July) to raise awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and the growing number of people who have it. The national television advertisement features 280 images of people with diabetes – representing the 280 people who develop diabetes every day in Australia. It will feature 10 “hero” images that will be on screen for approx 2 seconds – some with people managing their diabetes and some with the serious complications of diabetes including heart disease, stroke, amputation and blindness. The campaign call to action will be “What do you need to know about diabetes?” (my bold)Continue reading →
There have been some interesting things happening in the world of diabetes of late, particularly in relation to funding and advocacy, so I’ve decided to put my twittering and facebooking to good use and bring our blog readers a round-up of interesting and concerning “stuff”.
Government guidelines require type 2s on tablets to test before they drive. Subsequent Government publications say most type 2s on tablets don’t need to test.
What the?? Is self blood glucose monitoring for type 2s on tablets necessary to protect your own and public safety OR is it something that provides no benefit to health or well-being? The contradiction might be a bit of a yawn but not when you realise it could result in a jail sentence.Continue reading →
As another WDD approaches I thought I’d do a bit of a round-up of initiatives being undertaken by people with type 1 around the world. It’s amazing and inspirational to see the impact that a person with t1 diabetes, a computer and internet connection can make. Let’s celebrate advocacy efforts around the world and focus on the positive. If you have started, or know of a campaign or activity, please share it with us in the comments below. Continue reading →
I don’t need YOU to empower ME. thanks all the same
Words like “compliance” and “adherence” are now seen to reflect the authoritarian health structures of yesteryear and have been abandoned in favour of “patient empowerment” and motivational interviewing.
At least with compliance you knew where you stood-the doctor expects you to do as he says. The notion of “empowerment” is a slippery little sucker* but in a twist worthy of George Orwell’s 1984, the term is often used to mean “empowered to make healthy choices” it’s a sort of doublespeak in which patients are, it seems, being empowered to become compliant with instructions aka advice provided by health professionals. Continue reading →
There has been over a hundred years of research on diabetes and diet. From starvation diets to carbohydrate controlled, the portion or exchange system, low glyceamic index, glyceamic load, low carb. low fat, functional/flexible insulin therapy (DAFNE is one version of this I believe) and the normal healthy diet (whatever that is). It‘s hard not to be cynical about dietary advice when you’ve watched the advice change over 40 years. The latest position statement from the ADA is an admirable attempt to acknowledge the overwhelming lack of evidence on diabetes and diet and to recommend an individualised approach to dietary recommendations for people with diabetes.
“There is no standard meal plan or eating pattern that works universally for all people with diabetes. In order to be effective, nutrition therapy should be individualized for each patient/client based on his or her individual health goals, personal and cultural preferences, health literacy and numeracy, access to healthful choices, and readiness, willingness, and ability to change. Nutrition interventions should … provide the individual with diabetes practical tools for day-to-day food plan and behavior change that can be maintained over the long term.” ADA Position Statement, Nutrition Therapy Recommendations for the Management of Adults with Diabetes.
What struck me about this was the emphasis on the need for every person with diabetes to change. Rereading the statement, they seem to be saying we can’t tell you exactly what you should be doing, but nevertheless, what you’re doing now is wrong and needs to be changed. Sure, most people in the world could improve their diet whether they have diabetes or not but this isn’t what the ADA statement is about. They are making an assertion here that behaviour change is at the heart of “nutrition therapy” for diabetes and that “nutrition therapy is recommended for all people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes as an effective component of the overall treatment plan.” Continue reading →