Everything that’s Wrong with Medical Science & Diabetes

Melinda Seed writes for Twice Diabetes
Melinda Seed writes for Twice Diabetes

I’ve just seen reporting of a study of people with type 1 diabetes that sums up everything that’s wrong about medicine’s attitudes and views of type 1 diabetes.

Dr Jenise C. Wong M.D. PhD, from the University of Californa surveyed people with type 1 diabetes about whether they downloaded data from their meters, pumps and/or CGMs.  In what comes as no surprise to me, “only” 30% download their data and “only” 12% regularly review the data.

“People with type 1 diabetes really are not reviewing their device data at home. … The reasons why they don’t seem to be doing this is that they lack guidance and they lack motivation and it also may be because the data may be really hard to get,”

Ok, so roughly translated that is saying we’re too stupid and/or too lazy to download and review our diabetes data.

You could give up reading here and dismiss t1 diabetics as the lazy slackers “every” health professional knows they are BUT you’d miss the best bit

Dr Wong comes out with the bland statement

“Yet, after adjusting for confounding factors, “for those who even do frequently review their data, they did not have better glucose control, which we measured by HbA1c.”

Hang on a minute, so medical science is reporting and an endocrinologist is trumpeting that type 1 diabetics lack the(necessary) skills and motivation to regularly undertake a task that has been shown by the study they’re  reporting, to be OF ABSOLUTELY NO BENEFIT.   It makes my head spin.

The results of this study, instead of demonstrating a deficiency in diabetes self-management,  show that people with type 1 diabetes are making informed (by experience and now backed up by quantative data) decisions about their self-management.

People with diabetes deserve better than this from medical science and endocrinology in particular.

Quotes from Dr Wong via http://www.healio.com/endocrinology/diabetes-education/news/online/%7Bd0093b8f-3d4b-4723-bbb8-98885171892e%7D/most-patients-with-type-1-diabetes-do-not-download-review-glucose-data  last accessed 23 June 2014   The study is also reported by Medscape (free rego required) http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/827172

2 thoughts on “Everything that’s Wrong with Medical Science & Diabetes

  1. Prof Francois Bonnici once told me he would like it if blood glucose testing can deliver a color spectrum in stead of the mg/dl and mmol/L numbers. The technology of today is more about greed and the money the CEO’s can make out of this condition. Where has all the love for human kind gone? Are we only living the life of another number?? Come-on guys!!!!

    1. Thanks for commenting Marelize. Funny you mention the colour spectrum, when I was dx there was no home blood glucose monitoring and we tested urine, the results were compared to a colour chart. I think part of the problem with the numbers is that it indicates a level of precision that just isn’t there, there is quite a significant margin of error in home bg strips and monitors, so, a perfect 5.5 could really be a 2 or an 8.5 and still be considered accurate.

      Whilst some tech is fabulous, the profit motive is a bit out of control and of course it turns into just because you can do something (like download historical data) you MUST do it. I’m still really irritated that the focus on the findings of that study was that people with diabetes fail to download their data, when what’s really important is that doing that isn’t helping control. Let’s look at why and either work out how the data can be used to improve control or stop asking pwd to undertake tasks that don’t “add value” when we’ve already got so much to do.

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