We all know the Henny Youngman line: “I don’t get no respect.” This line rings true regarding research on the effectiveness of healthy lifestyle changes (eg: behavior changes for healthy eating and physical activity) to prevent or treat diseases – among diseases impacted: prediabetes and type 2. Yet the impressive role of lifestyle changes (along with a hefty among of expert-led support) in preventing or delaying type 2 or slowing the progression of type 2 has and continues to be reinforced by research studies over and over again. These results, however, don’t seem to have the media sizzle to attract headlines like the studies of costly drug therapies (to name one, the famed diabetes ACCORD Trial). So the public continues to have their tax dollars spent on these lifestyle-fcoused studies without quickly hearing about their findings.
As a diabetes educator/healthcare provider (DHCP) I’m observing that the rapidly growing world of online diabetes social networks is helping people with diabetes (PWD) find and give support and feel supported. People are connecting, building relationships and feeling more positive about their diabetes. I’m delighted to see this trend!
As a DHCP I’ve long realized I can’t walk a mile in a PWD shoes. I can’t know what it is like day in, day out to deal with this challenging and relentless disease. But, what I do know is that we can learn from each other to help shift the dialog between providers and PWD to be more positive and supportive.
In my Dialoging about Diabetes blogs I’ll interview diabetes activists and social networkers. I ask them to offer us DHCPs ways to alter what we do and say to better support your diabetes care efforts and make living your real life…just a bit easier.
On Saturday January 29th 2011, I had the privilege of moderating an extraordinary program – (get ready for the long name) The 1st Annual JDRF Capitol Chapter Type 1 Diabetes Research Summit held in Bethesda, Maryland (at the foothills of National Institutes of Health). What a thrill to introduce these luminaries in type 1 diabetes research. Congrats to the volunteers who amassed these brilliant as well as gracious experts!
Here are my part 1 learnings and musing (check out part 2 learnings and musings):
Diabetes’ Civil War appeared in the Chicago Tribune late November. I had my eyes out for it because I was interviewed by the author. (My words seem to have ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor. Perhaps because they were way more educational vs. sensational – yes sizzle does sell.)
I’ve been stewing about the article for a couple of months wanting to react but in ways feeling it wasn’t my place because I don’t have diabetes. It’s now time from my vantage point as a diabetes educator.
I was quite taken aback by the anger and venom voiced by several quotees.
Nearly a decade worth of studies, with another one just published (online first), June 3, 2010, have explored the effectiveness of using one or a combination of two blood-glucose (BG) lowering medications (approved for type 2 diabetes) to prevent and/or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes or at high risk of type 2. These studies have used Actos (pioglitazone), Avandia (rosiglitazone), metformin, and others.
Do you (or a loved one) have type 2 diabetes and you’re under the impression that your blood glucose would rapidly fall into control if only you could just lose weight? Have you heard this promise from your healthcare provider (HCP)?
As a dietitian and diabetes educator nothing would please me more than to be able to say this is true. But it’s often not the case and particularly so as type 2 progresses over the years. My message to you, stop dreaming and act NOW!
The main mantra to people with type 2 diabetes, especially early on, used to be lose weight. Though losing 10 to 20 pounds can, especially early on after diagnosis, cause blood glucose to plummet and other medical problem to improve, research shows the continually pounding about weight loss that people often get from their health care provider needs to change. We know much more now about the progression of type 2.
In early March 2010, a research article titled Diabetes Risk Reduction Behaviors Among U.S. Adults with Prediabetes published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine, put in writing what many experts (including myself) conjectured.
Oprah was finally to take on America’s Silent Killer – diabetes. YES! I first heard this from a diabetes educator colleague with the inside scoop. Soon the diabetes online community was buzzing with morsels of info leaking out about how Oprah and her producers would present diabetes. It wasn’t sounding good – heavy on scare tactics about complications and bold orders for behavior changes from Oprah’s famed health gurus.