October 10, 2013

Look AHEAD Results: Please Read Beyond the Headlines

Look AHEAD logo“The Look AHEAD trial showed no benefit in glucose control." "The Look AHEAD study didn't demonstrate a delay in progression of disease in type 2 diabetes." I heard these two statements while attending the Joslin Diabetes Innovation 2013 in Washington DC, October 3-5. One statement was made by a healthcare provider, the other by a marketing person who does outreach with physicians.

They echo the doom and gloom statements summarizing the Look AHEAD study that simply baffle me. But then I remember that the New England Journal of Medicine, in their social media push to publicize the first publication about Look AHEAD (June 27, 2013) since the study was halted about two years early in October 2012, offered up this negative conclusion. This Debbie downer headline then reveberated and snowballed through social media venues for the next 24 hours. 

 
September 9, 2013

Welcomed ‘Call for End to the Diet Debate’

Just before I departed for a week’s vacation and last blast of summer I spotted an intriguing tweet about the article A Call for an End to the Diet Debate in the August 21, 2013 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  I clicked to the recap in the tweet and was further intrigued. I recognized the name of the first author, Sherry Pagoto, PhD. Ah yes, I follow her on Twitter (@drsherrypagoto).

After arriving at our first home away from home in Asheville North Carolina and enjoying a yummy and healthy dinner of sushi, I sat down to digest the article...and sushi. 

It warmed my heart. Thank you Drs Pagoto and Appelhans! I applaud your efforts and absolutely concur with your sentiments. They echo those I penned over a year ago in a blog titled How Much Carb, Protein or Fat? Does it Really Matter for Weight Loss or Keeping Pounds Off? and continue to speak about.   

 
July 17, 2013

Dialoging about Diabetes: PWDs Offer Ways to Improve Communication and Care #8 Moira McCarthy, Raising Teens with Diabetes

Dialog DiabetesAs a diabetes educator/healthcare provider (DHCP) I’m observing that the rapidly growing world of the Diabetes Online Community, the DOC for short, is helping people with diabetes (PWD) and their loved ones find support and feel supported. People and their caregivers are connecting, building relationships and feeling more positive about the challenges of managing their diabetes. I’m delighted to see this trend!

As a DHCP I’ve long realized that I can’t walk a mile in a PWD shoes (or a parent’s in this case). 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 change the dialog between providers and PWD to be more positive, more supportive.

Goal one with these Dialoging about Diabetes interviews with diabetes activists is to help make living with diabetes…just a bit easier. Goal two is to enhance the two-way street – to help more PWD get connected and encourage more DHCPs to open the doors of social networking to PWD.

Here’s my dialog with Moira McCarthy, mother of Lauren who is now 21 years old. Moira’s daughter Lauren was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1997 at 6 years old.

 
July 10, 2013

Top 10 Take Aways from ADA 2013 – Part Two

I recently attended the 73rd American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions in Chicago, June 21-25 where brilliant and dedicated researchers and health care professionals from around the globe gather to learn, share and connect. As a diabetes educator involved in the diabetes field nearly 35 years and counting, I was once again wowed by this meeting...and learned a ton!

Though tough to choose, here are my top 10 take aways from the 2013 ADA meeting - divded into Part One and Part Two:

6. Delivering Improved Diabetes Care and SUPPORT Using Technology: It’s been said before and was said again and again this year, people with diabetes (and prediabetes) need ongoing and consistent support. As Marti Funnell, MS, RN, CDE said, “If we don’t address the emotional side of diabetes we won’t ever improve outcomes. It is an imperative!” And as Ed Fisher, PhD, of Peers for Progress (link) said, “Humans have fundamental need for support and social connections.” People not only need emotional support to manage this disease, but research clearly shows that to make the necessary health behavior changes and implement the management strategies for good control, people also need support. See #10 – The DOC.

The good news is today we have technologies, from Skype, to online systems, to tracking devices, telehealth tools, and more to come in the future, to incorporate important support systems. And numerous studies presented at ADA again showed that people do better with support…and that we can deliver this conveniently to people and more cost effectively.

 
July 10, 2013

Top 10 Take Aways from ADA 2013 – Part One

ADA Sci SesI recently attended the 73rd American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions in Chicago, June 21-25 where brilliant and dedicated researchers and health care professionals from around the globe gathered to learn, share and connect. As a diabetes educator who’s been involved in the diabetes field nearly 35 years and counting, I was once again wowed by this meeting...and learned a ton!

Though tough to choose, here are my top 10 take aways from the 2013 ADA meeting - divded into Part One and Part Two:

1. DCCT/EDIC Results Heralded:  A highlight of ADA was celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the landmark type 1 study, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. This trial was designed to answer the questions: Does good control matter? The DCCT began in 1983 and the conclusions were unveiled at the 1993 ADA meeting (I still remember the thrill of hearing the results live!). These results showed a reduction in the early stages of diabetes complications (eye, kidneys, etc.), by up to 76% compared with so-called “conventional therapy” – two shots of insulin a day.

 
June 19, 2013

Nutrition Q & A Kicks Off in Washington Post: Author? Me!

  • Got a burning food or nutrition question?
  • Stumped by your dieting dilemma? 
  • Want to know how to eat healthier?

As of June 21, 2013 there will be a new route to reliable answers to your food and nutrition questions…from me.

Yes, I’m taking on a new role as the author of the Nutrition Q&A for the Washington Post’s Local Living section.

 
May 11, 2013

Dialoging about Diabetes: PWDs Offer Ways to Improve Communication and Care #7 Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE

As a diabetes educator/healthcare provider (DHCP) I’ve observed that the rapidly growing world of the Diabetes Online Community, the DOC for short, is helping people with diabetes (PWD) and their loved ones find support and feel supported. People are connecting, building relationships and feeling more positive about the challenges of managing their diabetes. I’m delighted to see this trend!

As a DHCP I’ve long realized that 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 change the dialog between providers and PWD to be more positive, more supportive. Goal one with these Dialoging about Diabetes interviews with diabetes activists is to help make living with diabetes…just a bit easier. Goal two is to enhance the two-way street – to help more PWD get connected and encourage more DHCPs to open the doors of social networking to PWD.

 
May 11, 2013

Book Review: My Sweet Life: Successful Women with Diabetes and Successful Men with Diabetes

This is one in a series of book reviews. You may find these books beneficial if you: manage prediabetes or diabetes, follow a diabetes meal plan and/or try to eat healthy to live well. These book reviews (Women) and (Men) also appear on amazon.com and the books can be found in my amazon a-store. Please check out these books and consider a purchase.

Wow! If you or a loved one has diabetes or you are a healthcare provider who works with people with diabetes, the twin compendiums, My Sweet Life: Successful Women with Diabetes and My Sweet Life: Successful Men with Diabetes, should be on your list of must reads!

These two books are the brainchild of Beverly Adler, a person who herself has had type 1 diabetes for 38 years. Dr. Adler, (AKA Dr. Bev), is also a psychologist (PhD) and Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). See the Dialoging about Diabetes: PWD offer Ways to Improve Communication and Care #7 Dr. Beverly Adler.  

In both My Sweet Life books, each about 250 pages, Beverly has compiled stories from people who have had diabetes for a number of years. Collectively these books represent hundreds of years of wisdom around living with this VERY challenging disease.

 
April 20, 2013

10 Simple Steps to Eat Healthier and Save Mother Earth – Can I Count You In?

April 22, 2013 is Earth Day - once again.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless when we hear about the large and significant global problems caused by our years of mistreating Mother Earth. Feeling overwhelmed can make it hard to imagine that each of us, one by one, can, make a difference in the health of our global climate. But I believe each of us has the power to impact the health of our climate...by how and what we eat. Yes, it’s true!

Recently I heard The Diet-Climate Connection by David Freudberg, host of the public radio series Humankind. In a blog on Huff Post he wrote, “The food recommendations made by many climate scientists align neatly with what health experts have told us for many decades: on average Americans consume way too few fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains and far too many meat and dairy products (see: epidemics of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes). What hit me here was the two-fer: what's good for the planet is good for your body. It's not just your mode of transportation, or how well you insulate your home. Now your menu matters, too.”  

 
March 14, 2013

New Diabetes Numbers – Sound the Alert LOUDER

While we were experiencing a much ado about nothing “snow storm” in Washington, DC on March 6, 2013, hundreds of diabetes advocates were storming Capitol Hill for a cause we should be doing much about.

To kick off their advocacy day the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) released findings from a report they commissioned, Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012, at a press conference. Joining ADA leaders at the press event were Ann Albright, PhD, RD, director of CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, Judith Fradkin, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health’s division which encompasses diabetes (NIDDK) and several key members of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Senator Jean Shaheen (D-NH) (who has a granddaughter with type 1 diabetes I learned at AADE's advocacy day in 2012).

The stats presented by ADA are downright scary! It is, without a doubt, time to sound the alert about our prediabetes and type 2 diabetes epidemics louder and louder.

Check out a few key stats.* Read through these slowly and repeatedly, it takes a few readings to absorb their impact!

 

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