Monday, May 5, 2008

Diabetes in the News

It seems that in the past week diabetes has been all over the news. So much so that I felt I needed to post on the various articles. Many of you in the diabetes OC have already read and posted on these articles. But there are so many that I am going to give a brief run down and post some of my own thoughts on these articles.
First, last week I read this title: Study: Pregnant Women With Pre-Existing Diabetes Doubles. This article was basically a localized study that did not distinguish what type of diabetes the women had. In the article is stated that such pregnancies were very high risk and should be planned. This study did not show how many of these pregnancies were planned either.
Here are my thoughts on this: How do they know that the pregnancies weren't planned? Could the increase in diabetic pregnancies be from the increase in diabetics in general?
None of these things were addressed in this story, so I'm not sure. I do know that before the past couple of years, I have always said that I didn't want children; that I wanted to adopt. This was for numerous reason. I don't really like to get into them, especially now, when my thoughts on pregnancy change on a weekly basis. Maybe now, that more women are seeing successful pregnancies, other diabetics aren't as concerned about pregnancy.
Second article: Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Culter has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I hate to hear that there has been another added to our ranks. It makes me sad. Yet, in spite of all of this, his coaches, and he are continuing to say that this is not the end of his career. This gives hope to others who think that diabetes may limit them in what they can do. So, let us wish Jay Culter luck as he joins our ranks and the ranks of us pumpers. It is with a heavy heart that I welcome you to our world.
Third article: FDA study: Insulin pumps linked to injuries, deaths in teens. I got to work this morning and read this on a news site. I nearly stroked out! The FDA looks at such a limited area in this study that they are pulling out the bad instead of looking at the overall benefits of insulin pumps. Any time you deal with medications of any kind, you are looking at the possibility of adverse affects. This is just standard. You deal with this also with a machine, that always has the chance of breaking, no matter how good it may be. It's not perfect. Add in teenage hormones and the sometimes lax care of diabetes (I went though it too!) and you can have children that are injured or die. But this can go with adults also. Instead of giving a well rounded report, this gives a very narrow look at one aspect of insulin pumps. And it allows the general public to have a negative idea about insulin pumps and diabetics in general. I also think that it might give a negative idea to parents of diabetics or diabetics who might be considering the pump, and haven't made their decision yet.
Fourth article: Government Report Answers Who Lives, Who Dies in Flu Pandemic. In regards to this article, it was a guideline of sorts that was set out by a task force of government and medical professional in the case of a widespread flu pandemic. In the case of this, it could be a bad thing for some diabetics. Here were the guidelines of who would not receive treatment if treatments were not widely available:
— People older than 85.
— Those with severe trauma, which could include critical injuries from car crashes and shootings.
— Severely burned patients older than 60.
— Those with severe mental impairment, which could include advanced Alzheimer's disease.
— Those with a severe chronic disease, such as advanced heart failure, lung disease or poorly controlled diabetes.
There's the big diabetes word. The one thing that gives me comfort is the fact that I have pretty good control of my diabetes. My A1c has been below 7 for some time now and I have no longstanding complications from my almost 23 years with this disease.
I guess this is a good kick in the tail for those who don't take care of themselves. This could be something that might make someone take control. Let's hope so anyway.
Now, we all know that we may go another 6 months before this much about diabetes makes the news. But this past week or so has been so full of this that I have been surprised.


Donna said...

Cara - I've been reading a lot of these news articles, too. The BIG one right now seems to be the one about teens using the pump. (I think I saw 5 articles pop up on my yahoo account just today.) This one really upset me. I don't like how they poorly portrayed things. Sad.

But I hadn't seen the one about the flu pandemic. Yikes! I wonder who would decide who was controlled & who was uncontrolled? Hmmmm... This one concerns me, too.

Lots of things to think & pray about, huh? Thanks for bringing them to light.

~Suzanne~ said...

Thanks Cara!! That made it so much easier to follow the news!!

Now that I am getting back into gear and actually paying attention to my diabetes, the stereotypes associated with diabetes, and the lack of education, especially regarding the differences between Type 1 and 2, frustrates me more and more.

Even a scientific study seems to add to this confusion...that is disappointing.