Thursday, January 31, 2008

If you have Diabetes 2 you're screwed...

Okay that may seem harsh but after reading this you may not think so.

Granted I am not talking about those whom are using lifestyle changes consisting of diet and exercise, specifically low carbohydrate diets, but after reading this I wonder how many actually do.

I am referring to this diabetes 2 case vignette, I was just reading on The New England Journal of Medicine website where doctors are given a case study for a 51 year old lady seeking advice on managing her diabetes. They are given 3 treatment options and are then asked to vote on and discuss these options.

None of these options are lifestyle changes, not only that, out of all the replies, there's barely a mention, though I did see a couple of doctors question the pharmaceutical influence of these options. Low carb and weight loss through lifestyle changes are mentioned a couple of times but considering the amount of comments by doctors there you're looking at maybe a couple of percent that were for diet and exercise.

What is worse, is that the majority of the doctors don't seem to be very confident in the safety of these drugs besides insulin, yet due to their patients not wanting insulin injections, they are recommending them anyway instead of lifestyle changes or a combination there of that includes diet and exercise.

There was one doctor that not only recommended a plethora of drugs but he also chucked a statin in there as well???

Now, I am no expert on this nor am a a doctor, neither I or anyone in my close family have diabetes, I am simply a fellow low carber with an opinion *wink*

Am I right to be disgusted and horrified by reading that?

For those that haven't read this article yet, this one is really good and shows where I am coming from:

The Cure for Diabetes



OhYeahBabe said...

You are so right.

My mother in law was diagnosed this week. They gave her medication to take, and didn't say a word about changing her diet or lifestyle. It made me sick.
My blog: Kimorexia

Sparky's Girl said...

You are absolutely right to be horrified by this. It's absurd! It aggravates me to no end to see doctors pushing expensive medications when lifestyle changes could achieve better results. That's why it's important we keep pushing the issue. I hope Dr. Vernon wins Diabetes Educator of the Year - that would be a great boon for low-carbers and diabetes patients everywhere!

Nat said...

Ugh. How's this for pathetic: I have a girlfriend who was going to a "Metabolic Clinic" in town - people who're supposed to know all about Syndrome X and the like. In the year she was with them her blood sugar went from 5.4 to 6.9. Diabetic is considered over 7.0 here.

They did change her diet and give her a medication. They put her on a low fat / high carb diet and prescribed Xenical. Yes, Xenical. When she asked for help (Metformin, Glucophage, etc) they told her that was "for diabetics, and she wasn't one. YET."

Given a few more months I'm sure they would have helped her get there.

It's pathetic.

Carol Bardelli said...

One of the biggest problems with treating diabetics is a lack of compliance. If you ask doctors why they go for drug treatment over lifestyle change in treating diabetics this is one issue they've dealt with so long most have given up even trying. The other is the drug companies. It's all about the money.

My brother, whose a medical professional, became diabetic after reaching 400 pounds. He's tried lifestyle change including exercise and diet but he just cannot stay with it. Now he has a heart condition and high blood pressure too. But he's still over 300 pounds and tells me he knows he probably won't see 60. He KNOWS what to do but can't find the will. And he's certainly in good company.

When an educated medical professional can't make himself change who can? Very few people find it in themselves to make even small lifestyle changes even in the face of illness and death. It's truly sad.

Sherrie said...

OYB and Nat, that is absolutely terrible and makes me angry!!!

SG that would be great!

Carol you're right but thats no excuse for doctors to give up and just assume that someone won't be able to do it and not give them that option. Maybe if diet and lifestyle changes rather the drugs were more mainstream it would be better accepted.

At the same time maybe instead of making obese people feel ashamed and ridiculed maybe we should be looking at ways to help make it more easier.

Rather then say banning obese people from restaurants we should look at advertising for junk foods etc as well as make these businesses be more responsible. E.G. how supermarkets purposely put toys and lollies by the checkouts so you can't avoid them, in the hope the temptation will be too great or your embarrassment from your screaming kid will get the better of you!

Another thing would be too find ways that we could offer them more support.

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