February 15, 2012

What Is So Discouraging About Diabetes Forums

I am talking about diabetes forums in general and not pointing out any particular forum. Diabetes forums can be a source of some valuable information – when people do not take offense to the information given. What people need to understand, but seldom do, is there are many ways to approach any given topic and you will find many of them in answers to some inane questions.

On several of the forums lately, there have been some excellent questions and many equally good answers. However, for three questions on three different forums, the persons asking the question were looking for answers they thought they should see. When the answers were not what they were looking for, they dropped out of the discussion. All the questions were for people with type 2 diabetes

Two of the questions were about carbohydrates and fat content of foods. They were looking for confirmation of some information they believed in and that is promoted by the American Diabetes Association. This did not happen; all answers were low to medium carbohydrate and medium to high fat answers. The original posters came back with the studies have shown that fat was bad for us and whole grains were good for us. None of the responders agreed and so the discussions ended on both forums.

The third forum had a question about insulin and when to go on insulin. I thought this could be an interesting discussion, but for every answer, the original poster would ask about another insulin myth. There were some good responses, but the person was not convinced. Finally, one person listed many of the insulin myths and the correct answers to them. This infuriated the original poster and she said there had to be some truth to the myths. She then stated that was the reason she would avoid insulin as long as she could as insulin was only for people with severe complications and near the end of life.

I had not participated in the discussion about insulin since the other answers were good and to the point. The last statement above is the myth to end all myths. This is because insulin for people with type 2 diabetes is thought to be the treatment of last resort. Many doctors and most type 2 patients hold this to be true. By doing this, they are diminishing their quality of life and their lifespan by possibly years if not a decade, or longer.

People with type 2 diabetes should become knowledgeable about insulin and the myths so they can understand the value of insulin and how it can enhance their life and prevent the complications from gaining a foothold in their lives. I have now been on insulin for a full eight years and am very happy that I have this medication to hold the complications at bay. Yes, I have neuropathy, but I had this several years before the diabetes diagnosis. I can say that it has not gotten worse since diabetes and going on insulin.

So if you are an active participant on any diabetes forum, be aware that many that come to the forums do so only for confirmation of what they believe and not for the truth. They believe in many of the myths about diabetes and are fearful of insulin. Some are more fearful of the needles, but they can learn to overcome this. Insulin can be a very powerful tool in the battle to manage diabetes. There is a need for education, but the information is available, whether in printed form, or online.

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