August 18, 2009

Diabetes on the Internet

Since some of the information, other than personal experience, that I rely on is from the internet, I feel that the following reading must be recommended. The link is probably the leader in "do's and do not's" for medical web sites. The link is broken unfortuntely and includes many excellent perspectives on evaluating what you are reading. It tells you how to interpret the information presented - all from a "patient empowerment" perspective. With diabetes, this is the watchword to success in getting and maintaining control. Each person must manage his or her diabetes, not the doctor. The doctor should help and give you some guidance, but you (the one with diabetes) know how you feel and what you blood glucose readings are on a day-to-day basis.  The format of the original link has changed, but this still takes you to patient empowerment section.

Please take time to read it carefully, maybe bookmark it to be able to refer back to the information later. It is my desire to give you resources you can use - intelligently - with your doctor.

The tcoyd web site is part of my research.
This web site lists (with links) companies, organizations, and associations working for the cure of diabetes and providing information to those having diabetes. Many of the sites discuss the latest developments in bringing diabetes under control. In addition, tcoyd is now one of my favorite acronyms (take charge of your diabetes).

The first web site below, I discovered about a week after diagnosis and it continues to be a favorite. Each of the web sites I have bookmarked in my browser. I go back and read, and often reread portions of the sites for review and what now peaks my interest. Each writer writes with a different style and presents points of view that keep me interested and learning. Each writer is also a person with diabetes, type 2.

David Mendosa writes almost entirely about diabetes and related health problems, types of insulin, diabetic equipment, and testing supplies. He does write about problems not caused by diabetes, but that are often associated with having diabetes. He maintains his own web site (this one) and writes for several magazines and web sites. He is the author of several books and is a sought after speaker on diabetes. If you have diabetes, please do yourself a favor and read his web site.

Alan Shanley is from Australia. He combines diabetes and common sense with his down under humor which is enjoyable to read. He has battled another disease into remission and is a rather remarkable person for his accomplishments.

Tom Ross is from California. He maintains a diary of his battle to maintain control of his diabetes with diet and exercise. His positive attitude and determination have spared him the tribulations of being on medications for control of his diabetes. He is also talented musically.

Janet Ruhl is from the northeast part of the country. Her writings are factual and well documented.

Gretchen Becker is from Vermont. She writes with the same insights and humor that are in her book. I am happy that she now has her own blog. She writes for several web sites as well.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list. I do follow a couple of writers with type 1 diabetes.

The following diseases can be caused by diabetes. They are heart disease, diabetic neuropathy, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic nephropathy. These are the most common associated problems, but there may possibly be others.

Other factors that affect diabetes and its control are stress and sleep apnea. Both were a part of my life and made control difficult in the first year.

I encourage self-education as it has taught me what my doctors did not tell me. Everyone needs to learn at the start that diabetes cannot be reversed, and that now a new lifestyle must be adopted to successfully manage diabetes. Yes, there are some procedures that hold out hope for a reversal or short-term cure, but to date no long-term cure.
The American Diabetes Association currently recognizes only three types of diabetes. Type 1, which generally occurs in childhood - and is estimated to be about 5 to 10 percent of the diabetes population. Type 2, generally occurs after age 40 and normally is gradual - and is estimated to be about 90 to 95 percent. Gestational diabetes in women is a small percentage.  Shortly after this was written ADA issued new additions to the  list.

Several medical teams are clamoring for acceptance of Type 3 or possibly Type 4. Research is mounting evidence in their favor. Insulin produced in the brain (or lack of production) is wanting a type 3 and there is now a link to alzheimers.