January 14, 2010

Which is More Important?

Which is indeed more important - the news about a group uniting resources to develop a product which is potentially more than five years in the future and more likely 20 years from success, if then, or what is being foisted on us by a group of surgeons and the American Diabetes Association without proper studies and proof that the procedure will not do more damage than good.

I would normally like to step back and let the dust settle some, but since some bloggers have chosen to go ga-ga and make sure we know everything there is to know about a product that does not exist yet, I have to wonder why we get so wrapped up in the hype.  That a lack of common sense and proof that a product is possible are forgotten to hype an idea that is more than five years in the future makes me wonder why we even read this.   Something like this is possibly worth mention, but not on page one.   I am so tired of hype from this study and that study that are poorly conceived and more poorly constructed and developed that I will wait until something is approved by FDA or other government agency and possibly due to be on the market before getting excited.  Yes, I will watch to see if the efforts are still going forward to develop it, but beyond that I do not intend to spend more time than this.

What I am not understanding is how we have something going on today that is being overlooked and being encouraged to go forward without proper scientific backing and with the blessing of the ADA.  NOTE:  Copy the following into the search box to be taken to the article - doi: 10.1097/SLA.0b013e3181be34e7.   We are lucky that Janet Ruhl has chosen to write about this. No one else seems to be even aware that a group of doctors are being given a nod to charge high fees for an unproven surgery.

I am concerned that many people who are easily persuaded by doctors and their own fear of diabetes, plus the fear of giving up their "good" life will have this bariatric surgery which at this point has to be risky at best.   I have seen several persons posting on several forums who have had the surgery, but do not tell us what is happening to them now.  After a month of how good they feel, I am not aware of any that are participating any longer to make us aware of the successes or pitfalls of having the surgery.   That is not to say that I may have missed a post or two, but I do feel that many just disappear and never come back to let us know how good or how bad the decision was.

January 12, 2010

Depression and Other Thoughts

Sorry this has been a while since posting anything.  After doing my volunteer work, I was having a difficult time getting all the information together for another post and am still waiting for some additional information.  Yes, I may have had a little writer's block and a good dose of the following. 

Depression for people with diabetes is a factor to deal with.  David Mendosa has written about it describing five strategies for conquering depression.  I agree that the five strategies are good for many people, I am a little disappointed that two of them do nothing for me.  The five are
  • Exercise - this is the best one for me.  I have to get my repetitions up, but it is helping better than anything.
  • Music - may help many, but leaves me cold.  Probably because it is difficult to get much on the local radio stations that is relaxing.  That plus being in a poor reception area and a lot of electrical interference makes it nerve racking.
  • Meditation - I have never been taught how to meditate and thus cannot say what this would do for me.
  • Vitamin D - This has helped, and my last test was 64 which is not at the bottom.  The vitamin D that I have been taking must be helping.
  • Omega-3 - This may help, but I need to do more research here.
Now understand this is for minor depression and that severe depression requires medication.   Mr. Mendosa states in this article that 19 percent of people with diabetes suffer from major depression and an additional two thirds of us have some symptoms of depression.  This means that it can be a constant companion that we need to deal with on a daily basis.  I think for me, this winter is probably more difficult for me.  I have always enjoyed living here, but after breaking my tail bone last winter on ice,  this winter has taken a lot out of me

In the limited research about this, every source is willing to go into detail about symptoms and causes, and most make the assumption that the depression is major and the only treatment is medication and psychotherapy.   Very few even mention minor depression and variations on this theme.  The National Institute of Mental Health seems to have the more balanced approach to depression.   They list many of the symptoms, but do little to enlighten us on the various causes.

Of course, I may also be talking about something that is not depression, but related.  At least most of the sources listed illness as a contributing factor.  The one statement many made, that I have to agree with is "Most people with depression never seek help".  Most refer to common treatments of medication and psychotherapy, which means severe or major depression and not minor depression.

Other Thoughts -----

Since January began, I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of blogs that have really said something to me.  I read a lot, but most I read and go on to the next.  So the following people need my thanks -
  1. Tom Ross - two blogs - one on 01/08/10 and 01/09/10.  The first deals with diabetes and smoking and then with the alarming fact that many doctors are not properly treating or seeing that their patients are given proper instruction to handle their diabetes.  We are seeing more and more of this on the forums when people come asking what to do when the doctor have left them wondering how to take care of themselves.  The second covers the middle ground and the lack of clear defining definitions for the meanings of diabetes.  An example is the poor definition of prediabetes.  Thanks Tom for blogs to make you think about what some of us take for granted and misuse when talking about diabetes.
  2. Bennet Dunlay - blog of 01/07/10.  His discussion is about our misleading food labels.  This is a topic that needs investigation and more exposure.  
  3. Will Ryan - blog of 01/04/10.  Shows how we need to be alert 24/7.  Covers how a small incident resulted in a meter reading over 400.   Will - we all need reminding.
  4. Scott Strumello - blog of 01/08/10.   This is a well written article about the new insulins that may be coming on the market and that may help bring overall costs to a more reasonable level.  This is a much needed improvement and may make insulin more available world-wide.
  5. Robert Scheinman - blogs of 01/04/10 and 01/11/10.  Two articles about fat and how the different types affect those of us with diabetes.   I normally do not read articles like these, but for once I am very happy I did.  
These are the ones that really meant something to me.  There were a few others that were interesting, but had no lasting impact.

I am on a mission to encourage bloggers with type 2 diabetes that have not blogged for a while to get back to blogging.  One has and I hope others will renew their blogging.