July 10, 2014

Researchers Challenge Diabetes Guidelines

Now universities are promoting less care for the elderly. Yes, I know many of the elderly have memory problems and trouble with many medications. But to advocate that we not be cared for and die seems like advocating for death panels to rid them of troublesome patients.

When researchers for the University of Michigan make the statement, “Harm to quality of life outweighs benefits of treatment for older patients and those with negative feelings about side effects, burden of medication,” this not only harms patients with their words, but also shows that they could care less about the elderly.

What else they say shows their ignorance about diabetes. They claim that patients with type 2 diabetes that are over age 50 should not have frequent insulin shots because the side effects of weight gain trumps the benefits of drugs. Why can't they teach patients about cutting carbohydrates and how to exercise? All they can emphasize is insulin and how this harms patients. The fear of hypoglycemia rules their thinking.

As a person with type 2 diabetes and over 70 in years, this is an insult and says I should not be on insulin. Well, I intend to stay on insulin and these researchers can take a hike. The study by the University of Michigan Health System, the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System, and University College London was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine. They claim that for many, the benefits of taking diabetes medications are so small that they are outweighed by the minor hassles and risks.

I would like to know when the benefit of diabetes medications depended less on blood glucose and more on hassles. Yes, safety and side effects are important, but when these factors of hassles becomes all important, I think these researchers have their priorities scrambled.

To my way of thinking, these researchers are challenging the diabetes guidelines for the wrong reasons and because they are setting the age of 75 as their goal for people to have reduced treatment because of hassles seems very arbitrary and smacks of discrimination against the elderly. When our elders develop dementia and Alzheimer's disease, there needs to be concern and different guidance for treating them.

However, to pick an age of 75 and put a one-size-fits-all equation in place is not practical and basically says – let people over 75 die. This is discrimination of the worst type and researchers at universities are trying to set parameters on treatment of the elderly to help them die. Their tactics need to be recognized for what they are and opposed at every turn.

I suggest that the elderly that develop memory problems be seen by someone that can properly assess them and then be allowed to develop community assistance programs that would help them in their treatment and prevent the hassles those of the university say exist.

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