Letters to the Editor

Jun 1, 1994

Age Speaks Out

I'm a 38-year type I, now 73 years old. Your newspaper has offered more hopeful information than the two diabetes magazines with which I am familiar.

In response to your query to readers about experiences with alternative medicines or medical approaches, I have used acupuncture successfully for leg injury (accident) but have never tried it for diabetes. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has.

While I've had no "diabetic complications," and therefore no complaint, I have been using the Exactech "Companion" meter for some time (after using early Glucometer and One-Touch meters) because it is most convenient in carrying. But it offers no generic strip use-a matter long overdue on meter strip costs.

On a different subject, the DCCT-whatever it's value-tended to gloss over low glucose episodes, presumably as worth the risk. They will be once a non-invasive monitor exists, particularly for type I's who have, after years, lost much of the body's warnings about "lows."

By far, the best physician I ever had was an ophthalmologist who was himself a type I. Would it be possible to hear from "type I's" about problems dealt with over the years?

Gladys E. Thum
Saint Louis, MO

Animals Get Vitamins

I wanted to say how much I like the various articles on vitamins and minerals. It was very informative to see what kinds and how much supplementation to give. It saves me alot of time and research.

I have often been frustrated when mentioning supplementation to a doctor. They invariably say "there is no need for them if you eat a balanced diet." This is no small task. A person has to know which foods contain which vitamins and minerals, and even using nutrient dense foods the average person would have to consume around 3000 calories a day to get the RDA's. This is more than my son is allowed, not to mention that most commercially-grown foods are not micronutrient dense. They are grown in depleted soil with chemical fertilizers which only put a fraction of the over 50 (and growing) essential vitamins and minerals back into the soil. Add to this the added need for certain vitamins and minerals that diabetes, ill, or otherwise stressed individuals need. After reading the vitamin articles thoroughly, I now feel I can supplement with confidence.

Interestingly, our veterinarians have always acknowledged the need for supplements in our animals' diets. They don't seem to be weighted down by the 15 year lag between medical knowledge and medical practice that your April article mentioned. It must be all that horse sense they have.

Adene & Noah Fordyce
Maxwell, CA

They Don't Understand

I just finished reading the article on "New Medicare Cuts Affect Millions of Seniors with Diabetes."

I'm sure the person or persons who cut the price of the blood glucose testing strips doesn't understand the purpose of testing with glucose strips. It not only saves lives, but helps to prevent large medical bills in the future. I have been around people who are on Medicare and are diabetics and I know what they would do if they had to choose between buying the strips and paying their monthly bills. The strips would be cut back, and if glucose is not checked on a regular schedule then it could cause damage to the eyes, heart, kidneys, and many other organs.

I would think the purchase of the blood glucose testing strips at $63 would cost the health care program a lot less than the high medical bills which could and would come about from not being able to monitor blood glucose on a daily basis due to Medicare cuts.

Evelyn Townsend
Reisterstown, MD

No Free Lunch

Regarding your article on Medicare and the test strips used by diabetics: why would Medicare reimburse anyone $63 for 50 strips when I can walk into a Wal-Mart store and buy them for $34? Is this another rip-off of Medicare? Why isn't there one set price (reasonable) that Medicare pays in any state?

There isn't any "free lunch" and the taxpayer, you and I, are paying for the greed of suppliers. These are the things or situations that need to be looked into and put under control.

Flora Good
Roscommon, MI

More On Medicare Cuts

I read that the new Medicare cuts will affect millions of seniors with diabetes. I have had diabetes for twenty years now and am a widow on a fixed income. What are they doing to us seniors, cutting Medicare on home glucose test strips? I test my blood twice a say, I need the strips. I am also a heart patient with triple bypass surgery and an amputee, so I have a lot of medical bills. I need those strips, not a Medicare cut. Medicare should pay. What's going on, them cutting everything for seniors? Why don't they cut and check Welfare? I am 72 years old, and I remember when I was a girl of 13 and we were on Welfare, we weren't allowed a lot of different things in the store. An investigator came once a month to see if anyone was working and how we were doing. Now the Welfare people are better off than the rich.

Regina Sienkiewicz
Albertson, NY

The Best...

This newspaper is the "best." Every article informs you on all the latest positive reports. It gives you hope!

Terri Doheny
Tempe, AZ

Where's The Pancreas?

I have diabetes mellitus. I have been a type I diabetic for 23 years. About 7 or 8 months ago I requested information about the company which makes the artificial pancreas. The people at LifeScan told me to contact the people at DIABETES HEALTH, that I might be able to get this information from Scott King. If I could get this information and contact the company which produces this device it could greatly improve my lifestyle. I would like to have the manufacturer send me some information on this device. I would really appreciate this information.

Llewellyn Grubb, Jr.
Wytheville, VA

[Editor: We ran an article about the artificial pancreas in our February, 1993 issue, if you want that information, see page 15 of the May issue for information on ordering back issues. As for the companies involved, they are Lifecare A/S, Industrial Plastic Supply Limited, Scandex International (UK), and the University of Trondheim (Norway). As far as we at DIABETES HEALTH know, there are no studies or trials involving an artificial pancreas taking place in the United States. We hope this will help you get the information you need.]

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Categories: Blood Glucose, Diabetes, Food, Letters to the Editor

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