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I, personally, enjoy reading the recently published diabetes research. We subscribe to several journals which publish findings from doctors and other researchers.
We've have been producing this journal for seven years now. I've watched many issues come and go. For years we were told that islet cell transplants will cure diabetes - available next year. For years we were told that non-invasive meters will test our blood sugar painlessly - available next year. In 1993 we reported on the insulin patch, which would replace injections. We were told then that it was "99%" done. It's now five years later and still no patch.
I try to not give as much room anymore to someone with a mere possibility for the future. The future has come and gone with no product in sight for several of the inventions we have presented. Now we try to avoid printing about other people's "pipe dreams." We also try to bring accountability to stories you read about in the general press. Yet I still think it's important to provide hope with articles about emerging new technologies. Sometimes it's tough to separate the wheat from the chaff, or the steak from the sizzle.
I wanted to share with you some published findings which I think need closer examination - questions which beg for answers.
Some reports seem to bring up more questions than answers.
Dr. Bognetti in Milan, Italy has confirmed Dr. Elliotte Joslin's finding (in 1925) that children with diabetes were taller at onset of the disease than their nondiabetic peers. This trend reverses itself though. During the first years their growth decreases, no matter what their blood sugar control.
In a letter in the same issue of Diabetes Care, August 1998, Dr. Iafusco warns that all type 1s should be tested for celiac disease every few years. Celiac disease is an allergic response to eating wheat products, which causes inflammation in the gut. Five and one-half percent of Dr. Iafusco's type 1 patients had celiac disease, which caused hypoglycemia. Insulin was reduced by as much as 60 percent to prevent hypoglycemia. Sticking to a gluten-free diet caused their insulin requirements to be increased to the non-celiac patient level!
In the July 1998 issue of Diabetes Care, Dr. Karvonen describes how type 1 diabetes seems to present in "seasons." In younger kids, age 0-9, the highest incidence of diabetes in the autumn. Other studies have confirmed this, with some reports showing boys get diabetes in a season different from girls.
In the May 1998 issue of Diabetes Care, Dr. Lima asserted that 25 to 38 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are deficient in magnesium. The study goes on to say that the prolonged use of magnesium in high doses is needed to improve control in type 2 diabetes!
In 1992, Diabetes Care reported that the nitrates in Colorado drinking water may play a role in getting diabetes. In looking at 63 counties in Colorado, they found a positive correlation for developing diabetes if nitrates are present in the water. Nitrates in the water lead to the formation of nitrosamines, which can damage the insulin-producing beta cells, leading to diabetes!
The July 1998 issue of Diabetologia warned of a potential risk associated with oral insulin. (One arm of a current NIH study has pre-diabetics eating insulin to see if it can stave off diabetes.) This approach seemed to work in mice, but now Dr. Bellmann has tried it in rats and reports that oral insulin can promote getting diabetes, rather than protect from it development.
It is difficult for us living with the disease to find our way through these paradoxes and oddities. We fear trying the latest trick because tomorrow we may hear of its dangers. Scientific developments bring hope, yet also years of waiting.
I believe knowledge is the key to fighting diabetes and will continue to provide our readers with knowledge. I think back to my early experiences of diabetes and how far we have come in treating ourselves. Knowing that science is a journey helps me to follow the endless circle of research reports. I know that every step along the journey helps to get to the final destination.
Sep 1, 1998
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.