Letters to the Editor

April 2005

Apr 1, 2005

Nicole Gets a Valentine

I have just finished reading Nicole Johnson Baker’s article in the February 2005 issue (Diabetes: A Condition of Connection”). What a wonderful way to make the connection with your partner and your diabetes. I was diagnosed with type 1 after 16 years of marriage. It was a difficult lifestyle transition for me, and support for my condition from my husband has been minimal at best. I admire Nicole’s husband for “jumping in” and experiencing firsthand the daily trials of diabetes. May they enjoy a long and healthy marriage.

I do love all the varied information your magazine provides.

Barbara Jacobson
Carefree, Arizona

Reader Feedback on Dan Stephens Article

I am a regular reader of your magazine and an insulin-dependent diabetic for the past 33 years. Your January 2005 cover story on Dan Stephens (“Dan Stephens Tackles Success”) must contain a typo or a serious mistake: It says, “Stephens takes about 100 units of Humulin NPH at bedtime.” This cannot be correct. If I’m wrong, please advise.

Martin Berg
San Antonio, Texas

Clinical editor’s note: We checked with the author and with Mr. Stephens, and the evening Humulin NPH dosage given is correct. Total daily insulin requirements are based on many factors, one of them body weight.

As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator who teaches in the Department of Sports Medicine and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh, I was thrilled to see the January 2005 cover story about Dan Stephens. Dan was kind enough to work with us at a diabetes fair on campus last year, and I found him to be an inspirational and hardworking young man.

Lisa McDermott
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

More Comments on Our ‘Diabetes Busts’ Article

As a type 1 diabetic, a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator, it was with great interest that I read “The Biggest Diabetes Busts of All Time” in the January 2005 issue.

I was disappointed to see that the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) Exchange Diet was on the list and that so many are frustrated with carbohydrate intake and medication usage. I do not teach anyone the “exchange diet” any more, nor do I know of any dietitians who do. However, I do teach carbohydrate counting, and I give the exchange lists to patients so they can use them as a simple, cost-efficient tool to calculate carbohydrate content of foods when a label is not available.

When I graduated from college, the way to be healthy and lose weight was to eat “low fat.” It is now “low carb,” and I never liked either one. I prefer “moderation in all things,” but the bottom line is that each of us is unique and should be allowed to make our own choices as we eat and care for our disease.

The base of the balance beam of diabetes care is blood glucose control. Our weight, quality of life, how much we exercise and our medication choices are all part of a careful balancing act that we each individually set up with the help of our care providers. While some may feel that they are better off eating fewer carbohydrates and taking less medication, others have a better quality of life when they are allowed a more flexible eating schedule with more medication. A person who takes insulin or “more medication” is not in poor control; he just has different needs than one who can control his blood sugars with diet and exercise. Medication is not a punishment; it is a tool allowing us to lead long, healthy, normal lives.

Thankfully, we each have many options for caring for ourselves, and we can be open-minded as we see that each of us is working for a common goal but may be using different methods to reach it.

Jessica Gibbons RD, CDE
Dixie Regional Medical Center
St. George, Utah

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Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Food, Insulin, Letters to the Editor, Losing weight, Type 1 Issues

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