Letters to the Editor

August 2006

Aug 1, 2006

Big Brother in the Big Apple?

I wanted to comment on the article “What Value Do You Place On Your Privacy?” in the June 2006 issue of Diabetes Health. Yes, this invasion is scary to me. Prospective employers and life and health insurance companies can tap into this mandatory registry of all New York City diabetics. It can also potentially take our healthcare out of our own hands and place it in the hands of strangers. Yes, it is scary and smacks of Big Brother!

Mary Tomaszek
Chicago, Illinois

16 Grams Is Still A Lot Of Carbs

I was intrigued that you highlighted a sugar alcohol-free chocolate bar in the June issue of Diabetes Health (“New Food Line Is Sugar Alcohol-Free”). I would emphasize that as a type 1 pumper, the 16 grams of carbs per bar would still require at least a full unit of insulin for me. Of more importance, it should be noted that the amount of carbs in this 1.34 gram bar is almost the same as that in a slightly larger 1.5 gram Hershey almond bar (20 grams or carbs). So unless one had a real love for the taste of this new bar, one would do as well to just eat a regular chocolate bar.

In general, I find that most “sugar free” or “diabetic friendly” foods still have almost as many carbs as the foods they are replacing. And while the more complex carbs may delay the blood glucose spike, for a type 1, they still require the same bolus of insulin over the long haul.

Wayne Mitzner, PhD
Professor and Director,
Division of Physiology
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, Maryland

Diabetic Is My American Idol

I enjoyed watching Elliot Yamin’s performances in the fifth season of American Idol. Elliot and Kevin Covais have been a great inspiration to people with type 1 diabetes. As a type 1, you can do just about anything you set your mind to and never let diabetes stop you from pursuing your dreams.

Katie Ahlers
North Yarmouth, Maine

Colorectal Cancer—Making a Distinction

As always, I read the April 2006 issue of Diabetes Health with interest. I am a diabetes educator and have had type 1 for 42 years.

As if there were not already enough problems to concern ourselves with, now we are told by Donald Garrow, MD, in your article “Colorectal Cancer and Diabetes” that “diabetics are 1.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer than nondiabetics.” As I understand it, however, the study cited was done on 226,000 Americans, with 5.9 percent having diabetes. Most of those with diabetes had type 2 and “a minority had type 1.”

I feel it is important to make that distinction in any study. As we know, there are different causes for these two types of diabetes. Dr. Garrow noted “increased insulin levels in the blood, which are thought to affect cells in the colon’s mucosal lining.” These increased insulin levels occur in type 2, usually not in type 1.

Ann A. Borsello
Dalton, Massachusetts

Cleveland Brothers Continue to Inspire

The article on the Cleveland brothers (“Brothers’ Diabetes Spans History of Insulin” in the March issue) was very inspirational. As a CDE and NP, I am often asked by people with diabetes often how long can a person live with type 1. The Cleveland brothers’ story proves you can live a very long time with good control, exercise and healthful eating, and good genes.

Melanie Moynan-Smith, CNP, CDE
Athens, Ohio

Editor’s note: We would like to start a regular feature in Diabetes Health profiling type 1 long-termers like the Cleveland brothers and asking them about their secrets for healthy longevity. If you know of a suitable candidate, please send an e-mail to daniel@diabeteshealth.com.

Poll Results

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  • Waistband = 56%
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  • Bra or undershirt = 15%
  • Shirt Pocket = 3%
  • Arm band = 2%
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