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Letter from the Editor #559: Listening to “News” on the Radio…

Feb 5, 2011

Typically whenever I hear something on TV or the radio about diabetes my ears perk up and I listen carefully. This past week there were a few things that caught my attention.

First I heard a slew of commercials for a mail-order diabetes supply company touting that they had a meter that no longer required you to get blood from your fingers in order to get a reading. What they failed to mention was that you had to lance somewhere else. This commercial led to quite a few calls to myself and colleagues in the area about a revolutionary new monitor that did not need blood to get a reading.


Then I heard that a new study showed that Type 1 patients don’t need insulin if we can control glucagon release. The health reporter was telling the viewers that researchers had found that if we could stop glucagon release we could stop glucose release from the liver and then there would be no need for insulin in Type 1 patients. The reporter also mentioned that medications like metformin, DPP-4 inhibitors, GLP-1 agonists and amylin analogs all inhibit glucose release. When I talked to our publisher, Steve Freed, he had our staff do some research and found out the real story. Check out this week’s Item #1 to learn what the reporter should have said.

Finally as I was reviewing this week’s Tool for Your Practice, the  CDC Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011, National Public Radio had a feature on the new data. They were discussing reasons why patients get diabetes and all the things that we could try. At the same time I got an email from Sheri Colberg, Ph.D., FACSM. She had just finished reading a new book on reasons we develop diabetes and has prepared the article Why the Whole World Is Going to Develop Diabetes Sooner or Later.


Many of you have helped patients avert diabetes disasters and we can all learn from them. (See our Safety and Error Prevention Topic page for a complete list.) If you have a “disaster averted” then send it in and if we use it in our Diabetes Clinical Mastery Series you will receive a Visa Gift Card worth $50.00. Congratulations to our readers who have been sent gift cards for their contributions! Click here to let us know the details. (You can use your name or remain anonymous if you prefer.)


TCOYD Conference and Health Fair, Santa Rosa, California, Feb 12, 2011

The TCOYD team starts their regular conference and health fair schedule this year in Santa Rosa, with Special Guest, Billy Mills, Olympic Gold Medalist. Features and Events include: top physicians, diabetes educators, foot specialists; state-of-the-art technologies and advances in diabetes care; afternoon workshops; and physical activities for everyone.

Please answer this week’s poll (in the right-hand column): Is the Glycemic Index used in your Nutrition and Education program for your patients?

View last week’s poll results.

We can make a difference!

Check out this week’s “Test Your Diabetes Knowledge” question!

Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief