Monday, July 22, 2013

How Dare the IDF!

The IDF just released its new video.  Very anime.  And a noticeable break with the past.  All the people are thin.  Oddly enough, that's what most of those commenting object to the most.  "Why aren't they identified as Type 2?  Why aren't they fat people gulping soda and stuffing their faces with fast food?"

I commend the IDF for being brave enough to dispel this stereotype.  To go with what science has been saying rather than what people want to believe.

But why do these people fight so hard for those lies?  They are the first ones to scream about how they and their children are not to blame for their diabetes.  How they are not fat (although many T1s are equally round). How sugar is not the cause and yes, they can eat that cookie.  They are the ones that want the world to know that this is not a disease that can be prevented or controlled easily with diet and exercise, at least not for them.

The IDF gave them what they wanted and they hate the IDF for giving it to them.

Even the ADA will  go only so far as to say that obesity is linked to diabetes.  Linked.  Not a demonstrated cause as in this always causes that to happen.  Most people who are overweight maintain normal blood sugars.  Many diabetics are thin.  And I doubt if those screaming the loudest about the Diabesity Epidemic have ever read the research reports.  Have they noticed the cherry-picking?  Have they looked at the numbers?  I have.  It's amazing how many research dollars go toward perpetuating this fiction, but no one ever complains.

Recently, researchers all over the world have started looking at other causes.  DNA strands.  A people's history.  More and more of them are concluding that it is not the opening of the McDonald's or the availability of a cold Coke, but the centuries of starvation.  Of course, governments would rather blame evil American corporate greed than their own political/economic policies that decimated their own population.

It is a greater evil to say to a people who no longer watch their children die of starvation that they deserve to die of diabetes if they now have enough to eat.

Monday, July 15, 2013

No New News Wanted

While checking my email, I noticed a news story on the feed.  Hunger Hormone.  Actually, it's not new news.  A similar story was published in 2009 about ghrelin, the hormone that regulates hunger.  This year, though, scientists in England found the gene that triggers it.

Genetics.  Science.  Hard cold facts. New discoveries about how the body works.  Today's news looked at how our distant past altered our genetic code in ways that play out in the electrical circuits of our brains as well as our visage in the mirror.

Within a few hours the story had disappeared. Searching for it, I found it buried beneath a story of how the Boy Scouts will not be allowing really fat kids at this year's jamboree.

Fox News carried the same story, briefly, with the obligatory picture of an unidentified person's gut, just in case we should forget what a fat person looks like.

The comments following the story were full of hate.  Stories of what those people dare to put in their grocery carts.  I suppose those commenting eat only organic free-trade mulch.

Those commenting ranted about conspiracies by Big Pharma and challenged the validity of the study.  No one ever challenges the Obesity Epidemic.  It is sacred.  Like the curtain before the holy of holies, it must never be withdrawn.  Yet, obesity is only linked to diabetes.  News stories mention a  correlation.  The actual studies, when examined closely show  numbers that are rarely statistically significant and a lot of cherry picking:  Who is included in the study.  Whom they decide should be ignored.

Yet a study where they measured how much ghrelin was in the blood at various times and what the brain activity showed is dismissed.  Must be a hoax, the naysayers chant. Can't be true.

Why not?  Big Pharma? What about the $60 billion weight loss industry?  A lot of people have a lot invested in fat people sticking with options that never work, and paying more and more, hoping this time, if they work really hard and are really good. .. Too many sheep to fleece.

But mainly, if we got rid of the Obesity Epidemic and focused on scientific data, we'd have one less group we can feel good about hating.  Over the past century that pool has shrunk considerably.  And if we can't hate, if there is no one to whom we are superior, than we might have to face our own self-loathing, our  inability to comprehend math and science, our fear of our own uncontrolled hunger.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The beginning of a new era

This is my first blog.  After posting on other people's postings and blogs, I now have my own.  The title comes from The Sweet Lowdown, which I've been working on for over a year now and which is set to premiere October 25, 2013, at Broom Street Theater in Madison, Wisconsin.

When I started writing The Sweet Lowdown, I expected to learn a lot of the science behind diabetes.  What surprised me was to learn how deeply the stigma affects not just the lay person's view of the disease, but the healthcare profession's and the researchers' views.  I thought if people just were aware of the facts, we could proceed rationally into a new era.  I expected the person on the street to behave irrationally, but was stunned when confronted with the same behaviour in healthcare settings and in the organizations we look to for our information.

Gradually things are changing. 

2012 saw the first Evidence-based conference on PCOS.  They concluded that they don't know nearly enough and they don't have accurate ways to measure what they do need to know.  Polycystic Ovary Syndrome may have less to do with ovaries and more with androgens and insulin; in fact, it may be present in men as well as women. 

This winter, the International Diabetes Federation will showcase studies that look at what actually causes diabetes and how it can be better managed.  They've already determined that for all diabetics, Type 2 as well as Type 1, those on insulin and those who aren't, a strategy for testing blood sugar  and using the results to change behaviour and treatment has better results than not testing or testing at random and then ignoring the numbers.  It took over 40 studies to get to this conclusion.

In the future, if we can use scientific evidence rather than fear and loathing as the basis for protocol, fewer people will suffer and die needlessly.