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.

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