Prediabetes? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Prediabetes? Ain’t nobody got time for that! The Ad Council’s type 2 prevention campaign misses the mark.

In the first of its kind campaign the ADA, AMA, and CDC released a series of Ad Council public service announcements aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes. The campaign is called So…Do I Have Prediabetes?

Boy did they miss the mark.

The campaign takes on a snarky tone. Now, I’ve been known to enjoy a snarky joke as much as the next person. But this snark is aimed at the patient, that just adds to the blame and shame people living with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, already face.

You eat bacon? Well, don’t. It’s a variation on the “Eat 100 candy bars and what do you get?” joke. We’ve all heard the punch line: Diabetes!

Only, it’s not true and it’s hateful. And when people feel blamed for their health or shamed for their behavior that disempowers them to change. Don’t believe that? Listen to what the research of Jane K. Dickinson, CDE has to say.

And what if you’re a busy mom?

Well, this busy mom doesn’t appreciate the sentiment. Yeah, busy-ness is a common excuse. I’ll cop to using it myself once or twice. Okay! I used it for about a million years while I was in pre-diabetes.

The doctor’s response to the patient saying she’s a busy mom made me think of this:

CharlieBrownLucyFootball

Lucy van Pelt pulling the football away at the last moment yet again and the ever trusting Charlie Brown taking a tumble mid-kick.

I don’t want my doctor to be paying a cruel joke on me. And I don’t want to end up the looser in this scenario.

But more damning is the image that comes to my mind when I reflect on what the busy mom says. Her distress is real. And yet her words come off more like this:

Ain't nobody got time for that!

And this is just plain wrong.

When one door closes…

MannKind and Sanofi announced the end of their Afrezza partnership. What happened?

News came last week that MannKind and Sanofi are ending their Afrezza partnership.

Afrezza, in case you don’t know, is a fast-acting insulin that is inhaled. Look ma, no needles! Instead of a needle poke you take several deep breaths. That has a certain appeal among the people getting poked.

There was some fanfare when Afrezza was approved by the FDA, and it even generated some Internet buzz. So what happened?

Sales were disappointing.

Afrezza had become the poster child for the complexities of introducing a new treatment to the market. It was proven effective. It received FDA approval. Doctors and patients were educated about its benefits and limitations; Afrezza can’t be used by people with asthma or lung ailments. But was Afrezza being stocked by pharmacies? And, more importantly, was it added to any of the payer formularies? Meaning, would any health insurance companies pay for it?

Success in pharma requires every step in the process of introducing a new treatment be successful. Afrezza was oh so close.

Meanwhile, every person using insulin continues to to poke themselves…daily…several times.


Update: On January 21, 2016 MannKind announced it has entered into a collaboration and license agreement with a newly formed entity, Receptor Life Sciences, Inc.

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance…

Have a #yogurt! It’s good and it also helps reduce T2 #Diabetes risk… Oh, really?

A couple of months ago, during #DiabetesAwarenessMonth, I saw a tweet from @YogurtNutrition. It said:

Have a #yogurt! It’s good and it also helps reduce T2 #Diabetes risk…

Oh really? I need to find out more about this. So I asked:

What kind of #yogurt might help reduce #T2 #diabetes? Plain? Greek? Lo fat? Flavored?

After all there are a lot of different kinds of yogurt out there. Some even have more sugar than ice cream! So clearly, not all yogurts would be a good choice when managing type 2 diabetes. The response was:

@SpinningDPlates results were observed on yogurt as a food category. Thus there is no specific recommendation to answer you question.

What?

I don’t fault @YogurtNutrition for doing it’s job, which is to promote yogurt. But I do fault it for presenting incomplete and potentially misleading information about the health benefits of a particular food.

Feeling the ripples of change

Each time I share my views as a person living with diabetes it’s as if I tossed a small stone into a pond, generating ripples of change.

Looking back at 2015, one word comes to mind when I think of my life with diabetes: advocate.

Google Search: define advocate
Google Search: define advocate

I thought about and discussed advocacy a lot during this past year. Who is a diabetes patient advocate? The patient him or herself? Anyone who cares about people living with diabetes? Where does advocacy take place? In the doctor’s office? On Capital Hill? Which issue is most important to advocate for? Easy and affordable access to treatments and medical devices? A cure?

The answer to all of these questions is “Yes.”

Being an advocate and engaging in advocacy is all of these things, and so much more. Each conversation has the potential to change a person’s view of life with diabetes. Each doctor’s visit has the potential to improve the treatment that the next patient receives, and the next, and the next… Each letter written has the potential to influence the work of policymakers.

It’s as if every time a person speaks up for the rights and needs of people living with diabetes a stone is tossed into a pond, generating a ripple of change.

According to the CDC there are more than 29 million people living with diabetes in the US alone. Imagine if each of us tossed a single stone into that pond.

Oh diabetes, you’re so transitory

Oh, diabetes…
It’s all so transitory, isn’t it?

Oh, diabetes…
It’s all so transitory, isn’t it?

Not 5 minutes before I was enjoying my membership in the Diabetes Century Club. By the time I got back to take picture proof the meter had powered off.

The little +3 in the triangle at the top is my only proof.