Monday, February 11, 2008

The Trigger?

No one knows what triggers the autoimmune response that causes the body to attack its own pancreatic beta cells in type 1 diabetes. In fact, there are other related autoimmune diseases like celiac disease where the trigger remains a mystery. This NIH study starts to ask whether gluten consumption may be the culprit.

The Tight Control Controversy

A recent federal study revealed that tight blood sugar control for middle aged type 2 diabetics was actually HARMFUL. This article from last week's NY Times gives us a startling account of what has been long held dogma by the American Diabetes Association. Now what?

One thing we must do as caregivers to our loved ones with diabetes is to be critical of sensationalized news articles that by design are meant to shock. The article does note that for type 2 diabetics the risk for cardiovascular disease decreased without tight control, but that the risk for amputation, blindness and other complications would become adversely affected. Another thing to bear in mind is that there are MANY studies that show the importance of tight control. This article from the AMA for example points out the benefits for type 1 (vs,. type 2) diabetics.

Remember a fully informed and balanced view is the proper one