My Wish For World Diabetes Day: Education

World Diabetes Day

World Diabetes Day Blue CircleI am participating in Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month. I decided to not follow the prompts today since it is World Diabetes Day.  May the Blue be with your today!

We have had some different talks about diabetes where I live – I have given two of them. Last night, they had a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) come in to talk. For you non-d people, a CDE is generally the one who trains diabetics how to manage their blood sugar.

Although the majority of what was presented was very good and up to date, there were a couple things that were lacking. She was discussing Type 2 drugs and brought up Victoza and Symlin. One of the things that she said was people have to still be producing insulin to be able to use either one of those drugs. She also stated that “this year” they decided that Symlin could be used with insulin. I spoke up because I have heard of a bunch of Type 1s using both Symlin and Victoza.

She stated that Victoza could only be used with Levemir (because it is made by Novo Nordisk and Symlin used with only Lantus. A friend of mine has a husband that is Type 2 using only Apidra on his pump and uses Victoza. When my friend first brought it up to me, I looked on TuDiabetes and found the group there. At that time, there were a bunch of Type 1s posting in that group about using it. I have heard about plenty of Type 1s using Symlin also for several years now. Some of those people are pumpers, so I know they aren’t using Lantus or Levemir.

I especially cringed when she got to the food part and made the statement that the majority of our meals should come from carbs. She stated at the very least, an inactive older person would need the minimum of 45 grams of carbs per meal plus three 15 grams of carbs snack. Of course, she recommended the old bedtime snack. In discussing lows, she talked about things to treat a low with and said a Snickers bar. I said unless you are on insulin because candy bars have fat in and don’t bring you up fast.

I have long said that we need better education for diabetics. In talking to people both online and in person, it is obvious that there are a lot of people out there that don’t know the basic things they should be doing to manage their diabetes. After sitting thru last night’s educational session, I think that there needs to be a better system in place to keep educators up with the latest information also. I don’t know about Victoza, but I do know I have read about Type 1s using Symlin for years so her information on that was very outdated. I wish every newly diagnosed person would be handed a card to the DOC so they could learn stuff straight from the horse’s mouth!

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Comments

  1. This educator said basically the opposite of everything I was told. The reason this disease is so darned tricky is because there is no one thing that we can all do to fix it! By fix I don’t mean cure – I mean maintain. A cure is what I’ve been praying for – and continue to! But I have eaten high protein, low carb and I don’t eat candy bars to get my glucose raised because of fat content – there are better ways to raise sugar than with simple carbs! But… that’s for ME. For someone else, perhaps it works – but I think it’s important to get to know your own body – and get to know it very well. Know what makes YOUR body happy and controlled. In the meantime, I’m still going to pray for a cure. Who’s with me?

    • Thanks Linda! Although I hope for a cure, I doubt that we will see one in our lifetime. I am on the “too much money to be made selling drugs” side of the fence on that one! Although I know everyone is different and maybe candy bars do work for them, I think that is the wrong thing to be teaching someone because fat does slow down that raise for the majority of people. I am glad to hear that you were taught the opposite of what she she said!

  2. I agree that d-education is lacking in many places.
    Have a good WDD, Kelly!

  3. In other news, The Cosby Show has been nominated for “Best New Sitcom” and Ronald Reagan was just re-elected to a second term. What year is it again?

    When it comes to the progress of diabetes education, we need to have an “out with the old, in with the new” philosophy. The second half, by itself, just doesn’t work.

    • You are right Scott, the second half just doesn’t work by itself! Part of me felt like I was back in 1984. I don’t think even back then on the exchange diet I ate as many carbs as she was saying we needed and i knew not to treat lows with candy bars.

  4. Kelly, I also cringed when i read what the CDE said. A CDE I know is also a RD and she tells diabetics to eat meals heavy in carbs, and of course that promotes weight gain, and more insulin. UGH!! I wonder what your CDE would have said about a T1D having insulin resistance and using metformin, like I did? My doctors had never heard if that, not even my endo. It took some time to get my endo to prescribe metformin, but it did great things for me. I no longer need to use metformin, and my insulin resistance is much better.

    • That is pretty much what this CDE said. She had a plate with 3 dividers in – one part was over half the plate and 2 small sections for meat and a potato or roll. The big part was for carbs. I am sure she wouldn’t have known how to treat insulin resistance. She certainly didn’t seem up on T1s using some of the other drugs for that very reason and seemed to think they only worked on people still producing a lot of their own insulin. I have read a lot about T1s taking Met and other T2s drugs to help with different problems they have. I am guessing that she follows the standard drug salesman pitch and not the real world experience with stuff.

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