The many reasons why diabetes inspires me
diaTribe inspires me for many reasons – we’ve been told it’s useful, opinionated, smart, funny – and I love to think all of that is true. But what stands out to me in this issue is the amazing team and advisory board behind it. Many of these people are not just living with diabetes, but they are thriving with it, and diaTribe’s raison d’être is to help all patients flourish. Google a name – any name – from our advisory board, and see what comes up. Put these brilliant minds with a dedicated, passionate staff, and you’ll see why I love what I do.
This issue highlights our advisory board in several places. We have an interview with the renowned Dr. Zach Bloomgarden, whose name is ubiquitous in the diabetes medical journals. Not only is he an exceptional researcher, but he is also noted for his huge clinical practice in New York City – over 1,000 patients. In NewNowNext, notice the name of Virginia Valentine, a CDE on our advisory board with type 2 diabetes, who is currently touring America with Delta Burke from Designing Women to educate people about Byetta. Virginia’s participation is a great example of how active our advisors are. Finally, our Profile was written by Gloria Yee, a tireless CDE with type 1 diabetes. She writes about Will Cross, a hero to many people – and what’s amazing is, I’m not sure Gloria realizes what a hero she is to so many.
We believe we have some fantastic information in this issue. Our Learning Curve describes the workings of Symlin and what we’ve learned about this sleeper drug since it came to market two years ago. Along with the Test Drive we did of Symlin last issue, I hope these articles can continue to be a useful resource – and a wake up call for some to talk to their doctors about what may or may not work in optimizing their care. If your blood glucose is too high after meals, Symlin might be something to consider1. We hope to do a Test Drive (showing you how these drugs or devices really work) and a Learning Curve (explaining more about the science behind the products) for all critical new drugs or devices coming to market. This issue has a fantastic Logbook on the transformation of insulin from a miracle drug in the 1920s to a feared and avoided therapy, unfairly we think. Here, the case for insulin is made by best-selling author James Hirsch (you must pick up Cheating Destiny if you haven’t, where Jim writes in detail on the human drama of diabetes).
NewNowNext is also great this month. It highlights more people in the family – Jen Dorn, a very stylish type 1 San Franciscan who designs trendy diabetic bags, and actress Delta Burke who has taken her message on incretin therapy on the road. Also, with excitement for new products mini-LINK and UltraMini, it is clear that small continues to be sexy. In What We’re Reading, Jim Hirsch writes on type 1 Amy Tenderich’s fantastic “Know Your Numbers, Outlive Your Diabetes” – now there’s a useful book for any new patient. Finally, David Mendosa, a successful blogger and web-writer with type 2 diabetes, guest-writes an inspiring Test Drive on Byetta. We’d love to hear what you’d like more of, and we’re grateful for your interest. We hope you enjoy the issue!
Kelly L. Close
1This area, I should note, is plagued by some confusion – American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists advocates a post-meal check of under 140 mg/dL, while American Diabetes Association says 180 mg/dL is fine. Most of our advisors would advocate for the lower of the two targets, as long as this can be done safely. We know that shouldn’t be a throwaway line – when is it “easy,” especially for type 1s, to avoid hypoglycemia? We just think it’s all tradeoffs, and what we’ve read by another of our advisors, Dr. Irl Hirsch, is enough to make us bend over backwards to avoid variability. Symlin has made it easier for me to do so and I’m grateful, for me, that it’s available.