The Angry Type 2 Diabetic: AADE 2017... I'd Like More Innovation, and Hold the Snake Oil, Please...

Sunday, August 6, 2017

AADE 2017... I'd Like More Innovation, and Hold the Snake Oil, Please...

The American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting is taking place this weekend, August 4th-August 7th, 2017. And I'm kind of excited, because they mentioned The Type Two Experience, with whom I write and collaborate since its conception. Every time I see that we, as advocates, are having a positive influence onto the 'world' of doctors, medical professionals, or patient guidance organizations, my hope is renewed that what we do is worth it. That people are listening, or at the very least, paying attention when we share about our day to day experiences.

Of course, I am not present at this conference. It is a little challenging for me, financially, as I don't have as many means as some of my friends with diabetes. I get limited vacation days a few times a year, and my finances are just not there, to be able to pay for hotels and food and transportation, and all the things many of these conferences entail -- even with sponsorship.

But it would be exciting to be there, as all the latest innovations are featured, so participants get to see all the new gadgets and what the near future of diabetes is going to be.

I hear there was even talk about a new hybrid continuous glucose monitoring system and glucose meter, that is being marketed by Freestyle, and would be much more affordable than a CGM. I am hopeful that, perhaps, insurance companies won't put many type 2 diabetics in the penalty box and not allow them to use this meter, if they are not on insulin. We ALL deserve to know what our glucose levels are like, to make better choices and management... and well, some of us get hypos from time to time, even if we aren't on insulin.

But as exciting as these things are to me, there is one thing that is definitely very troubling. And that is that these conferences do NOT take a stand against diabetes remedy peddlers, and opportunists. I hear the people over at Cinsulin had a table at this conference. Cinsulin is basically a homeopathic cinnamon remedy. The scientific evidence of cinnamon's effectiveness against high blood glucose is inconclusive, and tangential at best. On top of that, homeopathy is complete nonsense, sold for a lot of money. They claim to have scientific studies on their side, but the scientific studies listed on their site are not studies done on THEIR supplement, but the very weak cinnamon studies which have shown some type of benefit, including a water soluble cinnamon form - which is not the same as what they're offering people on their site.

In fact, if these studies were applicable to their product, they would have the complete backing of the FDA -- and this product would be produced by big pharma, and not a supplement maker. As it stands, their website has to carry the typical disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

These conferences are for educators, for professionals, for medical SCIENCE, as a chance to educate the public and people with diabetes. They should NOT be a chance to allow more unproven remedies, and pseudoscience, to continue to confuse and obfuscate the discussion, and to take people with diabetes for all they're worth.

I really feel that diabetes organizations have a solid obligation to the diabetes community to take a stand against these groups, and to help us fight the proliferation of them and their exploitation of people with diabetes. We certainly do NOT need to be tricked into spending more money onto unproven remedies, and snake oil from people allowed to sell to us, carte-blanche, at diabetes conferences.

After all, it's about education and enlightenment, right?

No comments:

Post a Comment