July 1, 2007

Happy birthday to this blog!

It's been a year since I started this blog and almost exactly a year to the day after I started this blog, it got chosen as a Diabetes Information "Top Ten" site by healthcenteral.com. Gotta love that!

The other major development has been that, for some reason beyond human understanding, the Wall Street Journal has been featuring a link to this blog on all its health-related articles, even when they have nothing to do with the subject of the blog.

This, of course, means that I'm getting a lot of traffic from people whose only interest in health is financial, and that investors, like those who participate on the discussion board, "Investors Village," regularly denounce me for what has to be the delusional belief that my blog postings are sending the value of their Amylin or Pfizer stocks lower.

The upside of this kind of exposure is that there are just as many people with diabetes investing in stocks as there are in every other area of endeavor, and who knows? Maybe some of them might learn something that will help improve their health.

But it does depress me that the people paying the most attention to health news seem to be those who are eager to profit off of the chronic illnesses of others. It's also sobering to encounter the anger of the investors whose pet companies have been caught indulging in the kind of patient-harming behavior we'd like to believe happens only in distant lands filled with people very different from ourselves.

Their anger is directed not at the companies who profit from hiding evidence of patient harm, or manipulating data to obscure damaging information, or by influencing doctors with huge and often questionable cash payments, but at those who uncover these abuses. In a world where people are willing to put antifreeze in cough medicine intended for toddlers in order to earn a few bucks, this shouldn't shock me, but it does.

Fortunately, I also hear from a lot of people with diabetes who tell me they've read things here that they haven't seen before that are very helpful to them. They also tell me that they appreciate the fact that I back up the statements I make here and on my Main Web Site with references to relevant research studies and to reports by investigative journalists so that they can evaluate any statement they read here for themselves.

It's those people I write for, and their enthusiasm and encouragement--reflected in the Top 10 citation and in the email that I get--makes it worth doing.

One reason I've been focusing so much on the malfeasance of the drug industry in the past couple months is because without an understanding of how far these companies are willing to go to earn a buck and how effective they are in pitching their drugs to doctors in a way that completely obscures possible problems those doctors should be informed of you aren't going to understand why your doctor may be prescribing drugs that aren't in your best interest.

If you trust your doctor without understanding the environment in which he or she works, you may end up just taking a handful of not-very-effective pills each day in the belief that your health has been taken care of and not look into other treatments which are more effective, but which you doctor doesn't know about because they are not being publicized by drug companies with many billions of dollars invested in marketing.

My main problem with all the expensive much-hyped new drugs is not that I have a ravening hatred of the Free Enterprise System. It is that for most people with Type 2 Diabetes these drugs don't work. We know what blood sugar levels damage organs and none of the drugs on the market get blood sugars below those levels for any but a very small percentage of those who take them.

If there were no other treatments available, well, these drugs would be better than nothing. But there are treatments that work much better for most people with Type 2 diabetes--carb restriction and insulin, properly prescribed--that can give all these people blood sugars low enough to avoid complications completely. But these treatments are more complex than taking a pill and doctors do not hear about them because they will not earn billions of dollars for anyone.

So that's why I'm here, pointing out what the health establishment won't. If I can save only one person from amputation, blindness, or dialysis, the time I've put into this blog will be worth it. My email suggests I am having that kind of effect and there are people who now have A1cs in the 5% range who might not have had them if they hadn't read my stuff.

But of course, I'm greedy. I want to save hundreds or even, maybe thousands of people from complications. My dream is that someday the information I'm trying to get out to people with Diabetes about what normal blood sugars are and how they can achieve them will become so well known that doctors and drug companies will be ashamed to publish studies where hundreds or thousands of patients with A1cs of 8% are labeled "well controlled."

Then I can go back to enjoying my garden and let the people who get paid for providing health care do all the work!


sam said...

Congratulations on your blog b-day!

Your first two sites -- the ones on Geocities -- helped me a lot when I was first diagnosed. I still find myself linking to them, on occasion, even though I don't focus my blogging on diabetes, these days.

You provide valuable information to diabetics who are willing (and able) to find it. Thanks for that!

Jenny said...


Thanks! The geocities diabetes site should redirect to the phlaunt.com site now, as the Phlaunt site is the only one I keep updated. Do make sure you've updated your bookmarks!

I keep the geocities diabetes site alive only because Google has indexed it for so many different searches. But it's so much easier to update content on Phlaunt.com that I use it exclusively. Plus it gives me better stats so I can get a better feeling for what information my visitors are looking for.

Anonymous said...

Happy Blogiversary!