But when I look at my blog and web site stats to see what people are reading here, and when I reflect on the many emails I get from site visitors, it's crystal clear that what excites the majority of the visitors to my blog and the main Blood Sugar 101 web site is not the fascinating new tidbits I occasionally dig up--the ones that interest the devoted core of readers who are likely to post comments on the blog.
What attracts and generates responses from those visitors is the simple stuff that is so obvious to us old-timers we find it boring--the stuff that, sadly, 98% of all people with Diabetes world wide don't yet know.
Based on my mail and stats, here's the information that amazes people about the blog and site:
1. Normal blood sugars are much lower than the targets doctors tell patients to shoot for.
2. Diabetic blood sugars can be improved dramatically and even, for some people normalized, by cutting back on the carbs we eat.
3. Some diabetes drugs are safer and more effective than others but doctor often do not understand how to use diabetes drugs appropriately. With both metformin and insulin they often prescribes doses that are too low to do any good. By the same token, most if not all supplements sold as being "good for diabetics" are a complete waste of money.
4. Testing after meals is the best way to find out what foods are a good diabetes diet for you. Each person's diabetes is different, and without testing your favorite meals you won't know what foods are raising your blood sugar to levels that damage your body.
5. The so-called glycemic index doesn't work for most people with diabetes. Grains, whole or not, raise blood sugar dramatically.
6. Many people with Type 2 diabetes can drop their blood sugars surprisingly quickly without having to lose a single pound just by cutting down on carbs. Conversely, contrary to what doctors tell us, people with diabetes can lose a lot of weight and not see underlying blood sugar control improve. This is because most people with Type 2 have defects in insulin secretion that will not go away no matter what they weigh.
7. If you are thin and over 30 and diagnosed with "Type 2 Diabetes" and don't respond to pills there is good a chance you have either a slow form of autoimmune diabetes or, far more rarely, one of the genetic syndromes lumped together under the label "MODY." If so, you need to see a competent endocrinologist who is aware of these newer diagnoses. Unfortunately, not all practicing endocrinologists keep up-to-date.
There's nothing dramatically new here. It's all things I'd learned by 2003 after reading the diabetes newsgroup every day for a year. The new research that has trickled in since then has added very little that is new. Mostly it has confirmed that it's safe to cut carbs, a bad idea to eat low fat diets, and that there are more people with oddball forms of diabetes in the population than used to be thought.
So it strikes me that we in the blogosphere need to keep in mind, that yes, it's fascinating to read about obscure research that points to this or that possibly useful micro-finding. It's good there are bloggers out there tracking it, and I'm going to keep scanning the journals myself.
But when we are writing for a Googling world audience, it's far more important to keep the focus on the simple, boring facts about how blood sugar works that most people with diabetes still don't know. That knowledge is what can keep people from going blind, losing kidneys, or ended up with amputations.
I love my highly knowledgeable fans who read every post and keep up with the research cites. But I love even more the people who write to me that they've had diabetes for five years, but only brought their A1c down from 9% to 5.6% this past month after trying out the technique they found HERE. Even more, I love the people who write me two years later that they're still using that technique and still getting A1cs in the 5% range.
That's what matters. So if you've become bored with hearing about the "same old, same old" stuff, remind yourself it's not old stuff to the majority of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes whose average A1c is up near 9% and whose doctors have little to suggest even when their fasting blood sugar is up near 200 mg/dl.