June 27, 2010

Friends of the Blog: Feedback Wanted!

My web stats tell me there are two different types of people who read this blog. One is people who find old posts thanks to Google Search. Google loves both this site and my main Blood Sugar 101 site, so even posts a few years old get a steady stream of visitors.

The other is blog subscribers--people who come in every time I post something new. A few of these regulars post comments. The rest just read and leave. But thanks to the magic of page stats I can see how many silent regulars we have here, too, and there are a lot of you.

As most of my regular readers know, this past year I haven't had the time I usually have to research and post about the latest diabetes news because, much to my amazement, last June I sold a novel and two sequels to a major publisher. The novel was finished, but the sequels weren't even begun,and because big publishers demand that their authors deliver new books very quickly, I have had to dig in this past year and work my butt off to meet my deadlines.

Since I have one more year to go on this current contract I'm not going to be able to post here three times a week for at least another year. That means that when I do post I want to give my devoted readers what they want the most. The question is, what? I hope you, who are reading this current post, can give me some feedback to help me do this.

Typically I do a couple different kinds of post. I comment on really important news about advances or new discoveries in the diabetes field. I warn you about the many highly publicized, poorly designed studies that come up with misleading and sometimes downright dangerous conclusions that result from poor study design or cynical manipulations on the part of the companies who fund them.

I also post about the tips and tricks that can help readers lower their blood sugar. Some of these posts may state things that are not news to those of you who have had diabetes but the mail this blog generates suggests that those simple posts are the ones that have the most impact on the many newly diagnosed people who find this site every week.

So tell me. Over the next year, what kinds of posts would you like to see when you find a new post on this blog? What do you find here that you find the most helpful in your ongoing struggle with diabetes?

I realize that readers will have different needs and that some of you might not agree with other's ideas of what is most important. That's good. I want to hear from as many of you as possible to get a feeling for what keeps you coming back and what helps you preserve your health.

Post your ideas in the comments section. What kinds of posts would you like to see here over the months ahead?

 

53 comments:

gail said...

Hello Jenny
You asked for honest so here it is.
I'm not sure how I found your blog but I added it to my Google Reader account. Each time you post, it shows up there. The posts are pretty plain looking and I can't really tell one from another unless there is an image that's been embedded at the top of the post. There's no branding going on, no visual imagery to latch on to, and so I cannot actually separate you from many of the other diabetes blogs I read. But I do read your posts. I read this one through to the end and replied as you requested. I also read David Mendosa and Kerri Morrone Sparling and a few other general diabetes blogs. Whatever you have been writing has kept my attention so keep it up. You are teaching me more and more about managing a life with diabetes and that's what I'm here for. Thank you.

IMQTPI said...

Oh my goodness, am I really the first to comment? (I better type quick! ;-)

I know "The Basic Stuff"/"Tips and Tricks" is what brought me here in the first place. Actually, I think it was the Bloodsugar101 site that helped me find you and all your very useful knowledge! I didn't join the Blog-feed 'til much later...

Anyway, I really like when you report on the "Latest 'n Greatest" stuff that hits the newswire. Newest [and potentially dangerous] Drugs, as well as other "stuff" that hits the mainstream news (or the local doctor's mailbox).

Debunking of Faulty Studies is also good - although I'm sure that's probably your most time-consuming undertaking. But it's extremely useful if it's something that one's PCP is likely to tout...

I know, from personal experience, how bad things can go when one follows - umm - less-than-ideal advice from an MD. So I especially appreciate when I know about the New Stuff - from your blog - ahead of time.

Forewarned is forearmed, as they say...

So that's my two-cents-worth. Keep the change! ;-)

Cheryl said...

I would love to read about basic nutrition
- essential vitamins & minerals, appropriate quantities for optimal health
- explanations of what the various vit/min compounds actually DO in the body whether in food or supplement form (could be a monthly series, so maybe written in advance and posted as per a schedule)

Second request - reviewing HISTORICAL research - the studies that at turn of century through the 50s that suggested to eat FAT instead of CHO to manage diabetes. Maybe even point to historical cookbooks and instruction manuals

Third request -- short series on how to read a clinical study, from the news version to the abstract to the full paper.

caribooponderer.com said...

I was diagnosed two years ago and because of blogs like this have learned enough to keep my A1C in the 5% range so do not need to take medications, and that is where I would like to stay. So keep up the good work. I like to read about new research but I mainly I read your blog via Google Reader because of the nutritional information that will help me in my goal.

Sandra said...

I like your posts for info that my doc might not know or will know only the drug rep's version of. Diet, exercise, and alternative (non-drug) blood sugar regulation ideas I can find elsewhere but the info that will most facilitate an educated and well-informed conversation with medical professionals is what I count on this blog for.

nielso said...

Your critical analysis of so-called "studies" is the most valuable thing for me. (Of course it goes without saying that Blood Sugar 101 is invaluable.)

Bill & Carolann said...

Your site and posts are the best. Many newly diagnosed Type 2 friends have been pointed to your diabetes 101 site. Both sites are very comprehensive and always up to date. It is my primary source for all things diabetes. Some items currently of interest are how to
manage type 2 when, over the years, carb tolerance has continually declined. Another is the lack of research or statistics regarding type 2 life expectancy and the expected degradation of life style.

Ralph said...

Information about medications unrelated to diabetes that have an impact on plasma glucose would be helpful. E.g., in addition to pre-diabetes I have glaucoma with symptoms that are medication resistant. My doctor recently prescribed Timolol Maletate that caused my many years of glucose readings to move from 95-105 to peak at 115 within three weeks. My Internet research indicate some blood pressure medications (I don't need them) to do the same thing.

Barbara Hairston said...

I have been sorry you are not able to post as frequently as before- but I'll survive.

I like the variety and subject matter that you have been doing. I'd been wondering about the time for my metformin doses and that is just what you wrote about most recently.

Every time a new dumb study comes out I want to read your take on it. However, there are too many of them for you to comment on with your reduced responses. I don't really need your responses - I just enjoy them.

Thanks for your help.

Barbara

Radhakrishna said...

Jenny,

I am glad to say that I find your blog posts, your blood sugar 101 site and your blood sugar book very informative. Thank you for your painstaking work in educating and enlightening us, the diabetics.

I like your insightful analysis of the various studies, your well researched articles on the different diabetic drugs, your comments on the latest news in the field of diabetes and of course the tips and tricks of remaining healthy and complications free as a diabetic.

Keep up the good work, Jenny.

Best regards,
Rad

Haggus said...

I'll go along with whatever the others wish to see here (unless it turns into a knitting blog,) but one thing I do find very valuable is your comments on other blog sites.

Gainor said...

I am glad to respond to your blog today, Jenny. Your posts are very informative! I have learned a great many things here that have added to my general knowledge of what diabetes is and how to manage it. Keep feeding us whatever comes up for you, as it is all interesting, and news that we can't get from our medical team, I guess because they don't have time to educate us, and the local "class" teaches us how to eat a ridiculously high carb diet that would continue to keep us all at the edge of disaster. I appreciate your research and congratulate you on your contract with the publishers. Good luck with your novels, and keep posting whatever you can. It is all interesting and informative.
Thanks!

ShottleBop said...

My favorites are the detailed discussions of studies, but I really appreciate the mix of information that you provide.

Steve Parker, M.D. said...

I enjoy your critical analyses of the medical/nutrition literature.

Congratulations on the book deal! People who aren't authors have little idea how rare that is. The woman who wrote the Twilight vampire stories lives in my area. If you're half as succesful as her, you'll be set for life.

-Steve

Anne said...

First, congratulations on your book deal. I wish you great success.

I love your Blood Sugar 101 site and book. If I have to choose what my favorite posts are on Diabetes Update, it would be your critical analysis of the latest studies. But whatever you write here, I will be sure to read. It is always helpful information.

Thanks.

PJNOIR said...

Just be Jenny. My interest in diet is all about controlling my diabetes. Low carb is the ground floor. I am so tired of all the very angry Paleo bloggers. I love how you dissect health reports- that empowers all of us when we can encounter the low fat-whatever report folks are spouting around the office cooler. This is one of the few blogs I recommend to people, so the pressure is one you to be Jenny for another year.
Facebook seems to work well for bloggers - just a thought

Priscilla said...

I am new so it is all interesting to me. Generally, I like VARIETY. I have read through most of the archived blogs. What I would like is a format where you continue to post from all three areas. Most difficult for me to find, however, is the clearly analyzed info from these studies coming from a source I trust-that would be YOU!

I'm hanging in for the next year regardless.Thank you for all you do for us.

I'm buying all of your books and giving them for gifts, too!
Priscilla

VirtualProf said...

hi Jenny - congrats on the success of your book. I had a novel published last year and a nonfiction book that's coming out in Aug. I can't wait to get your book and read it.

I've been reading your blog since I was diagnosed with type2 18 months ago. I've gotten so much good information here. I find the information about all the studies to be especially helpful. You've steered me away from some things that my endo mentioned and she had no problem when I said uh uh and showed her the info.

I'm not exactly new to DB anymore but there's always something new to learn so I like the tips and management posts too.

By the way I have to shout out a huge THANK YOU! I never would have gotten my blood sugar under control as quickly or as well without your blog.

Whatever you post about will be great - so I'll go along with whatever everybody else wants. Oh and I use google reader too for your blog!

Have fun writing -- somehow when there's a deadline it's not quite as much fun and too much like real work! LOL

chmeee said...

Hi Jenny

I always enjoy the rigorous way you examine and comment on various studies. Equally, 101 and the general advice articles are without doubt the most useful things on diabetes for a patient anywhere.

Which is a long winded way of saying 'keep on doing what you're doing'. Oh, and thank you !

P said...

I came to your blog from Dr. Davis Heart scan blog. I appreciate all the effort you put in analyzing latest studies.
I have family history of diabetes and heart disease. Reading your blog among other helps me help myself and other family members (when they are willing to listen).

I also appreciate the counterpoint you provide to the discussions on other blogs - for example you seem to agree that occasional wheat consumption for those who are not gluten resistant is OK (and I agree with it) while others advocate strict wheat free diet. And so on.

For someone like me who is fighting PCOS, I loved your post on timing of metformin. Teh analysis behind how timing affects our bodies was illuminating - gave me something to think beyond "I need to take met each day" etc.

Jan Blawat said...

My diabetes education started in the emergency room. As a newly-diagnosed patient, I encountered a nurse who said, "No matter what you do, do NOT just do what the doctors here recommend." She steered me toward Dr. Bernstein's book. I was soon in trouble from all the "standard" medication I was prescribed and had an autoimmune response that left me in a wheelchair. Because of what I learned on my own, however, I've worked my way back up to a consistent A1C of 5.0, with no meds whatsoever. It's still a battle with the doctors, and I need all the information I can find to just know what the right track is (for me, low carb seems to suffice) and stay on it. Meanwhile I have relatives who are following ADA guidelines, taking tons of medication, and one-by-one they are dying after years of unsuccessful dealing with their diabetes. So I also need to know enough to try to help them. It's not easy, but the high quality of your information does help. Thank you, and please keep it up.

Michael Barker said...

Your insightful comments upon the science of diabetes is invaluable. This, I wish for you to continue.

renegadediabetic said...

Congrats on your book deal.
I read all your posts and have commented on several. Your critiques of idiotic studies are most helpful. Since we are renegades, going against the accepted dogma, it's good to be able to refute the so called "science" we hear every day. You've covered the basics of low carb BG control in your Blood Sugar 101 very well and it's there for anyone to look at any time.

Harold said...

I like your dissections of the literature. You have a knack of getting to the heart of the problems and are vicious at exposing the faults.
Thank you for your good work and keep it up.

Pubsgal said...

Congrats on selling your novel and its sequels! That is so cool!

Short answer: Each post by you is a gift. I feel like I learn something new with every post. But since you asked us to prioritize...

For me, most useful are your critical analysis of news items and studies, because there really needs to be a rational voice questioning the often-skewed results.

Second priority for me is the tips and tricks, although I still learn quite a lot from these articles. When I was newly diagnosed 2 years ago, one of the first sites I found was your Blood Glucose 101 site. Thank goodness for that! I received excellent care, although I think part of that is because I shocked the CDE and nutritionist with my proactiveness and zeal ;-). From what I've read since, that often seems to not be the case.

I think a lot of diabetes bloggers/communities cover the new and important news, so this would be my third priority. I always enjoy reading your take on these things, though.

As for the suggestion to have a presence on Facebook? Ack. Stick with Tu Diabetes. :-)

Mel said...

I enjoy your critical analyses of studies the most. Your posts on these topics are always very enlightening and insightful. But what I would say is that you should blog on whatever topics you feel to be most relevant at the time. Your blog is great no matter what, so I trust your judgement.

Dan said...

Congratulations on book deal. Been reading blog & web site for about 4 months and trying to follow advice with decent success. I appreciate the balance of topics altho I am more interested in some topics than others. It is helpful to hit a variety of topics I think.

In short run I would like a follow-up on Metformin & Vit B-12. (What are symptoms of deficiency and how would it be treated. Thanks for your time & effort.

Jenny said...

Thanks to everyone who has offered feedback. Your comments have been very helpful.

The question of life expectancy is a good one, though because research is usually funded by entities with things to sell there isn't much research that looks at that issue. The relevant findings are mostly incidental or are so homogenized by glomming together widely disparate populations and coming up with averages. One interesting incidental finding is that heart attacks are way down among people with diabetes--to the point that it has been hard to get enough heart attacks in big studies to have the results reach statistical significance. This flies in the face of the factoid that people with diabetes are living on borrowed time.

Re B-12 and Metformin: this article tells you all you need to know: Diabetes in Control: Metformin-induced Vitamin B12 Deficiency Presenting as a Peripheral Neuropathy

Kimberly said...

Hi Jenny!

I say keep doing what you've been doing. I love both the latest news AND the tips & tricks. Thanks for all your great work.

nodders said...

I enjoy your studies reviews the most. They are as good as academic reviews if you ask me. The only thing, I would extend it to prizing "good studies" too, not just the debunking of "bad studies".

Jenny said...

Nodders, You'll find the good studies linked and discussed on the appropriate pages of the main Blood Sugar 101 site.

The Updates to Blood Sugar 101 blog has a post for any significant piece of research I add to the main site.

LHL said...

Hi Jenny,
I also found your Blog via the Blood Sugar 101 website and book, my first purchase after diagnosis in 2008. Thank you for your insights.

I am most interested in the critical analyses of new research. And your views on the various policy makers and self appointed guardians of our (diabetic) health and diet.
Good luck with the book(s).

Ian said...

(A bit of a "me too" post, but I guess that's information as well...)

I find your analyses of published studies especially interesting now, but that's mainly because I've already absorbed the main message of low-carb and measure often control of my blood sugar.
(There's always room for an occasional recap of the basics for newer visitors.)

The "tips and tricks" style postings are hit-and-miss, as they are by their very nature anecdotal and somewhat specific. Still occasionally useful, but only if it happens to coincide with my circumstances.

If I'm honest, I probably keep this blog on my Opera speed-dial page out of loyalty as much as current interest.
I owe this blog and your website many years of my life, and certainly much of the quality of it. Until I came across it and started using the sensible advice, I was relying on professional advice that would've allowed me to go blind and lose my extremities, if the drugs didn't kill me first!

Dimna said...

Hi, Jenny

I am big fan of you, even I am a doctor who treat diabetes.

About me, I am an 2nd year fellowship doctor in korea. We have many prediabetes patients and I treat somewhat well controlled diabetic patients (hbA1c(5.8~8%)). After reaching the goal (<7%), I tried to get more strict control.
Surely this idea was come not from ACCORD or UKPDS, but from your website.

Because I alwayw have a big hint in this web site how I can treat patients, I hope to get other side of view of approaching about diabetic treatment (other than guideline from ADA or EASD).

I tried to talk with doctor group to get more strict control results. But they do not want risk of hypoglycemia. Korean diabetic patients are very young(20~55years), and they have great opportunity to became normal range. But in this situation, it is not easy to continue strict control.

SO, I WANT TO GET MORE EVIDENCE TO CONTINUE MY BELIEF TO KEEP HBA1C LEVEL BELOW 6%.

Thanks~

Jenny said...

Ian,

Your message points out the issue I run into a lot in my own mind. After 13 years of reading about diabetes the "tips and tricks" and the basic message "It's the carbs, folks!" get very dull indeed, but it is very clear that most of the people reading the blog are newbies thanks to Google putting it so high on so many relevant diabetes searches.

To people who are new to diabetes the discovery that they can lower blood sugar (or more usually A1c as that is all they have been told to note) is life-changing and most of my mail is from people who found the site and lowered their A1c from something terrifying to the 5-6% range by testing after meals and cutting carbs.

As much as I wish to inform and entertain those of us who are already aware, it is MUCH more important to reach out to the people who otherwise would follow doctors' advice and end up with complications.

What I would really like to see is more activism from those of us who have succeeded, reaching beyond the limits of the web into daily life where there are so many people who never do a Google search but blindly follow mediocre medical advice.

nonegiven said...

Any time I run across a newly diagnosed diabetic I refer them to your bloodsugar101.com site. I have printed out the test, test, test flyer and given it to people. When asked, I have given the URL to people concerned about a friend so they can print it out. Like someone asked me, because their friend was interested in lowering blood sugar, how much carb they should eat. I gave her the URL to print out the flyer, the URL to the site and told her the only way to know how much and which ones is to test.

Anna said...

"What I would really like to see is more activism "

I agree! I printing brochures and quietly leave a handful in the waiting room every time I visit a doctor's office or lab. I should also place the brochures on community bulletin boards at local coffee houses, food stores, and public places like the library and community center, esp the senior center.

I gave my former endocrinologist my extra copy of your book (don't know if he read it though) and I've recommended it to others many times. When it seems appropriate, I've shared the Blood Sugar 101 URL, though some of my first-degree relatives (who are also at high risk or have been diagnosed in recent years with T2 DM & CVD) are very much NOT interested, sadly.

Anna said...

Part two - Response to your question about what I want to read:

I can well imagine that a large number of your visitors are newbies, googling to learn more about diabetes for themselves and/or loved ones. Your Diabetes Update blog and the updates to Blood Sugar 101 are now on my Google Reader so I'm always alerted when something new is posted, though I have to manually go back to follow reader comments.

A separate feed for reader comments and your responses would be great, similar to Dr. Eades' or Stephan Guyenet's. I don't choose the email follow-up option anymore - my Inbox is already too full so I prefer to keep my blog reading limited to Google Reader.

A few years ago, I was one of the those newbies. After a gestational diabetes dx almost 12 years ago, a few times a year I casually searched online periodically to see what the latest research said about elevated risk of developing diabetes for mother and child., eventually finding your WTDTYAD/Blood Sugar 101 site. In addition to excellent results from LC eating during the 3rd trimester, two years of LC eating was working so well for weight loss (& heartburn/GI issues) for both myself and my husband (without starving ourselves) so I had been reviewing physiology and biochemistry to better understand how low carb eating work compared to low fat/low calorie diets.

Yet the practical info I learned about BG and diabetes from your blog and WTDTYAD/Blood Sugar 101 site truly rocked my world (first alarmingly, then reassuringly), far more than any studies I found on PubMed or anything from my doctors. I read all the back posts, then Dr. Bernstein's book and other books on diabetes.

After buying a new glucose meter I was shocked. I went through a LOT of test strips (buying test strips OOP without a Rx) only to realize my glucose tolerance was as bad as when I was pregnant, and perhaps worse. Depending on criteria, I was either borderline diabetic or already diabetic. My new primary care doctor was skeptical (because recent labs were great from 2 years of LC eating). He humored me and ordered a lab 3 hr OGGT and insulin levels and later apologized for doubting.

It was crystal clear my risk of diabetes wasn't in the future and only with weight gain as I had been told - it was NOW, even though my BMI was 22 (and at the time I didn't know that the "no family history of diabetes" now included three close relatives on one side of the family diagnosed with diabetes). It also became clear to me that my primary care doctor wasn't necessarily going to see this because the system doesn't screen well until diabetes is very advanced - I had to take charge of understanding and managing my health and figure out how to get better (not necessarily more) care out of my HMO plan. LC eating for weight management had been helping already, but understanding my BG issues was key to being consistently LC for better BG management.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what has caused my BG regulation to go awry, without much success (my doctors tell me it doesn't matter in terms of treatment goals). I can still manage my BG without meds and with post-meal testing to monitor control, but I do read or at least skim all new posts and most of the current reader comments.

Your posts are a good mix for a variety of readers, IMO. I think you know best what your readers need. Most long-time readers will be thinking for themselves (hopefully) when it comes to the basics, yet it's vitally important to keep informing the continual stream of new readers. Automated alerts make it easy to for longtime readers to easily check in when there is something interesting posted.

Priscilla said...

Another idea which you may already be doing and I have missed. I would find it useful to so see an occasion Q&A list with answers to simple questions possibly not found on the 101site. As a newcomer I find myself wondering: should I be taking a vitamin/mineral supplement? Should I be striving for the non-diabetic FBG range or an adjusted range?Does a person on NO MEDS have the same BG range goals as someone who is insulin dependent? (I'm diagnosed but no meds THANKS TO YOU!)

I would find an occasional Q& A covering the most common questions, simply stated and answered to be useful. I have read through each of the segments on 101, some many times, but-probably bc of my newer status-still find myself with questions I am not sure of.

Perhaps there is an FAQ on the site-don't recall at the moment. That would probably cover it. Continually addressing many of the same newbie questions has to have it's monotony, but it has been the lifeline I needed.

So, more thanks to you and the established throngs of your followers. It's not so much that 'I have been saved' by all of you, as I have learned how to save myself.

nonegiven said...

@Anna On the main page
http://diabetesupdate.blogspot.com/
on the far right, about halfway down there is a spot titled 'Subscribe to this blog' where both posts and 'all comment' are listed.

Jenny said...

Priscilla,

There is both a FAQ and a "Read this First" page that explains what you will find where.

However, I am mulling over writing a Q&A Diabetes book because that format is so useful when designed properly.

Rich Wiltshire said...

Hi Jenny

I have your blog pinned to my google home page and rely on it for incisive analysis into the latest research on all to do with managing my diabetes. You are far better than Diabetes UK!

If I was to suggest somewhere to lessen your workload I would suggest cutting back on some of your de-bunking posts especially if it is an issue such as safe blood sugar levels which you have already addressed thoroughly before and which most if not all your readers won't be changing their minds about.

I would also like to put out a call to anyone else who reads this blog and like me who has mitochondria diabetes (Maternally inherited diabetes and deafness.) I'd love to hear from you to compare notes etc. Pls email me at richwiltshire1975 [at] gmail.com.

Cheers
Rich

Jenny said...

Rich,

Actually, the posts about safe blood sugar levels are the ones that Google Analytics shows are of the most interest to readers based on traffic to the pages.

We have to remember that most of traffic to this blog is people who found the site through doing Google searches not regular blog subscribers--by a factor of about 20 to 1.

The most frequently asked question that brings people here and to the main site is "What is a normal blood sugar?"

So while this information may seem dull to the regulars, it is a revelation to those first time visitors. Most of the mail I get is from people who are astounded at how much better their blood sugar is after using the very simple "test test test" strategy described HERE. The whole idea of limiting post meal blood sugars is a revelation because they never hear that concept from their doctors.

David Throop said...

Jenny,

I've been following you for a decade now - since alt.support.diabetes days. What I value most in your work is your ability to spot important connections and explain them in plain English – connections I will find nowhere else. Your recent post about Vitamin D, Calcium and high blood pressure is a perfect example. (And since I've been taking 2000 IU of Vit D and calcium supplements and eat a lot of cheese, extremely interesting to me.)

Since you won't be blogging as much, I suggest you consider bringing in some guest bloggers. You already have a relationship with other useful diabetes writers and bloggers. (Gretchen Becker, Alan 'loral' in Australia, Sandy Szwarc all come to mind.) And you have some regular commenters who seem to know their stuff. I encourage you to bring each of them in for a couple columns or for a week's worth of postings.

jacque k said...

First of all, congratulations on your book deal!!

I agree with the person who said to keep being Jenny. You have a handle on what people most want/need to know--let your instincts continue to guide you.

I'm pre-Type 2 and thin, so I didn't fit the profile my former docs expected. Their advice wasn't very helpful, but luckily I found Dr. Bernstein and then discovered your blog--you're credible, practical, and write in plain English.

I really appreciate your updates, of course, but I especially like your tips/advice based on personal experience--where else would I have learned to take Metformin ER at 2 p.m.? It's working great, by the way. Thank you!

M said...

Hello Jenny,
I know that your blog is probably the first place that people end up when searching for info on "normal" or average blood sugar. It would be great if you could share your thoughts on this interesting study:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20396998

Jenny said...

M,

Thanks for that reference. There have been a couple studies about A1c that I will be pulling together into an article. You're right it is an important topic.

M said...

Hello Jenny,
Regarding the link I sent previously, I found it interesting that 93% of non-diabetics apparently reach at least the level of 140mg/dL for a median of 26 mins a day...
Your blog and diabetes book are amazing -- you have done more to help diabetics than all the health professionals out there!
M

Jenny said...

Brief spikes do appear to be normal, but they are cleared up fast in people who can secrete insulin. That said, given the crazy amounts of carbohydrate so many "normal" people eat, it is possible that those short spikes are promoting early heart disease whcich occurs at a high rate in people who are "nondiabetic."

Daniel Williams said...

Janet,

I was recently diagnosed as pre-diabetic (type 2). Your blog and website have been a great resource. I appreciate all of the information.
While it is true that there is alot of info out there available that I could (and do) find by myself, your site brings things together in a way that is easy for me to read.
The ADA website is just too busy, and any official medical website seems to talk about mostly irrelevant things.

Thank you,
Daniel Williams
Boulder, CO

Helen said...

Hi Jenny,

I'm a regular reader, and much indebted to you for helping me with my recent diagnosis of diabetes - and, in particular, for pointing me in the direction of considering an atypical form (in my case, MODY 2) as a possible diagnosis.

Although I am interested in a lot of arcane - or, at least, advanced-beginner - issues (like caffeine, as I previously mentioned), I think you do what you do well, and you should keep doing it. As you've noted, most visitors are seeking life-saving, basic information and your site is the best I've seen for clearly spelling it all out.

One thing to add, come to think of it, might be war stories from diabetics who are following a low-carb diet, and how people have dealt with various issues.

Some that I've experienced I know (from Googling) that others have also had, but I can't find information on how to deal with them *if you're diabetic.* For instance, I tried lowering fat and upping carbs (to about 40 grams) at last night's dinner and it was disastrous - the highest 1-hour reading I've had yet (188), though a brisk walk brought it down to 114 in half an hour. Then it rose to 140 at two hours, which it never does. But the reason I've been wanting to try to add a few more carbs are that I've been experiencing the following on low-carb:

* Seeming increased carb intolerance on this diet - fewer and fewer carbs send my sugars up at a meal - like, 5 or 10g does. I can't live that way - I don't like protein and fat that much. And I also wonder if the fat is contributing to this.

* Heart palpitations - totally coincide with beginning this diet.

* Increased insomnia on diet.

* Increased muscle fatigue - not able to exercise as hard or as long.

On the other hand, I've had benefits. My blood sugar is generally under good control (though I always have a high fasting glucose and don't dip below 100 without exercise). I no longer have the pains in my feet and ankles that I'm sure was the beginning of neuropathy, and I have more energy throughout the day (in spite of insomnia). Fatigue and foot pain were what sent me to the doctor.

But I *would* like to modify my diet to include more carbs - still low carb, but not extremely low carb. And I do wonder if, at least for me, I may be sort of chasing my tail by lowering lowering and lowering - if the fat is sending the carb reaction up.

I don't know if the 188 was just a temporary reaction because my body was not adjusted to 40g carbs, but I am too gun-shy to try it again.

If anyone is still reading this string and has any insights into these issues, I'd be happy to hear from you. I have posted about this on dlife, but most of the people responding are not really doing low-carb.

Jenny said...

Helen,

The best place to get the answers you are looking for would be on low carb diet discussion forums or on the discussion forum associated with Dr. Bernstein's web site. There is a diabetes section on the Low Carb Friends Forum and quite a few people with diabetes there. You might also try asking on one of the diabetes forums.

I will post on this topic--it's a good one, but ongoing daily support of the kind you can get in an interactive forum is very helpful.

The Evans Family said...

Thanks for your site and all the information you provide.

Would love to see something about the effects of alcohol on BS.

How to avoid hypos and/or how to realize when your BS is very low.

Drugs that cause diabetes, such as Clozapine.

Drugs that may cause or exacerbate diabetes like anti-depression drugs.