March 20, 2011

Encouraging Statistics

Sometimes the continual flow of bad advice given to people with diabetes can seem overwhelming. All of us have know the neighbor whose doctor put her on the low fat diet that made her give up on diets or the friend on insulin who has been told to test once a week, fasting.

We all run into dozens of people who have no idea that they could go a long way to normalize their blood sugars simply by cutting back on carbs, to say nothing of the doctors who warn us that low carb diets are "dangerous" but are eager to send patients for the weight loss surgery that kills a significant number within weeks of surgery and a lot more over a decade. Too often our attempts to share what we've learned--the techniques that give us near-normal numbers--fall on deaf ears. So I'm glad to have some good news to report.

This morning, when I spent some time delving deeper into the statistics that Google Analytics provides for the Blood Sugar 101 site, I saw real evidence that this site is reaching its audience and making a difference.

Over the past two years there have been almost two million visitors to the site, and over 507,000 of these visitors have read more than a single page. In fact, those who read more than one page spent an average of 9 minutes on the site. And because the site's traffic has quadrupled over the past two years, every day this month 3,000 - 4,000 visitors came to the site, of whom more than 1,000 read several pages. If site traffic stays at this level--and there's no reason it shouldn't as it has been increasing every year since inception, that would mean 365,000 people will have read multiple pages on this site this year alone.

Over this two year period, almost a million of these visitors read the "What is a Normal Blood Sugar" page. Of those 392,000 read the How to Lower Your Blood Sugar" page.

If only one in ten tried the technique reported there, that would be a stadium full of people who would have learned a vital lesson about how to control their blood sugar.

Given the speed with which traffic is growing on the site, it isn't beyond the bounds of probability that within a few years, millions of people will have learned a simple and very effective way to lower their blood sugar that is cheap, effective, and most importantly, safe.

What's even more impressive to me is that this traffic growth has happened entirely through a combination of word of mouth referrals and the site's high rank of Google searches which it maintains because of the density and usefulness of its content. For most of this period I haven't had a lot of time to devote to the site, except to update it with the most important new findings that readers need to know. So it's good to know that the fruit of previous years of labor is finding an audience--especially since when I began posting this research on the site I didn't expect it to reach anyone but a few hundred visitors to the old diabetes newsgroups and wondered at times if it was right to "waste" so much time on what often felt like a quixotic quest.

It wasn't a waste of time and I couldn't be happier. Now I look forward to the day when people will greet with incredulity the idea that there was one a time when people with diabetes didn't know that they could lower their blood sugar by cutting back on starch and sugar and assumed that complications were inevitable because that's what their doctors told them--the same doctors who told them their 7.2% A1cs were "great control."

If there's any moral here it's this. It doesn't take millions of dollars and corporate sponsorship to build a web site that can change people's lives. I'm thankful that the site is having an impact, and looking forward to seeing the next ten million visitors!



Beth@WeightMaven said...

Congrats Jenny!!

IMQTPI said...

Fantastic News, Jenny!

I know your website has definitely had a positive effect on me and my health.

Thank *you* for all your hard work - and for sharing your knowledge!

vivian said...

And we're thankful to you that you've created this resource for all of us!

I've passed on the URL to every friend/relative who has been diagnosed and ever one of them has found it as exceedingly useful as I have.

Thank YOU so much

Harold said...

Your site is refreshing. I was just reading a quiz at the JAMA site for CME and was distressed to read the following question:

3. Tight control of blood glucose in patients with diabetes to decrease the incidence of long-term complications may impair driving performance by [See related text]
A. increasing the risk of hypoglycemic episodes.
B. increasing the risk of hyperglycemic episodes.
C. increasing the risk of ketoacidosis.
D. enhancing cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, and decision making.

They obviously wanted A as an answer and I could not submit that answer and wrote a letter instead saying how stupid it was to ignore the poison (carbohydrate) and focus on the antidote (diabetic durgs) which their references did. How sad!

Anna said...

Wow! This IS encouraging. Once I was one of those people who stumbled onto the Blood Sugar 101 site while looking for the latest research about mothers with a history of gestational diabetes and their offspring. I learned a lot and I've a regular reader ever since.

Natalie said...

Great news, Jenny! Next step is to figure out how to get it into doctors' offices and CDE's offices for all those people who don't have computers, and don't have high levels of education. If the ADA were only more receptive....

Scott said...

I think well-deserved congratulations are in order. And I'm glad you can quantify the impact you are having! Once again, congrats!

Liz H. said...

We're all really grateful for the work you do, Jenny!

Anne said...

Your website and book have helped me tremendously and I have referred many others to read what you have written.

Thank you. Yes, you are making a positive difference in people's lives.

ShottleBop said...

Your work is definitely appreciated, Jenny, and we thank you for the effort you put into it. I participate in more than one online diabetes discussion forum, and your website (and specific discussions from your blog) are recommended often.

jkim said...

Kudos, Jenny!

You're one of the main reasons why, after several years, I've not advanced beyond pre-diabetic.

Your blog and Dr. Bernstein's diet advice came to my rescue when neither my doc at the time nor an endo I'd consulted seemed concerned.

You report on just about every aspect of glucose control and you do it in plain English. You're making a difference for lots of people.

Helen said...


You have educated me more about diabetes than any other single source of information. Keep up the great work!


Villa Priscilla said...

The numbers are remarkable. Congratulations! You're changing the world. Your work keeps me on task and motivated. I join the others in heartfelt Thanks.

Susan said...

This is great news Jenny!

I can't get my diabetic husband to read anything related to health; however, I catch him all the time parroting to others the information that I constantly throw at him. Thank you so much. Because of this great site, my husband is now truly on board with restricting unhealthy carbs and is monitoring his blood sugar much better! Oh, he is losing weight too! :>)


Mel said...

Wow! Impressive stats! I can personally attest, as someone who was diagnosed with impaired glucose tolerance during my two pregnancies (and just passed the 3 hour glucose challenge in the 2nd one by 0.2 nmol/L - while doing a low carb diet!) that your site has probably either prevented me from developing diabetes (the results of my most recent 2-hr challenge were stellar!) or at very least delayed it's onset signficantly. Thank you so much for your site!!

Athena M said...

I am incredibly grateful for all you do, both the vast amount of information on the website and the regular updates on the blog. I have learned so much and hope to live many more healthy years because of it. Thank you. said...


someone in Dr. Davis blog left this link about the reliability of A1c tests.

I copy here in case that interest you.

Eric Marshall said...

I just found out I have diabetes on Friday and have found your site to be most informative and, frankly, help blunt some of the terror as well. I have ordered the book as well.


Devon said...

I am not diabetic, but I am trying to educate myself about low carb eating. I came here looking for a primer on blood sugar and the role of insulin and got exactly that.

Your writing is clear and professional (source citations, awesome!) and has been a great help to me. I will probably read every page at least once, and use the site as a kind of baseline reference point as I branch out.

Your efforts are very much appreciated, thank you Jenny.

Susannah Allen said...

You do wonderful work here that is very important. You provide a clear voice in a very foggy sea of misinformation regarding Diabetes and the care required. Be very proud of what you do here, you are helping far more then you realize.