17 Responses

  1. Joe
    Joe March 21, 2013 at 5:08 am | | Reply

    I have no respect for RD’s or Diabetes educators for that matter as I have encountered horrible ones in my journey with T2.

    My current Endo who is very good, wanted me to take a course from a Diabetes educator at his office, I refused saying that there was nothing new they could teach me. He finally got the hint after a year seeing that my HBa1c’s were in the 5.8 – 6.2 range.

  2. Gretchen
    Gretchen March 21, 2013 at 5:51 am | | Reply

    Two points:

    1. If the CDE has the perfect body and the patient is obese, the patient might think, “Well, what does she know? She doesn’t understand how hard it is.” An obese CDE is not a good role model, but maybe someone slightly overweight would be the best.

    2. Maybe those overweight CDEs *are* following their own advice. Maybe it’s their advice that is wrong.

    BTW, garbanzos have a very high GI.

  3. Gretchen
    Gretchen March 21, 2013 at 8:36 am | | Reply

    Oops. It’s fava beans (broadbeans) that have the high GI, not garbanzo beans (chickpeas). I should learn to proofread before I hit Send.

  4. Terry
    Terry March 21, 2013 at 8:55 am | | Reply

    Allison – Your account is a good lesson in humility. Understanding, compassion, and forgiveness are sometimes difficult but they do reward you by connecting you with others on the basis of our common humanity. We all could use more of it.

    Nevertheless, I still hold medical professionals (and diabetes advocate organizations) simply to the high standards that they themselves endorse. Case in point: the medical/nutritional establishment’s reluctance to seriously consider the health benefits for persons with diabetes in reducing their carbohydrate consumption to blood glucose sane levels.

    Their continued reluctance to consider the benefits of a low carb diet, merely as another option, harms our community. It costs lives and creates needless suffering as secondary diabetes complications.

    I don’t care if my dietitian is overweight or even obese. I care much more that s/he gives me the straight story on what is healthy for me. Continuing to tell me that I should consume half or more of my daily daily calories as carbs harms me. That should stop.

  5. Billie
    Billie March 21, 2013 at 11:27 am | | Reply

    I’m really hard on myself that I’m not perfect when it comes to managing my T1 daughter’s care. This makes me feel a little better – we are making small steps do try and do better all the time. I can try to judge myself less when I see no one is perfect – not even our experts.

  6. bn
    bn March 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm | | Reply

    Our Pastor touched on something like this during Bible Study – read the passage in Luke where Jesus advises about the Pharisees and teachers of the Law – “Do as they say, not as they do”. These elites were holding themselves up as perfect paragons and moral authorities, but He called them out for their failings and hypocrisy. This seems to happen in every system and government.

    I have had experiences with judging physicians, off-kilter diabetes educators, as well as some who were human and caring. My primary care provider dismissed the possibility of my severe gut pain and distress being a rare side-effect of an ACE inhibitor I was taking (Lisinopril, intestinal angioedema) , and objected when I discontinued it. Months later, asking if I had any more attacks, I shrugged “no”, and the doctor agreed that it must have been the medication, after all. Rather than hold it against them, I forgave.

    IMO we have to remember that medicine is an art as well as a science, and that its practitioners can be all too human…

  7. Morticia
    Morticia March 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm | | Reply

    For all you know, she’s an athlete. Maybe she does triathalons. I’m obese, and do long bike rides. The last CDE I saw clearly did not believe me, so I stopped seeing her. It’s a matter of perception.

  8. Abby Bayer
    Abby Bayer March 22, 2013 at 7:37 am | | Reply

    I have a lot of thoughts about this (shocking, right?).

    First – as people we need to try to stop judging everyone. Even ourselves. We need to live for our own health and well being and help others, not judge them.

    Second – you also missed my point in the post I wrote about how some people will be defensive if I tell them I have diabetes, which leads to their criticism of themselves and that’s a bigger reason I don’t tell them. You will learn this in time.

    Third – a lot of HCPs don’t have diabetes, so why should they live the way we do? If I were an allergist, I wouldn’t stop eating peanuts just because my patients do. The bigger picture is that PWD NEED to live a healthy lifestyle or we have immediate consequences, and others don’t, necessarily. If HCPs are choosing to be over weight or eat a poor diet or never exercise or – heck – do drugs – what does it matter? They know the risks and benefits and us judging them isn’t going to help anyone in the end.

    My point is that we need to stop with the judging. PWD need to lay off the HCPs unless they are one. And even then it’s going to get you nothing but stress and self doubt if you’re judging others.

    1. AmyT
      AmyT March 26, 2013 at 11:14 am | | Reply

      @Abby – the point that Allison was making was that “to judge is human,” but it’s one of those negative things we really need to keep in check.

      Also, of course it’s silly to expect an HCP to “pretend” to have an allergy or other ailment…

      BUT people who have chosen to spend their lives “preaching the gospel of general healthy living” — as dietitians and CDEs do — should most certainly practice what they preach in order to be taken seriously. Otherwise, it’s like a Pastor committing all the sins he/she is telling others to avoid. No credibility!

      1. Abby Bayer
        Abby Bayer March 26, 2013 at 11:30 am | | Reply

        True. I hear you, completely. I also appreciate someone who will admit to me that they also aren’t perfect. Guess it’s all about balance.

  9. GretchenRS
    GretchenRS March 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm | | Reply

    I understand your point — and I think we could all benefit with more humility and understanding that the struggle to achieve good health is not an easy one for any of us, but especially for diabetics.

    I am 65, and was diagnosed with Type2 Diabetes 6 months ago with an A1C of 12.7. My doctor and I were both shocked. I searched all over for good information. And what I learned is that the best way to control your blood sugar is to not feed your body those foods that convert easily to glucose. I eat healthy fats, most meats and seafood, especially salmon, and lots of eggs.I eat a lot more vegetables and berries, but far less wheat and potatoes and rice. I test my blood sugar often, at first as much as 6-8 times to learn which foods spike my blood sugar. I have learned how to make delicious foods, and can even enjoy treats like LC pancakes or chocolate mug cake made with almond flour.and healthy ingredients.

    In 6 months I have lost 40 pounds and brought my A1C down to 6.3, My doctor has been very happy with my progress, and we spend a lot of time each time I see her just talking about the steps I have taken to control my diabetes. The only medication I am taking for my diabetes is Metformin.

    The big problem I have with the current diabetic advise most often given by the ADA, their publications, and many dieticians — is they promote a low fat diet that is high in carbs. And then blame the patient when s/he is unable to control their diabetes. Like the other Gretchen said above, maybe the problem with the “expert” is that she was taught and is promoting the “wrong advice”. My daughter has a close friend that is very interested in nutrition and working towards a degree as a dietician, and was appalled at the really unhealthy information being taught by her nutrition professor.

    I am also upset that Medicareand other insurance providers will only pay for enough testing strips to test once per day,, unless one is taking insulin. There is no way you can adequately learn to control your blood sugar without testing several times a day until you know how your body reacts to various foods. I now do a fasting BG in the morning and test prior to the evening meal and after the evening meal, as it is usually the meal with the most carbs, and varies a lot more than my breakfast and lunches.

    I am dumfounded when I get a diabetes magazine in the mail and see recipes with as much as 23 g (or more) carbs per serving. I try to eat less than 15g per meal, and certainly at most under 50g per day!!

    I see too much advice given to avoid all saturated fats, with no distinction made between the very harmful transfats and the very natural and healthy fats such as butter and coconut oil.

    I do not understand why the current “standard of care” for a diabetic is to prescribe a statin drug, even if their cholesterol is within normal ranges. The statin drug pushing is downright scandalous. I had headaches and very disconcerting memory issues the one month I was on a statin drug and refuse to take them any more. I am instead taking krill oil now to help lower my LDL, which may be totally unnecessary because — my doctor’s lab does not have the capability to do an LDL particle size test to determine if one has harmful small particle LDL or the harmless large particle LDL. Yet we are told to reduce our cholesterol without even know this important fact! Btw my HDL did go up, and my triglycerides have always been in the normal range.

    And then the thing that bothers me the most, is the ADA seems to more into pushing harmful drug treatments, and that their is not a single diabetic on their board of directors. They should ALL being diabetics that know how best to control the disease.

    So good luck to you in your studies. Just be aware that there is more wrong information out there about treating diabetes, than there is truly helpful good information.

    1. ChristaB
      ChristaB May 27, 2013 at 4:55 am | | Reply

      As a medical professional, you need to be aware 50 grams of carbs per day are too low. You need a minimum of 100-130 grams of carbs per day for brain function period! It all comes down to potion control. I have seen a lot of vegetarians in my day that have high TG, Lipids. You can overdue nuts, avocado, and other healthy fats. Portion control, balanced diet…period!!

      1. Ken Hampshire
        Ken Hampshire August 19, 2013 at 1:01 pm | | Reply


        No. Absolutely not. I see this nonsense almost every day. To recommend 100 130 grams of carbs/day to a T2 diabetic only makes sense if you think a pharmaceutical drug is going to normalize your blood glucose. Guess what? Most of the time, oral meds don’t work sufficiently for people and nobody, and I mean nobody, will inject insulin unless their life is in imminent danger.

        Gretchen is 100% correct. If you want to control your T2 w/o massive amounts of oral meds/insulin, you better understand what 100-130 grams of carbohydrate/day will do to your blood glucose. I’ve had customers reduce their daily carbs to 35-40 grams. Result? Blood glucose drops under 90 mg/dL, they lose weight, cholesterol comes down, triglycerides come down, and blood pressure comes down.

        You will never get insulin levels close to normal if you consume 100-130 grams of carbs/day as a T2, and if your insulin levels, (the “fat storage” hormone) are high, you will have a hard time maintaining your weight let alone losing some. Elevated levels of insulin also triggers the inflammatory response mechanism–not good.

        Hate to tell you Christa, you’ve been sold (taught) a bill of goods.

  10. Karl Fenn
    Karl Fenn March 23, 2013 at 8:34 am | | Reply

    I have some interesting fatcual statistics, regarding diabetes, my father was incharge of a bindary in the 60′s he worked there all his life, he doens not have diabetes, but in those day’s I say again diabetes was rear, out of a workforce of 2,000 there were only three diabetics on insulin, none he noted none on medication, It’s proven fact these people are living normal lives, he still sees them on occassions, they are now in their 70′s and enjoying retirement, many people live very long lives with diabetes, even if contracted at an early age, with porper management the condition can be kept under control, with limited effect.

  11. Karl Fenn
    Karl Fenn March 23, 2013 at 8:41 am | | Reply

    The commetns on obesity are interesting, I have noted a number of diabetics are indeed obese and over weight, but at the same
    time there are very large numbers of people who are extremely
    thin and under weight with the condition, when I encounter diabetics and I do meet many, there seems to be no golden rule. to say a thin person couldn’t develop the condition what
    not be true in any contex.I bumped in to an old work associate
    last year, he has alway’s been seriously under weight, he was
    suddenly diagnosed type 2 and put on insulin. Mind you he had lived on a chinese takeaway and fast food diet for years.

  12. Sybil Kramer MD
    Sybil Kramer MD March 24, 2013 at 5:16 am | | Reply

    As an endocrinologist without Diabetes, I find many patients and people on diabetes forums feel I can never know what they feel, think , and need. While I do not have the experience of having Diabetes, I have studied the science of Diabetes for many years and have met thousands of people with Diabetes and other chronic diseases who have described in detail the emotional as well as the physical pain of their disease. I try to be as empathetic to every person I meet and never thought to expect for empathy and understanding in return. Thank you so much for this post.

  13. mike starks
    mike starks August 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm | | Reply

    Great article. YES…you have the right to judge those who are selling or promising methods, tools, diets, etc and yet they are not practicing what they preach. This is not ‘judgemental’, this is righteous anger. And…righteous anger is completely justified. Let me give you a more radical example…Let’s say some porno creep told my children that porn is not that harmful. Do i have the right to get angry? Of course. We have the right to get angry at all these ‘experts’ in the diet and fitness world who do not practice what they preach. It’s complete hypocrisy and it ruins lives every day.

    I know some of the people you mention above and sadly they care only about themselves. I have personally tested t1 and t2 adults and children regarding food and let me say t1 folks are by far the smartest people in the world when it comes to eating right. Their lives depend on it…not their pocketbooks.

    Great article. Keep uncovering the truth and voicing your opinion. It’s honest, transparent and okay to point out dishonest and non-sincere peddlers.

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