Better late than never -- my nastygram to Reader's Digest

To the Editor,

Every time I see the word “diabetes” on your cover, I flinch. I am the mother of a child with Type 1 diabetes and the author of a forthcoming book on parenting children with this disease, and I’ve learned enough to know that the writers who contribute on this topic do not do their homework. If they did, they’d know that diabetes isn’t a disease — it’s multiple diseaseS, plural. All forms of diabetes mellitus have some commonalities, but they have different causes, different disease courses, and different treatment regimens. The way you write about it in your “Reversing Diabetes” piece, you’d think there was a one-size-fits-all solution to cure a single disease. There isn’t, and it’s not. Type 1, Type 2, LADA, MODY, they’re ALL different. And within these different variations on the diabetes theme, each person must find out what works for him or her to keep blood sugar stable. Individuals who have Type 1, and to varying degrees those who have LADA, MODY, and even advanced Type 2, are all unable to control their illness with dietary and lifestyle modifications — not because they’re lazy or unwilling, but because they CAN’T. People with Type 1 are treated with insulin because nothing else, N-O-T-H-I-N-G, will help them maintain stable blood sugars, and to varying degrees the same is true of many people with other forms of diabetes (and many of the above may also need medications to increase insulin sensitivity—exercise often isn’t enough). And finally, NO person with diabetes is to blame for having it — because no one can pick their parents, and diabetes of whatever form has a genetic component as well as an environmental component. That means that some people will get diabetes despite having a perfect diet and a daily work-out regimen. It is offensive to people living with diabetes and unfair to your readers to imply, or openly state, otherwise.

My son’s type 1 diabetes is currently incurable, and for you to blithely write about “reversing diabetes” is downright cruel to anyone like me who works hard to manage diabetes every single day — and many sleepless nights as well. Please, stop writing about diabetes until you find a writer who can provide solid information and not just ill-informed fluff.

All forms of diabetes share the fact of NOT being reversible.

Thank you and Thank you for your letter to Reader Digest. I am newly diagnosed and the wrong information is so prevelant, it seems most people have the wrong idea about diabetes, I hope they print, they would if they had any guts!

Great letter. Wouldn’t it be great if RD would make the effort to run a full blown effort to give accurate information about diabetes and its complexities!?

So many people, including Dr.s are ignorant of diabetes. And because they have more education, more money, they feel they can just say and do whatever they want, to whomever they want.
I admit to falling for the RD,Reversing diabetes, bought 2 of their magasines. It was a few days after I was DX and didnt know any better.
I am Glad you are doing your best to get their attention and hopefully bring them to be accountable for their misconceptions.

And to the people who are currently cyber stalking me… I hope you read all the blogs, not just mine, and then perhaps you will see that I was not out of line when I said you were ignorant of Diabetes.This one is a perfect example!

Thank you! Spot on!!!

Thanks for laying it on the line, RD is not alone in thr misinformation department. Have seen it from doctors and nurses as well.

Hear hear!

Well said. Thank you for taking the trouble to reply so thoroughly.

Reader’s Digest, you suck! And all those other slick magazines that promise reversing, curing, etc. And make people feel bad because they think they brought on their Diabetes. So a big Raspberry to ya!

Considering I spent yesterday afternoon in the ER with my little boy, it’s a good thing I didn’t have any of those diabetes-reversing writers at hand. I’d have given all of them a good hard smack.

One of my pet peaves is the fact that most people do not realize that there is more than one form of diabetes AND that because I am 47 years old, everybody assumes that I have type 2 diabetes. We need to educate the public about the different types of diabetes, what they are, how each type affects individuals and that there in not a cure.

I agree! I was diagnosed at 41 with type 2 - simply because of my age and it was only after my second bout of DKA (only had half an hour left to live!) they asked me why I was not taking my insulin. I replied that I was type 2 and had not been given it. They said that I was type 1, gave me insulin while I was in hospital and then sent me home with my tablets. Had to wait 2 more weeks for the reports to get through to my DSN.

It drives me crazy that whoever writes this stuff for popular media outlets doesn't do their homework. I'm a writer myself, and god knows, I'm very careful not to write anything I don't research first. This is just laziness. And it has repercussions, as I think both of you'll agree, that the writers & publishers just don't understand.