Sorry, I meant Elliott P. Joslin when I wrote ‘Elliott’ above. I guess I just associate the name ‘Elliott’ with ‘idiot.’
When I make a comment I’m not necessarily talking about myself or what I do, but about general social and medical phenomena. Patients typically obey what their doctors tell them to do, and when doctors prescribe abusive medical regimens, patients become self-abusers. It is estimated, for example, that 46% of the patients treated by the Allen and Joslin method may have died from starvation as a result of it. When Dr. von Noorden visited Allen’s starvation clinic and saw the diabetic walking skeletons, he refused to continue the tour because he was so horrified of the methods being used. In contrast, he had found an oatmeal diet which seemed to help his own diabetic patients and which was certainly less cruel. But why, we have to wonder, were Allen and Joslin so eager to use such a cruel treatment when it was producing such obviously bad results?
Today, around 4% to 6% of diabetics today die of hypoglycemia, the rates of which have tripled since the recommendation of strict control since the DCCT. In addition, strict control often destroys quality of life and severely impacts the patient’s lifestyle, yet this is very little noticed in the medical literature on diabetes. A fully rational medicine would more carefully calibrate the costs of strict control against the benefits, rather than just insist constantly and uncritically on the benefits. I have had around 10,000 hypoglycemic episodes that required treatment in my life, 1000 which needed the assistance of another person to enable me to recover from them, 20 which resulted in a call to emergency services and hospitalization, and 5 which caused broken bones. Perhaps I would have been better off being blind and on dialysis a decade ago after having let my blood sugar run constantly high so I could have lived in peace and security.
Every diabetic has two diseases: a metabolic condition which prevents normal metabolism and an iatrogenic disease which causes a disposition to dangerous hypoglycemia episodes. Unfortunately, you can’t treat one disease without worsening the other, but perhaps the medical profession should come to recognize that they face two diseases, not one, and it might actually be much better to for the patient to be blind and on dialysis a decade earlier in exchange for avoiding hypoglycemia completely.