The Oprah Winfrey Show - Do you know a diabetic in denial?


“The Oprah Winfrey Show” is looking for a person who is diabetic or who may be diabetic and in need of a health intervention. If you know someone who is not in control of their diabetes, please e-mail us details of their story including how and why their diabetes is so out of control and why you are so worried about them.
Here is the link for more information:


Thanks for posting this, Deirdre. I just wrote to many members about it and ALSO wrote to them to let them know about the community.


Thanks Manny. I think it would be a good show to watch. It is an iteresting topic. I wonder who gets to determine if someone is in denial.


I typed them…of course i dont know any diabetics in denial—but i did encourage them to get Bret Michaels on there to explain why he can carry glucagon to dinner but doesnt carry glucose tabs when riding dune buggies.

I also spoke of the tudiabetes site and suggested the producers check it out and plug it on the show—talk about getting the word out…can you even imagine the new members if Oprah plugs this site. Mama Mia!


Actually, I am more bothered by this than impressed. I think this is very poor judgment on Oprah’s part. In the first place, there is really no way for someone else to actually know if a patient is in control or not without having access to their A1C’s. I would add that only someone who lives with a person with diabetes 24/7 can adequately assess a person’s “compliance”, and to do so, they need to attend diabetes education classes themselves before they are qualified to make such an assessment. Indeed, I find too many truly ignorant people feel free to say things to me like “Should you be eating that?” when usually, the reality is that I am eating something because I am hypoglycemic and have to eat the so-called forbidden food, yet they see me for 10 seconds and feel qualified to judge me because of the label of having diabetes. I cannot be bothered to explain to them all the details, and I usually tell them to mind their own business because I do not care what they think of me.

But, as I recently reported, a recent study of something like 701 type 2 patients found that many patients found both complications and treatment were equally onerous, and frankly, whether you agree with them or not, that is a call that only they can make. In fact, in that study, between 12-50% of the people examined were actually willing to give up 8 of 10 years of life in perfect health to avoid life with complications, while between 10-18% of patients were willing to give up 8 of 10 years of healthy life in order to to avoid life with diabetes treatments. Some people claim they are concerned about people with diabetes, but I’ve found that the reality is their “concern” may be more selfish: they do not want to live without the person they claim to be so concerned about than they are concerned about the person with diabetes … after all, few ask what its like to live with a chronic condition. They just accuse the person of noncompliance, rather than making an honest assessment of what life is like in a person with diabetes’ shoes.

Diabetes has long been a disease of blame and shame with accusations of non-compliance, mismanagement, and “cheating” on diets, but the sad reality is that relatively few (if any) of the people who doing the accusing even bother ro take the time to truly understand the reality of what it is like to live with a chronic condition, and even fewer have even basic knowledge of diabetes and what they do know is woefully out-of-date. I think a native American proverb (I believe its Cheyenne) is very appropriate here: “Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins” yet ironically, I think few, if any people ever bother to walk in a person with diabetes’ moccasins. I think Oprah is doing the entire diabetes community an incredible disservice by failing to examine what the reality of living with this condition is like, and the reality is that she herself should try it before running a show like this.


I like to see those lower A1C numbers, but know of people who have low numbers because of running too low too often. My sister and I both have type I and care for ourselves differently. I also have many freinds with diabetes and we have all traveled different roads.


I agree that the only way to know that a person is in control is by looking at the A1C’s, but I wouldn’t want to jump into conclusions about how the show she is planning is being positioned. For all we know this would just be one of the guests and that’s only one of the perspectives presented.

You make some great points though, and I would love to see you there, bringing those issues up in front of a national audience. You should write to them, man!


Hi Lindsay,

I’m with you on that denial thingy. (Hey, it ain’t just a River in Egypt! Arrrrrrrrgh!)

And your 4 points were well taken, but I would change one thing. Where you say, “Why do we deny it by not enforcing dietary regulations in fast food restaurants…” I would say, “enforce publishing the true ingredients and actual makeup of what you are about to eat. If you choose to eat this here stuff, you should realize what it has the potential to do to your otherwise healthy body. Eat at your own peril.” Or something like that. You know, all the information layed out in words anyone can understand.

But in the end, people do, in all things, what they want, not what they need. That’s the reality of the human condition. People buy what they want, not what they need. Eat what they want, not what they need. Etc…

Otherwise, we’re on the same page.



Scott, I hope you share this with Oprah.


I agree with Manny in that it would be a good idea to write the show to make them aware of this community and other resources available online. It goes without saying that the first thing a person should do if he or she suspects someone has diabetes and is “in denial” (their words, not mine) is get them to a Doctor or health care professional like CDE, not do an appearance on the Oprah Show. I have never been a fan of Oprah, I have always found her to be self-serving. It seems everything she does is for ratings or for her own self-promotion. I may be wrong, pehaps she does contribute alot to charities we don’t know about. Personal feelings aside, if some good can come out of this proposed show to further our cause to help treat, control and someday cure diabetes, I’m for it. I just don’t like the venue. (with apologies to any of my friends that may be Oprah Fans out there)


Hey Deirdre,

If Oprah is willing to tread where science and researchers have failed – they will find a sensational story behind the reality of diabetes.

There is a culture of people living with diabetes who are outraged with the lack of progress in the tools provided (and ever-changing) to control diabetes. The new tools are NOT BETTER and the older tools were removed for profitability – not better control.

Case in point - why is insulin-dependent diabetes treated with genetically modified insulin, rather than natural vertebrate insulin? You wouldn’t eat genetically modified food, would you? The GM insulin created insulin antibodies that seek and destroy insulin – this is a situation for Type 2 diabetes because they still have the ability to make their own insulin…until they begin developing antibodies to destroy it.

Billions of dollars are spent marketing products that deliberately destroy diabetes beta cells (as evidenced by reduction in C-peptide). These drugs also deliberately destroy the hormones we produce to prevent diabetes complications: c-peptide for Type 1 diabetes and adiponectin for Type 2 diabetes.

An industry has prospered on propaganda, fear mongering and blaming the victims for resulting complications. The media continues play the blame game and chastise the patient for inadequate tools to control the disease when the tools are to blame.

For decades empty promises of a cure have been campaigned to ensure all the research funding continues. So what’s the holdup? A cure is bad for business.

A person with diabetes who is in denial is merely going about life, as usual. To relentlessly try to control a disease with medicines and tools that are deliberately designed to ensure diabetes is uncontrollable is a psychologically destructive.

The better question to ask is:

Do you know someone with diabetes who can anecdotally and scientifically prove that pharmaceutical companies are creating drugs that are ineffective and destructive?

Yes – I do, I do!!!

Best always,
Allie B


I just hope that any show Oprah does, is well informed and accurate. There are a lot of misconceptions I have discovered, and many of which I personally held. I just didn’t know any better, until it affected me directly. I also hope it doesn’t discourage someone from truly getting help. Being confronted on national TV, might not be the best way to approach a loved one about their health.

While this is a little off the point (I had to mention it), did anyone notice that Halle Berry was recently on Oprah discussing her pregnancy and her new movie? The interesting thing is that, not one word was mentioned about her being diabetic. Most people don’t know that she is, and I was hoping that the show would create a positive image and a little good exposure. Now she is doing a show on denial…a little ironic.


It is ironic. Thank you for bringing up Halle Berry. The review of the show she was on is how I found out about the upcoming show. I personally would be shouting from the roof tops about my having diabetes, forty-one, and being healthy enough to have a baby.


What about doctors in denial re diabetes?
Ones who are just interested in you taking pharmasuticals (pay offs involved) or the religious doctors. They don’t realy care because god will sort you out!


I know too well about denial and diabetes. I went through many years of denial and I now have complications - though I am blessed that they are no worse than they are for the years that I didn’t take my insulin or BG levels. I actually am a very involved volunteer now for the ADA where we live, to the point I have started a support group where the hospital didn’t want to due to “lack of interest”, I speak to groups about living with diabetes and its complications, I set up booths at health fairs to educate people about diabetes. I see people every day who are non-compliant.

I don’t really think Oprah should have the “spin” using the word DENIAL. Diabetes will not let you deny it (think anout how you feel when you are high or low). The terminology to be used should be non-compliant.

I just met a 9-year-old today who is non-compliant and I talked to her and shared my story with her. I found that the main reason she doesn’t want to take her shots, etc. is that she feels different and alienated while at school by the adults and the children. So many people don’t understand the disease and how it can affect a child especially. The adults at her school take things from her lunch tray in front of the other children, they tell her she cannot go outside with the others when it is a very hot day, and the children view her differently because they do not understand why she must take her BG or why she has to take a shot. To me that says they just do not have all of the facts.

I think Oprah should definitely do something on diabetes. I think it will take someone like Oprah to bring diabetes to the forefront in this country so more people may see the epidemic that it is becoming. We have become such a “TV Society” and even more shows, news stations, etc. should concentrate more on health issues and education rather than celebrity gossip, fashion, etc.

Penny =)