Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dear Oprah and Dr. Oz

So Oprah decides to dedicate an entire show on Diabetes. Here are the headlines that she had on her website:

Dr. Oz's Emergency Wake-Up Call: Millions of Americans have it now—by the time you feel symptoms, the damage is done. Dr. Oz reveals how you can stop America's silent killer: diabetes.

So what's so wrong with this?

Two and a half years old. A baby. That's how old Adele was when she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. She did not get Diabetes because of any bad lifestyle habits. She did not get Diabetes because she ate too much candy or drank too much pop. She did not get Diabetes because she didn't get enough exercise. She was a baby for god's sake! She ate a normal diet according to the Canadian Food Guide, pretty much the same thing as every other baby living in North America who did not get Diabetes. Her Diabetes could not have been prevented. She got Diabetes because of a faulty immune system that mistakenly destroyed the cells in her pancreas that produce insulin. It's not any different than the child who gets cancer. Like cancer, Type 1 Diabetes IS NOT PREVENTABLE. Like cancer, we don't really know why some people get Type 1 Diabetes but others don't. Type 1 Diabetes cannot be cured. Type 1 Diabetes cannot be controlled by diet alone. Type 1 Diabetes cannot be reversed. And Type 1 Diabetics need to inject insulin to stay alive.

All you needed to do was spend more time explaining this difference between Type 1 and Type 2 instead of using the general term "Diabetes and being part of those who reinforce the misconception that "all diabetes are the same". It's difficult enough to raise funds for Type 1 Diabetes research in our current economy when soliciting people who understand the Type 1 vs. Type 2 difference and nearly impossible soliciting misinformed people who think that Adele's Diabetes is our own fault.


Diabetes Super MOM said...

I love your post!! Sweet Adele, just 2 wow... tiny little princess.

It was frustrating to watch, even though I heard him say "Type 2 is what we are going to talk most about" there was really NO talk on Type 1, and how like Adele and you as her parents deal w/this everyday. We did not choose this nor did our babies.. and now, people are going to think "FOOD" is the cause.

phonelady said...

Yes Oprah show sucked yesterday and I turned off after ten mins and my head was blowing up . LOL !! I was not expecting any more really than that . I think they both are irresponsible ppl , dr o and oprah . I was jumping up and down and screaming NO NO NO tell the types and why is it that no one including drs want to discuss type 1 ? please too hard / you tell me too hard when I am pricking myself 6+ shots a day from the age of 16 to now at 49 . I have been lucky I have taken very good care of myself . I am sorry that your daughter got stricken with the big ugly d and wow at 2 that is really hard . One can only hope for a cure soon . God bless you and your wife and family .

BJ said...

They did touch on Type 1, but only enough to say "its genetic in nature and cannot be prevented" and in the end, the effects are relatively the same, except that with type 2, its normally the complications that lead to the diagnosis. I think why they did the show was to deal with the preventable type. I too wish there was more discussion on type 1, but there was a piece where dr oz talked to a type 1 on dialysis and had her one leg and partial other foot amputated. Oprah asked him what type she had, and he told her that it was type 1 and went into a bit of the differences. When I saw the previews for the show, I was upset too, thinking "here we go again!", but in the end, it was pretty fair. They want to encourage america to take better care of themselves, eat better, exercise, etc and type 1 isn't a side effect of that kind of lifestyle. But, they didn't ignore it completely.

Wendy said...

I absolutely feel they dropped the ball. If ONE penny is lost from funding for a cure because potential donors now believe that Type 1 could have been prevented if not for poor lifestyle choices, then our community has been SET BACK BIG TIME.

If they wanted to do a show about T2, they should have said that. But they didn't. They said "DIABETES" -- and that means they had an obligation to give a fair representation of BOTH types, including the differences between the two. Glossing over one with inaccurate information is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE!


Mike LeBlanc said...

I have to agree with you Wendy.

Shamae (Ghost written by Loren her hubby) said...

I love Wendy's comment! I think far too often people just don't think about it. If they aren't immersed in the d life then, to them, these details seem small and unimportant. I sure hope the d community got their point across.

Anonymous said...

I was diagnosed at 8 months old. Mother suspects it was because of a immunization that I got. My pancreas and thyroid gland haven't worked since then. Now I am going to be 33 and am having difficulty with constant kidney infections and the doctors won't listen to me. I have stopped drinking diet cokes all together and have been drinking water but it doesn't help.