Sure, diabetes is an everyday "in your face" thing for those of us living with it or caring for someone who does.
But now the rest of the world is getting slammed with all kinds of info about this chronic condition, since November is National Diabetes Month (or National Diabetes "Awareness" Month, because awareness is the name of the game, of course).
We got word recently that some fellow diabetes bloggers and advocates were sharing some "quick notes" about what they wanted the world to know about diabetes, and this input was compiled into a nice infographic (see below) created by the American Recall Center (ARC). This is a new non-profit group based in New York, consisting of a three-person team of medical writers and journalists aiming to act as consumer watchdogs on "pertinent information on FDA warnings for prescription drugs and medical devices."
That seems a pretty helpful mission, although we were surprised to hear that they don't communicate directly with FDA in any way. Rather, they use published recall notices to help "report on the findings of the FDA and ... to make their information straightforward for anyone to understand," according to the center's managing editor, Dr. Mario Trucillo who has 10+ years in academic research with a focus on diabetes, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. "Many of the FDA's publications make it very difficult for the consumer to understand exactly how they're affected because of their high-level writing -- as they are traditionally written for medical professionals," he says.
The ARC's work is not specific to diabetes, but a quick search for our disease on the site brings up about a dozen entries relating to both type 1 and type 2 meds -- the most prevalent being Actos.
Trucillo says he studied diabetes drugs and their reactions throughout his career, and he believes the results could use greater attention. The center is as-yet unfunded, but will likely seek funding soon.
Meanwhile, with the arrival of National Diabetes Month, Trucillo and his team contacted a small group of D-bloggers to ask them what messages they'd most like the general public to hear about diabetes -- whether it be differentiating between types, or just knowing how the condition needs to be managed in real life...
The nine participating D-bloggers were: type 2 PWDs Denise and Shelby Kinnaird, fellow type 1s Rachel, Gavin, Kerri Sparling, and Brian Hegarty, LADA type 1 Thomas Moore, D-Mom Brooke, and Megan who's living with gestational diabetes.
Their input was compiled into this "Life With Diabetes" infographic, describing what they want the world to know:
Great tidbits to pass along to the non-D world to raise awareness!
We like the emphasis on "one thing" about diabetes that you might like others to know this month... Uh, just one thing?!
From our end at the 'Mine, Amy says if asked, she probably would have added to the graphic: "Type 1 diabetes doesn't just happen to kids. It's an autoimmune disease that can hit at any age."
And here's what I would personally say:
"One size does NOT fit all - Your Diabetes May Vary*- so please make sure you're not trying to press your own pre-conceived notions about diabetes onto me."
This would be a message I'd send to many across the board -- from medical professionals and regulators who often have a "textbook definition" of diabetes management and think all PWDs should fit into that mold; to those non-D people who feel compelled to make sure I'm following the "expert advice" they read in an article or two in some mainstream publication at some point.
So, D-Community, for National Diabetes Awareness Month (#NDAM on twitter): What would you add for your one piece of information that you'd most like people to know about diabetes?