Oooh. I just found a very cool brand new article from Janis Roszler (RD, CDE, LD/N, etc., etc.) over at eDiets.com, of all places. First off, I just keep running into that woman's name! Turns out she's a diabetes author with her own "Dear Janis " Web site and her own radio show, and she's a prolific D-columnist. She even writes an "Expert Column" over at dLife. (Mine would be the "Un-Expert Column," as in learn-as-you-go, btw ;)
Janis' newest piece caught my attention because it so simply and clearly puts today's dizzying array of treatment options into perspective. Among other things she states: "If you've tried just about everything but are still frustrated with your diabetes control, Byetta or Symlin may help." She calls these new injectable drugs "medication helpers" that are "extremely effective" at lowering post-meal glucose levels for both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. Helpers -- well, now that 'splains a lot, I'd say.
All the comments about Symlin and Byetta ushering in "a new paradigm" of diabetes care never struck me as quite right. Really the new paradigm was kicked off in the early '80s with the invention of synthetic human insulin, followed by the flexible long- and short-acting varieties. That's when the real revolution in D-care began! Janis spells out how Amylin's highly acclaimed new releases can be used to augment the new "designer insulins," new oral meds, and much-improved meal plans. So these are complements to our current advanced paradigm, if you will -- two excellent new tools we now have in our D-control toolbox.
To the question, "Should I Take the New Drug(s)?", see another new eDiets article. Byetta is of course only for those not on insulin. Symlin? "If your diabetes is not well controlled on your present medication regime, you may want to discuss... Symlin with your doctor."
Another place to learn more -- from some real patients "in the trenches" -- are the Discussion Forums over at Diabetes.Blog.com. My buddy Dr. Bill Quick has set up lively forums on both Byetta and Symlin.