San Francisco Bay Area resident Patrick Totty writes about his experiences living with type 2 diabetesSee all posts »
This Roman Was Right
The ancient Romans left behind many impressive things, including long-lasting aqueducts, outdoor theaters, and roads.
Another durable thing they left behind was the dramatist Terence’s memorable recommendation, “moderation in all things.” When you think about what it means, you see that it covers both ends of almost any spectrum. Do you like Cheetos? Great, just don’t go overboard eating them. But also don’t feel you have to deny yourself their pleasures entirely. The same with wine, or poker, or soap operas.
I know there are more extreme examples. Obviously you don’t tell somebody who’s hooked on hard drugs to take more moderate quantities. And you don’t tell a psychopath to cut back on his crime sprees. Those are cases that call for stopping a bad behavior completely.
But when it comes to small daily pleasures, Terence’s advice makes sense. What made me think about it is a story from Oregon about a diabetic chef who, in trying to design new menu items at his restaurant, was criticized by a food writer for making some of his dishes too high in calories.
In the face of that criticism, the chef offers a good defense of moderation, noting that the beauty of it is that it doesn’t present people with an all-or-nothing proposition. Check it out.
It’s always good to know that there are many, many people out there who are working to make life with diabetes better by making it easier to manage. One great example is the 2012 Sanofi US Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge Demo Day scheduled for May 16 in New York City. Sponsored by pharmaceutical company sanofi-aventis, the challenge asks inventors to create breakthrough programs or apps that will improve the lives of Americans with diabetes.
On May 16, five semi-finalists will debut their prototypes in a live-streamed demo. Two finalists will be selected from among them, each receiving $10,000 to help them refine their concepts. The eventual winner, who will be announced in July, will win $100,000 to further develop his or her idea.
You can take a peek at the competition by visiting www.datadesigndiabetes.com.
Although researchers are always at work on new drugs to help treat diabetes and its side effects, not all of them turn out as hoped for. A case in point is Pfizer’s Lyrica, a, existing pain drug that it hoped to retask to relieve nerve pain in people with diabetes. Neuropathy—the slow destruction of nerves that can bring on burning and sometimes intense pain—has been a target of therapies by drug makers over the past few years.
Unfortunately, Pfizer recently announced that Lyrica did no better than placebo in reducing nerve pain in diabetic patients. Although the drug remains an effective pain reliever in other areas, it appears that its successful application to diabetic pain just isn’t going to happen.