Fighting to Delay the Onset of Diabetes, Part 2

Monday, April 16, 2012 6:34
Posted in category Diet

The four-day meeting provides an overview of current diabetic research. There are hundreds of sessions (and thousands of participants), but I limited my attendance to those that discussed the topic of diabetes prevention.

An additional benefit of attending the conference was the opportunity to spend time in its exhibit hall. There were representatives from diabetic Web sites and advocacy groups and numerous displays of existing diabetic products and devices still under development. I found sales representatives extremely helpful and eager to answer questions, and I made a point to collect their business cards, since they were great resources for future follow-up questions or product information.

After the conference, I spent time sorting out what I had learned so far and what areas were still unclear. I e-mailed questions to some of the participating physicians and was amazed (and relieved) at how many of them responded by offering their advice and support.

Several months passed, but those days gave my husband and me an opportunity to decide which treatment options we wanted for our daughter. I felt there was sufficient evidence to support the use of insulin injections to slow down her diabetic progression, and I wanted to give her daily niacinimide tablets for the same reasons.

These decisions meant that we had to withdraw her from the clinical trial. If she had continued, she would only have had a 50/50 chance of being randomized to an insulin injection protocol — and using supplements such as niacinimide would have disqualified her from the program anyway.With a treatment plan in mind, we interviewed three local pediatric endocrinologists to determine which would support us in the preventive routine we had chosen. After those appointments, we narrowed down our choice to one physician and began our daughter’s new regimen immediately.

It was over two years before our little girl developed full-blown diabetes. To this day, I believe the measures we chose slowed down her conversion to diabetes and softened its arrival.

I am not promoting the specific medical choices we made on behalf of our daughter. I do recommend the process we followed, as it could be used for other types of health decisions as well. We asked questions, listened carefully to answers and maintained skepticism — not to mention hope.

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