Diabetes : Is it getting enough media attention

By MAYS Latest Reply 2010-02-02 14:00:06 -0600
Started 2010-02-01 19:07:36 -0600

Compared to other Chronic Diseases and Afflictions do you think that diabetes and it's complications are getting enough or equal time and exposure in the general media, whether it's by the medical and insurance industry, or private organizations and advocacy groups ?

My case and point :

Pancreatic Cancer receives more exposure as a killer than Diabetes and it's Complications due to the American Cancer Society, yet Diabetes afflicts and kills more people due to it's complications.

Is the American Diabetes Association and other organizations doing enough to bring diabetes awareness
to the general public ?

What's your opinion ?

18 replies

donna13 2010-02-02 13:12:08 -0600 Report

I'm going to post here, and it's going to get me into a lot of trouble. I think there is an extrodinary amount of attention in the media about diabetes. I admit that I have a fairly easy time of coping with it and so many more have much more serious complications. But I belive that MOST of us can control it and are controlling it to the best of our abilities. The reason is the research that has been going on to help us. Should there be more money spent on finding a cure, of course. But name one disease that doesn't have this problem. There just isn't enough money to spread around. If you were serious in calling this "disease of horror", I'm afraid I don't rate diabetes in the top ten of diseases I would call that. Any kind of cancer, ALS, MS, I could go on and on, would go well before diabetes. And no, I am not minimizing what some of you go through. I hope they will find, if not a cure, at least more meds or such to help everyone cope. The only complaint I have about the media coverage is that it is so often negative. They make it sound like it is our own fault we have this disease. So rather than more coverage I would hope for more accurate coverage.

MAYS 2010-02-02 13:22:02 -0600 Report

Your opinion is well respected and accepted, and as far as i'm concerned, never held against you or anyone.
It was an open question for the sake of discussion, not to spark a controversy, I appreciate your honest opinion.
" Mays "

AddassaMari 2010-02-02 12:35:04 -0600 Report

Diabetes is a silent disease a quiet killer. None can look at another and tell that they have this disease. In the early stages of the disease, there are usually no outward signs of problems and even after diagnosis; there is no outward sign of the disease.

Diabetes contributes to myriads of other complications treated as separate incidents and not as diabetes- related complications.

For example neuropathy, kidney failure, deteriorating sight, heart disease, etc, are all view as conditions having their own category, even though they may have their roots in the diabetic condition of the body, they are not treated as diabetic conditions, but as separate issues such as neuro-, renal-, sight-, and heart- conditions, etc.

Diabetics are very aware if the importance of good glucose control and as a result, it has become a very manageable disease.

The complications related to the disease causes many deaths, thus diabetes kills. Still, diabetes is viewed first as a disease controllable with drugs, diet and exercise and especially in adults as preventable disease or one whose onset can be delayed with diet and exercise.

The fact that diabetes does not have as high a direct mortality (when compared to AIDS for example) rate makes it difficult to get the necessary funding, especially when research money is tight so there is very little funds available for research outside of JD research.

MAYS 2010-02-02 12:46:37 -0600 Report

My reason for being here on this site is to Inform and Educate others about Diabetes and it's complications although some people may view my methods as cold and direct, but I feel that this way is necessary to get the point across, sometimes to actually see as well as experience the horrors of war may change your attitude towards fighting a war !

Your point and information is well accepted and appreciated.
" Mays "

AddassaMari 2010-02-02 12:53:33 -0600 Report

I agree, this forum/community exist so that we can help each other and to impart any information we have that maybe of benefit to any person. It is true that non-juvenile diabetes does not get the media exposure it deserves.

The information you provide is delivered in the same basic manner as any clinician, as long as it is factual and true to the best of your knowledge, I would not worry too much about the directness. Some benefit best from the direct method and all benefit from the facts.

AddassaMari 2010-02-02 14:00:06 -0600 Report

Diabetes mellitus killed 72,449 people in the United States in 2006. Diabetes contributes directly to these cardiovascular diseases (CVD): High blood pressure, Coronary heart disease, Myocardial infarction, Stroke, Heart Failure, and Angina pectoris (chest pain or discomfort caused by reduced blood supply to the heart muscle, this increases with diabetes as cell die from lack of energy-glucose) Most diabetics tend to have high cholesterol levels which are directly linked to CVD.

Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke
Many people with diabetes are not aware that they are at particularly high risk for heart disease and stroke, which can result from the poor blood flow that is a symptom of diabetes. In addition, people with type 2 diabetes have higher rates of hypertension and obesity, which are additional risk factors. Diabetics are two to four times more likely to have a heart attack than nondiabetics, and at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart attack or stroke. While deaths from heart disease have been declining overall, deaths from heart disease among women with diabetes have increased, and deaths from heart disease among men with diabetes have not declined nearly as rapidly as they have among the general male population. The National Diabetes Education Program has launched a campaign to bring the problem to public attention."

Hence as one physician living with diabetes said, if a disease is a direct contributor to the top 5 causes of death, that disease must be the #1 cause of death.

It is definitely something to think about because it is a fact and one scary thought!

MAYS 2010-02-02 08:57:45 -0600 Report

Most (but not all) disagreements are the result of either a misunderstanding, miscommunication or the taking of something from one extreme to the other.

We are all entitled to our opinion !

My point being that this post was not intended to compare or belittle diseases, but rather to acquire personal input as to whether or not the appropriate organizations and \ or foundations were doing enough to promote public awareness of their respective causes.
Hence the mentioning of the American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association.
" Mays "

donna13 2010-02-02 07:59:03 -0600 Report

I debated for a while about replying to this. I think it is interesting that you picked pancreatic cancer to make your point. I have a great-nephew, only 28, who has been battling this disease for 3 years. He is now skin and bones and on dialysis 3 or 4 times a week. How many of us would change places with him. I really don't think this cancer gets enough publicity, not until a celebrity gets it. My husbands mother died from it when he was only 7 - that was in the mid 30's, and there has been no significant rate of recovery since then. If you believe that we need more publicity about diabetes, it should not be because you feel some other disease is getting more.

MAYS 2010-02-02 08:27:58 -0600 Report

Pancreatic Cancer was just used as a point of reference, not getting personal, but I have first hand experience with this.
There will always be a sensitive issue somewhere and please do not take offense to this one, my point is that Diabetes is more common and more widespread, they all are important issues but the main issue is awareness, without it, the funding, education and research remain limited or non existent.
In the media, Diabetes has become the Disease of Horror that very few want to talk about or admit to having considering how widespread and common it is.
All the Chronic Diseases need funding, awareness,research and public education,so don't take it as an attack on one over the other or an act of ignorance because neither is intended nor implies as such.
Thank You for commenting !

Elrond 2010-02-01 23:51:04 -0600 Report

Well, there are plenty of companies attempting to cash in selling diabetic supplies and doo-dads but the disease itself gets very little attention. I believe that a serious push to a cure might actually make a difference. There are several exciting things out there that need funding. I know I can't help but somebody should.

MAYS 2010-02-02 00:06:32 -0600 Report

You are correct about a serious push towards a cure, that may open some eyes and some pockets.
A serious campaign depicting the complications, how common diabetes is, what leads up to it and most importantly how to possibly prevent it (type 2) is needed badly.
Public awareness of all types of diabetes is crucial, the key is education , awareness and action.
You help some how whenever you let someone know that you're a diabetic, every little bit helps !

AddassaMari 2010-02-02 13:00:20 -0600 Report

The question in this forum caused me to think about the "ribbon" campaigns, It seem every disease and cause has a ribbon, so I did a little look and see, and discovered the diabetes has a ribbon. It is grey and is shared by asthma, brain cancer awareness.

Check these list out!!

Perhaps we all need to start showing our colors to raise public awareness.

2010-02-01 22:52:53 -0600 Report

I believe that ADA is trying but funding is always a problem. The stimulus programs can build extra bridges in cities that do not need more bridges( just one example) but ADA can't get a slice of that $$$ for more research. I think until the disease attacks more people in the government, it will be put on the back burner.

MAYS 2010-02-01 23:50:15 -0600 Report

I agree and I see your point, something must be done to bring out more awareness, although many may object to this, keep it real, show more images of the results of the complications of diabetes, some images may be vulgar but they're straight to the point, a picture is worth a thousand words !

London 2010-02-01 22:49:29 -0600 Report

I do not think so. They need more awareness on this disease. Alot of people here the word diabetes and automatically think, no sugar. I was that way to until I became diabetic. It's soo much more than that.

MAYS 2010-02-01 23:44:29 -0600 Report

I agree with you, so many people are miseducated on the subject and it allows for a level of ignorance that is unfortunately insulting at times … ( You can't have sugar right ), but I don't hold it against them.

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