2006: Year in Review
With 2006 drawing quickly to a close and a years worth of diabetes news behind us, dLife asks, What was the Biggest dStory of 2006? Was it inhaled insulin? How about islet cell research? Or was it something from a local JDRF or ADA chapter?
dLifes own Viewpoints columnists, real people living with diabetes every day, share their opinions on what they thought was the Biggest dStory of 2006.
2006 was a year that made diabetes treatment history, in that two long-awaited advancements came to market: Inhaled insulin and continuous glucose monitoring. These treatments are still new and far from perfect, but their potential for improving the lives of people with diabetes while were waiting for a cure is enormous.
Amy Tenderich, Type 1, author of Straight Up.
The public is becoming more educated about all kinds of diabetes, helping to dispel some of the fears, misconceptions, and misunderstandings that diabetics can face in their lives. 2006 was a year that focused on awareness, with UN Resolutions, mainstream media attention, and the growing community of diabetes online resources. We are not alone. And that feels pretty damn empowering.
Kerri Morrone, Type 1, author of Generation D.
A global action against diabetes receives my vote for the top diabetes news story of 2006. A major development in the worldwide fight against diabetes occurred this year, when the International Diabetes Foundation succeeded in encouraging the UN General Assembly to pass a Resolution recognizing the global threat of the diabetes epidemic. This Resolution will encourage governments throughout the world to establish national policies to improve diabetes treatment and prevention. This significant step recognizes the serious threat to world health imposed by diabetes and will hopefully unite and empower the worldwide diabetes community.
Melissa Conrad Stppler, Type 2, author of Balancing Act.
It has been how many strides our family has made in our own community to be active in raising money to find a cure, and how we have also raised the level of awareness and education about diabetes in our sons school and school district. Our family raised just under $6000 for our local JDRF walk this year, and our team had almost 70 walkers! When my son Joel was diagnosed, we were dealing with school personnel who knew very little about diabetes. Now, after three years of working together and with the help of Joslin, Joel can now manage his diabetes in the classroom. This was my big dStory of 2006. When you educate and make others aware of diabetes, the mystery and fear go away. And when you get involved with finding a cure yourself, your powerlessness over diabetes lessens. I know I have heard others say, I have diabetes, but it doesnt have me. That has been my biggest dStory of 2006.
Karen Hargrave-Nykaza, mother of a child with Type 1, author of A New Normal.
The New York Health Department's new legal requirement for medical laboratories to report test results (read: private and confidential medical records) of diabetics directly to city healthy officials. While I am generally supportive of public health officials taking an interest in helping people control their diabetes, I firmly believe that it is not any of NYC's concern what my A1c numbers are, and I think this initiative sets a very dangerous precedent not only for the medical privacy of diabetics but for everyone who is managing a chronic disease. Public health officials want to help me manage my disease? Fine, but how about making it voluntary?"
Walt Raleigh, Type 2, author of Type 2 Curmudgeon.
I think for the year 2006, the biggest thing was the availability of the CGM systems. While the technology is still pretty young, it has already made such a big difference to so many people. Up until around 1980, people were testing glucose amounts in their urine, which could show a result that is hours old! Imagine making insulin adjustments based on old information! Then glucose meters hit the market, and now we have meters that take a tiny sample and produce a result in 5 seconds. I see the same advancements happening with CGM systems. I look forward to watching the technology mature.
Scott K. Johnson, Type 1, author of Which Way is Down.
"I feel that there was a voice in 2006; the voice of those who live with diabetes. For years it seems that all we have heard is the cure, the cure, .the cure. It is still just as important but the cry this year reached from the heights of the U.N., to the halls of Washington to the studios in Hollywood, --it was a voice that said we are here, we can be heard, we will be heard. From taking control of ones individual life to helping others less fortunate, the net of the needs of those with diabetes seemed to widen. It will be exciting to see what 2007 will hold, for those like my daughter, my father and the million more like them. dLife will be here..and so will this diabetes dad."
Tom Karlya, father of a child with Type 1,author of Diabetes Dad.
Diabetes is always about progress, but for me, 2006 was the "year of progression" - specifically, how stopping the progression of disease came into the realm of possibility. The prospect of new and alternative therapies gained momentum for those with type 2 and type 1 and even pre-diabetes, and reducing the risks of complications was the subtext of a lot of big stories. The landmark trials DREAM and ADOPT showed us that TZDs may help prevent type 2 diabetes or delay or reverse its progression. Byetta continued to win over healthcare teams and patients alike, giving patients a way to lose weight, not the reverse, while improving A1cs. The approval of Januvia was notable in that the drug seems much easier to take than many older therapies - so did inhaled insulin, although long-term safety still needs proving on both. Last, real-time continuous monitoring gave us a whole new way of looking at glycemic control - through the lens of glycemic variability - and this is yet another a new step in the clinical quest to prevent complications. Have we conquered diabetes? No, but this is the most progress I can remember in a very, very long time.
Kelly Close, type 1, author of Close Concerns.
It seems every year we are seeing new and exciting technology to better treat diabetes. But too many people with diabetes don't have access to those treatments and healthcare. I think the biggest dStory of 2006 wasn't really about diabetes, on the surface. But, ultimately, the direction of our November elections indicated a strong possibility that our health care system may have a chance at change for the better to allow more Americans access to healthcare. And that can only mean better care for all people with diabetes, not just those privileged enough to afford new technologies and treatment or the insurance coverage that pays for it.
Deanna Glick, type 1, author of Mommy Meter.
What do you think was the Biggest dStory of 2006? Post your two cents in the dLife Forum.
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Readers ask me all the time [lie] about the diabetes supplies we use for Charlie. I can’t tell you how many times  I’ve been stopped on the street [more lies] by a loyal blog reader wanting to know what blood glucose meter we use or what brand of finger pricker we employ. To calm the masses [not], I’ve decided the time is right to share our secret sauce; to reveal the tools of our trade. Today we take a look at … The Finger Pricker ...