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[IP] Fwd: Re: Researchers Develop Dual Glucose-Insulin Sensor

My grumpy letter to Reuters Health....


Forwarded Message:
> To: email @ redacted
> From: email @ redacted
> Subject: Re: Researchers Develop Dual Glucose-Insulin Sensor
>By Kirell Lakhman> Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 21:27:25 GMT
> -----
> A friend just forwarded the following Reuters Health story to me:
> >Thursday February 1 3:18 PM ET
> >Researchers Develop Dual Glucose-Insulin Sensor 
> >
> >By Kirell Lakhman
> It contains the following paragraph about diabetes:
> >To combat these imbalances, patients are prescribed insulin either as a pill 
> >or via an implantable sensor and pump that monitors the level of glucose in 
> >the blood and, when that level climbs too high, injects a prescribed amount 
> >of insulin directly in the skin.
> This is completely wrong. 
> First, insulin is not available in pill form. It must be taken by 
> injection or infusion. The oral medications used to treat diabetes 
> are not insulin. These drugs either stimulate the body to produce 
> more insulin, or combat "insulin resistance" (the body's inability 
> to use insulin efficiently).
> Second, insulin pumps exist (I use one myself), but they do not
> work automatically. Glucose sensors are not yet commercially
> available for patient use. They are only used for limited periods 
> of time as diagnostic tools. Glucose sensors have yet to be combined
> in a single feedback systems with insulin pumps. Thus, a pump 
> user must still check blood sugar using a glucose monitor and 
> blood collected from a finger stick, then adjust the pump accordingly.
> Also, insulin pumps are not "implanted," although implantable 
> pumps are being tested in Europe. Pumps are worn externally,
> connected to a cannula inserted in the abdomen, thigh, buttock, 
> (or any other place where there's enough fat) by a long thin tube.
> Another major misunderstanding in the article is as follows:
> >Roughly 95% [of diabetics] have type 2 diabetes, which means 
> >that they produce inadequate or inconsistent amounts of insulin. People with 
> >type 1 diabetes, by comparison, do not generate insulin at all.
> This is not completely wrong, but it's inaccurate. Some type 2
> diabetics have normal insulin production, some do not. The hallmark
> of type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance (which I described above).
> None of this is obscure information.
> These errors make me seriously doubt the quality of Reuters Health's
> fact-checking and editorial staff -- not to mention the basic knowledge 
> of its reporters. I will be appropriately skeptical in future.
> Sincerely,
> /Janet Lafler

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