et tu Reader’s Digest?

Kerri from Sixuntilme tweeted a link to Kim’s blog post at Texting my Pancreas about an upcoming special issue from Reader’s Digest.  I love Reader’s Digest, I always have.  My love for them is failing after seeing this:


Anyone who has been touched by the ‘Betes knows you can’t reverse it.  Type 1 or Type 2, once its there, its there to stay.  Sure, there are things some T2’s can do to better control it and lessen their dependence on medications, but contrary to popular belief, not all T2’s are fat and lazy.

This kind of shit pisses me right the fuck off.   So I sent the letter below to the editors of Reader’s Digest.  And when my mother-in-law buys this piece of shit and gives it to me so we can reverse my son’s T1, I’m going to mail it right back to them and demand the money back.


Dear Readers Digest,

I have fond memories of reading your magazine my entire life.  My grandmother bought gift subscriptions every year for all of her children, and when she passed away, my mother kept up the tradition in our family. Each month, for as long as I can remember, I would devour your magazine and then wish it were delivered weekly. I have found your magazine to be informative, funny, and entertaining.  Now I am forced to wonder if the more serious information I have read for the past 35 years is as flawed as the special issue I understand to be coming out shortly.  The one I am referring to has the cover title of “Reverse Diabetes”.
For anyone living with any kind of diabetes, this title is highly offensive.  There is no reversing diabetes; there is only (imperfect) control.  I can only assume you are attempting to tell Type 2 diabetics they can go off their pills or insulin if they only exercise and/or eat right.  What you are actually doing is propagating the myth that diabetes can be cured.  While the article(s) inside may specify to Type  2, and may even clarify there is no real “cure,” the damage is done.  When people see this headline in the checkout aisle of the grocery store, it only serves to reinforce the idea that diabetes can be “fixed” and if the diabetic in question would only follow the proper advice, he or she would be “cured.”
My 11 year old son is a Type 1 diabetic.  Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease.  I tell him he has a super immune system, and when it got bored, it found his pancreas and started beating up on it.  For the rest of his life, he will need to stick a needle in his finger a minimum of 4, but more likely, 10 times a day.  He will need to either get a shot every time he eats anything or be connected to his insulin pump 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  If he does not get insulin, he will die.  It does not matter if his food has no sugar, it does not matter if his meals have a low glycemic load, it does not matter how carb-smart he or his meals are. There is no diabetes wonder drug that makes it go away.  For him there is only insulin, constant blood sugar monitoring and constant awareness of how what he eats affects not only his blood sugar, but his long term health.
My father and his brother are Type 2 diabetics.  While they do not have to monitor their blood sugar levels as frequently as my son does, they do have to take medication daily and check their blood sugar at least twice a day.  Admittedly, they both could lose weight and be more active, but at best, this would only delay their dependence on medications.  My grandparents, on the other hand, were both thin and very active.  My grandmother died from cardiovascular issues cause by diabetes.  There was nothing any of then can or could have done to reverse their diabetes.  Given the family genetics, I will probably develop Type 2 diabetes in 10 to 15 years.  I may win the genetic lottery and be spared, but I doubt I’ll be that lucky.  Even now, at 40 and with no symptoms at all, my personal risk for diabetes is not far from my mind.  I exercise and eat healthy to
There is no “diabetes wonder drug” that makes it go away so you don’t ever have to think about it again.  Drugs and insulin are not a cure, they are imperfect management tools.  By spreading misinformation you not only continue to confuse the issue to those lucky enough to not be touched by these diseases, you also impact the perceived need for a cure.  While I understand the lead times in the publishing industry may prevent you from making changes to this special issue, I sincerely hope you will publish a correct, informative article in your monthly magazine that will differentiate between the two different kinds of diabetes and reiterate that being diagnosed with diabetes is not the diabetic’s fault. I fully expect at least one family member to see these issue and purchase out of ignorance to “help” me and my family reverse my son’s diabetes.  I can only imagine how many other people will do the same thing.  This kind of a title is designed to increase sales among the ignorant.  Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of pocketing the money from those sales, some of it was donated to JDRF or the American Diabetes Association.
mother to a type 1 diabetic
daughter of a type 2 diabetic
niece of a type 2 diabetic
granddaughter of two type 2 diabetics
(probable) future type 2 diabetic



One response to this post.

  1. Thanks for being willing to speak up, openly and honestly, about this. Every voice we add to the pile makes our collective noise that much louder.

    Here’s hoping they listen.


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