The Diabetes Conundrum: Knowledge Doesn't Spur Action

You probably recall a study I posted last month that found, despite all warnings to the contrary, too few type-2 diabetics in America do anything positive to control their fragile health condition. Fact is, according to a new study, there's very little relationship between what a patient knows about diabetes and his or her control of its associated cardiovascular risk factors or how well he or she ultimately succeeds or fails.

Improved disease knowledge alone doesn't mean a patient will improve his or her blood sugar control, cholesterol levels and weight management, or that mortality rates for diabetics will fall, researchers said. Although education may be important, scientists concede there are other pressing health care delivery issues that must be addressed to reduce the mortality risks of diabetic patients, particularly from heart disease. Makes sense, considering two-thirds of Americans with type-2 diabetes don't have their condition under control.

Researchers measured the progress of 200 diabetic patients who were treated at Duke University Hospital. At the beginning, each patient took a 14-question standardized test that measured his or her knowledge related to diabetes. Then, they were ranked either as high- or low-scoring. Six months later, researchers compared how each of the groups scored with such clinical measurements as glycemic control, cholesterol levels, body mass index (BMI) and death. The only correlation between the two groups: Diabetes-related knowledge scores rose as the years of education increased.

I suspect you can blame those disturbing findings squarely on the "wisdom" of conventional medicine that attempts to treat patients in a one-size-fits-all manner that fails to account for the needs of the individual based on one's unique nutritional type.

Other things you can do to take control of your diabetes:

  • Start an exercise program today!
  • Reduce, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars from diet.
  • Strengthen your ability to stick with those new health goals and address the emotional issues that may have contributed to your illness by learning the Emotional Freedom Technique, the energy psychology tool I use daily in my practice.

American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 95, Issue 11, June 1, 2005: 1290-1294

Duke University Medical Center, June 2, 2005

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