Thursday, December 27, 2007

Can Diabetes Screening be Harmful?

I hope all of you are having a great Christmas season. I spent my Christmas here in Boston to avoid an expensive flight home to L.A. Oh well, I'm ready to kick off the new year anyway.

I was searching for some diabetes blogs when I came across this transcript of a radio broadcast on NHPR titled: "Diabetes Screening Isn’t Always Beneficial"

In the report, a researcher states that "one of her concerns about diabetes screening is the potential rush to medicate." Though I find myself agreeing that premature medicating is certainly a cause for concern, I was still rather upset with a previous statement that we should be pursuing these screenings only "on the basis of having good studies that show that we help them in terms of making them live longer or live better."

I think most would agree that detecting signs of diabetes early certainly wouldn't do any harm.

She does go on to say that "the symptoms themselves lead people to raise the issue with their doctors and get the condition identified in a timely manner." But I would contend that waiting for symptoms to become an issue big enough to bring up with your doctors is a bit too late. I know in the case of type 1 diabetes, those symptoms are NOT anything anyone would wish for. I would think that for type 2 diabetes, the long-term affects of long-term exposure to high blood glucose is definitely something people would also want to avoid.

The way I view this is that screening for diabetes will help raise awareness in those who don't have it yet. If and when they do develop diabetes, they will at least be more prepared than having no exposure to what diabetes is.


dae said...

happy new year, albert! :) i'm glad to have 'met' you in '07. cheers to '08!

RichW said...

Type 2's go years without being aware they have a problem. Once the damage is done there's no way to reverse it. A Type 1 can end up in a coma before they realize there's a problem.

I agree that screening can’t hurt.

Thank you for your comments on my site. I'll definitely keep you informed.