Total Pageviews

Monday 16 May 2016

Diabetes UK a master-class in failure.

The number one diabetes charity in the UK is Diabetes UK. Their history goes back to 1934. They tell us on their website "we are diabetes experts" and "we are healthcare professionals" Well, if any organisation can claim to be diabetes experts, it must be DUK, yes, not in my opinion, judging by their horrendous failure rate. Some time ago I analysed the HbA1c data from the National Diabetes Audit 2010-2011. The HbA1c is a blood test for diabetics, it gives an accurate measure of a diabetics blood glucose control over the previous three months. To put these numbers into perspective, a healthy non diabetic would generally have a HbA1c of 4.5 to 5.5. A well controlled diabetic can achieve non diabetic HbA1c.

As you can see the numbers below are grim, almost 93% of type one diabetics fail to get to a safe HbA1c number, the same for 72.5% of type two diabetics. Holding these sort of blood glucose numbers long term will very likely result in diabetic complications, they are above the level organ damage starts to occur. Above 7.5%, complications are highly likely, and 10% and above, severe and life changing complications are almost guaranteed.

Results for England. The National Diabetes Audit 2010-2011 information from here.

Percentage of registered Type 1 patients in England

HbA1c > 6.5% (48 mmol/mol) = 92.6%
HbA1c > 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) = 71.3%
HbA1c > 10.0% (86 mmol/mol) = 18.1%

Percentage of registered Type 2 patients in England

HbA1c > 6.5% (48 mmol/mol = 72.5%
HbA1c > 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) = 32.6%

HbA1c >10.0% (86 mmol/mol) = 6.8%

These results are very similar to those obtained in previous NHS audits over the previous 5 - 6 years.  

While writing this article, I found the latest published data re. The National Diabetes Audits 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 which can be found here. As you can see the goal posts have been moved. The only target shown is <58 mmol/mol which equates to an HbA1c of 7.5% we now do not know how many diabetics get to 6.5%, also, we now have no data on how many diabetics are over ten% HbA1c.  

Clearly, no progress on the all important blood glucose control is being achieved, which is critical for the avoidance of diabetic complications. One point I do agree with Diabetes UK taken from the audit.

"Seek out better ways of achieving lower risk blood glucose" 

Millions all around the world, know the way to achieve the above. From type two diabetic A1 rated Science Professors, to type one diabetic children. Safe long term blood glucose numbers, can only be achieved with a strict reduction in carbohydrates. This is known as a low carb diet or lifestyle. Diabetes UK does not recommend a low carb diet long term (six months max). Despite the fact, countless diabetics report long term use of low carb has been their salvation. Non diabetic BG being commonly reported, many type two diabetics requiring zero medication. Type one diabetics reporting insulin use reduced to a third, compared to when using the type of diet as recommended by diabetes UK.

Diabetic complications include blindness, kidney failure, lower limb amputation and cardio vascular disease. Highly elevated blood glucose numbers, negatively effect every tissue in the body. Now, if you are still with me, you must be thinking, why oh why, does Diabetes UK not wholeheartedly recommend a low carb diet for all diabetics. Consider this.

Upon diagnosis, the NHS often issue a 24 page booklet called "Diabetes A Practical Guide For Patients" The booklet is supported by Takeda, the largest manufacturer of insulin in Japan. The diet information is the usual eat plenty of carbs with every meal recommendation. Lots of high carbohydrate food is the last thing diabetics need. Would a manufacturer of insulin have an interest in recommending low carbohydrate diets. Clearly the more people low carb. the less insulin they require. Would an insulin manufacturer, sponsor a book or diabetes charity who promoted a low carbohydrate diet for diabetics, and therefore lose sales and revenue? 

Clear thinkers will not be surprised to learn, Diabetes UK is heavily sponsored by Pharma Companies, including Takeda. If you want to know what is going on, in the often murky world of healthcare charities, you must always follow the money.



Tara said...

I have been chasing the perfect A1c for 23 years now! How elusive! Whenever I go for tighter control, I have frequent low episodes. I have tried various insulins and even the pump. For the past many years I have been around 8.5. I have no complications whatsoever, but perhaps I am the exception. I've tried many different diets (not weight loss per se) and find that the low carb works best for me.

Not so easy for me...and I've worked well and diligently with my doc. Do the best you can, each day, and the rest will take care of itself.


Lowcarb team member said...

Thanks for your comment Tara. If it's not out of order, how many carbs do you use per day?

Kind regards Eddie

Blogoratti said...

Makes for an interesting and in-depth read. Thanks for beaming the searchlight on that , greetings!

Tara said...

I vary greatly and just account for the carbs. Some days I eat perhaps 20 - 30 at a meal, sometimes more. When I do eat carbs I go for whole wheat pasta or whole grain breads in a very small quantity, or yogurt (23 carbs) and of course there is the occasional dessert. But if I have a dinner of salmon and an artichoke with mayo, sometimes I take no additional insulin. I also don't go for "low fat" foods since they usually replace the fat with sugar!

Mrs Vimes said...

I went to pick up blood test results. My GP read them out 'disgustingly healthy!' 'NOT DIABETIC!' Had to correct him on that.
'Oh, of course!'
Down to a lifestyle of 20g of carbs a day or less.

Lowcarb team member said...

Mrs Vimes said...
I went to pick up blood test results. My GP read them out 'disgustingly healthy!' 'NOT DIABETIC!' Had to correct him on that.
'Oh, of course!'
Down to a lifestyle of 20g of carbs a day or less.

It's a good job you corrected your GP Mrs V, he could have removed insulin and test kit from your script Lol!