The Diabetes Community and the ongoing debate about carbs…

I recently wrote an article for Diabetes Health about a high carb, low GI diet. The story included a profile of Riva Greenberg, a fellow type 1 diabetic and writer who follows this type of eating plan. The story was posted last week and after reading the comments, I am flumoxed. I don’t understand why so many people get so fired up and aggressive whenever they see the words: “carbohydrate and diabetes.” Part of the reason the editor wanted me to write this article was in response to a previous article that had generated a stream of negative attacks on Diabetes Health and Hope Warshaw, a CDE and the author of the story.

So I guess I should have known what I was getting into, but still…..why the aggression? why the attacks? I’m fine if people disagree with what I write, but find a constructive way to do it that allows for continued conversation, not a slam dunk, dead end insult. When it comes to carbs, those (who comment anyway) are very passionate and very vocal. And as a woman who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 26 years now, I feel like the debate is about more than carbohydrates.

I think it’s an ongoing struggle to eat well and maintain normal levels of blood glucose for all of us, and somehow, talking about how we achieve this and what we put in our mouths becomes very personal very quickly. It’s like once we find what works for us, we don’t want anyone messing with it or suggesting a different approach.

It’s my opinion that there is no “right” way to live well with diabetes, and what works for me (moderate carb intake), may not work for someone else. But I’m not going to attack someone verbally when they choose to follow a different diet. We all share the challenges of diabetes, but that’s about it. We are not a melting pot of diabetics.

I think the community of diabetes would be a lot stronger if we supported one another instead of going on the attack when we hear something we don’t like. Let’s use this passion in a positive way and push for continued funding for diabetes research, or cheaper test strips or better insurance coverage. The more voices we bring to the conversation, the more interesting the story becomes.

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