For Release January 17, 2017
American Diabetes Association Ignores those suffering with Brittle Diabetes
For the fourth year in a row, ADA purposely omitted any mention of Brittle Type 1 Diabetes (BT1D) or use of the term “brittleness”, which reflects extremes in blood sugar instability in its 2017 Standards of Medical Care. Despite Brittle Diabetes Foundation’s (BDF) proposal to classify BT1D as a disease, ADA continues to ignore some 4,500 US residents and 150,000 world-wide diagnosed with BT1D.
Why would the leading fundraiser for the prevention and or cure of diabetes be so reluctant to address a set of simple questions?
Why would the National Institutes of Health add BT1D in 2013 to its list of rare diseases?
Why have French researchers developed diagnostic parameters to differentiate BT1D from stable T1D?
Why are there over a thousand research articles involving BT1D?
Why would JDRF, a leader in TID research, recognize BT1D as a disease entity, And,
Why are physicians diagnosing their patients with Brittle Type 1 Diabetes if the disease was just a myth?
BDF, the only organization listed by the NIH as supporting this rare disease, asked ADA, eight months ago, these questions. ADA’s response - WAIT (along with thousands of brittle diabetes patients) for our response in 2017.
So, BDF now must ask:
Is the process used by ADA’s Professional Practice Committee flawed by its yearly tendency to cling to previously held assumptions or beliefs which has them out of step with diabetes researchers and practicing physicians?
Is ADA, founded by physicians in 1940, more concerned about how physicians and hospitals will get paid for rendering care than the well-being of those suffering from this complex, rare disease? Medical coding is a nightmare for physicians and by BDF suggesting the existence of a new disease entity would only add a multitude of new code requirements, complicating physician reimbursement.
Given ADA’s dismal 76 year track record in achieving its stated websites mission ”To prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes”, both appear likely.
We are delighted that ADA has incorporated two of BDF’s suggestions for patient care: asking physicians to test for other autoimmune diseases (comorbidities) when T1D is confirmed and not to berate patients by suggesting non-compliance when test results don’t turn out as expected. A typical scenario encountered by individuals suffering with BT1D.
What ADA addressed is a good beginning but falls far short of what is needed. ADA still fails to guide practicing physicians who literally don’t know what to do when confronted with a patient exhibiting the life-disruptive symptoms of BT1D.
For those interested, BDF has posted its original request to the ADA for BT1D reclassification on BDF’s website along with email communications of note.
NOTE: Brittle Diabetes Foundation Inc., founded in 2012 is a 501C3 non-profit organization.
Contact: Emanuel V. Sorge Ph.D. President/BDF Cell 917-355-3486