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Diabetes—Asking The Right Questions

Mark A. Hyman, MD

Abstract
In science, as in life, we receive answers to only the ques- tions we ask. How is this true in the explosive increase in diabetes worldwide? How might diabetes be a model for a new way to diagnosis and treat chronic complex illnesses? Unfortunately, we are married to definitions and risk fac- tors and not exploring more fruitful lines of inquiry. We are mired in asking the wrong questions, much like the religious sages of the middle ages who wondered how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. What is the correct definition of dia- betes or insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome or pre-dia- betes? Should we be excited by the latest drug therapy or gene discovery in diabetes? What about CAM therapies? Should we be assessing old or new therapies as “green drugs” to control blood sugar or lipids? Are these useful questions or simply distractions from the more important question of how to deal with diabetes from a cultural, social, political, etiologic, and comprehensive systemic, biological perspective?

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