NYT: How low to push blood sugar

FYI- I wanted to share with the group (I came across this article, shared with my by someone else)

I cannot agree with an A1C level higher than 7; really? It’s difficult to achieve decent a1c using only anti diabetic oral drugs, which may be what Ciaccia was prescribed. Low blood sugar episodes are distressing if one fails to learn to avoid them and to address them. (I’ve only had two experiences with low BG’s 39, 59. Both were due to my being distracted and forgot to eat after pre bolusing.)

"Mr. Ciaccia is now being cared for by Dr. Lipska. She tells him he’ll do fine with an A1C level higher than seven, and can avoid the low blood sugar episodes that were so distressing.

And it was O.K. to take one drug — insulin — which he preferred over a pile of diabetes drugs."


Thank you for referencing this! I, also, was very disappointed with the article once I read your link: it is poorly researched, only provides generalities about “diabetes drugs” outside of insulin, and does not give either sources or specifics.

It appears the patient the author used as a centerpiece has been using multitudes of oral drugs outside of insulin. Based on what we see around here, my guess is that he is not well versed in using insulin to lower his A1c, and would possibly reach his 7.0 goal just on insulin.

But what I have learned here is that it takes work, experimentation, and very good technique to do that. In a word – commitment.

I think the author would have done well to interview a few of us before going out with this write-up.


This read like another NYT article that was more of a conclusion seeking a story. They seem to be famous for this type of journalism.

The author obviously has less than a rudimentary knowledge of diabetes but is trying to convince the reader of her flawed conclusion based on a study of n=1.

It is criminal that she has a platform on which she can probably convince other readers.


Maybe we oughta invite the author to visit us here and find out what it can be like to deal with the big D more effectively!

1 Like

I agree with your poor rating of the author’s job and of the article’s editors!

On a side note, I will mention that I find a lot of the NYT’s articles well researched to my standards. This newspaper has received many Pulitzers over the years (think Watergate!), including the last few. I am condemning this one, but feel that, in general, this newspaper is a well-researched source.

I tend to think that articles dealing with science or technical issues are often poorly written or researched, such as the referenced article about diabetes based on one person. So I’ve accepted that I have to read scientific journals and papers to get the factual information.

It is unfortunate that more diabetics, whether Type 1, or other types, and using or not using insulin are not better informed. It infuriates me when hear people say something to the effect of all I have to do is take this pill and I can eat anything I want. That’s simply not true. Unfortunately, even some MD’s are guilty of perpetuating this falsehood.

All the members of this community must be so unusual in our attitude, discipline and commitment to achieving good BG control.