These days I do not get to watch the Oprah show much. I barely have time to watch the episodes of Ellen that pile up on my DVR. Last week I made an exception. I heard a lot of news in the Twitterverse that Oprah was doing a big special on diabetes. Since most of the diabetics I follow on Twitter are of the type 1 variety the big question was would she show that more than one type of diabetes exists in this world and how would she present the disease as a whole.

Open Letter to Oprah
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image by puroticorico

So I set my DVR to record and two days later sat back to watch it with my husband.  I found the show balanced and informative. Not much was said about type 1, but at least a distinction was made. I felt the show lacked one crucial piece.  I would now like to address Oprah directly.

Dear Oprah,

First let me thank you for doing this show. You and your team are correct. Diabetes is a silent killer, with millions suffering who do not even know it. Let me also thank you for making a distinction between type 1 diabetes, which I have myself, and type 2 diabetes. (Side note to Dr. Oz, all type 1 diabetics need insulin not some.) You did not spend a lot of time on type 1, except for the patient who had was very slowly and painfully dying from her disease. I understand the reason why. With 90% of cases being type 2 in this country there are more of them than there are of us, simple fact.

So let me tell you what I feel was missing-your own action plan and pledge to turn around your own situation. Your struggles with weight and food have been very public and very familiar to us all. The information you provided was easy to understand, sound and simple. Based on the factors Dr. Oz provided you fit the description of a prime candidate for type 2 diabetes.  You have done and challenged others to do less, like giving up their cell phones in their cars. Why not your commitment and challenge to decrease your own risk factors for type 2 diabetes?

I mean no disrespect. I know how difficult losing weight can be. I can only imagine how you feel under the microscope each and every day. However, you have the influence to make the change; you have the power to inspire people. Because they have seen your struggles through the years, they know if you can beat it so can they. Just like Dr. Oz said, people have to feel something to react to it. You can make them feel it.  

Please continue to be an advocate for health, using all of your mediums to inform and inspire. Most of all make the choice to truly love yourself and respect your own health. Good luck and thanks again for the well done show.


Pamela Hernandez, Personal Trainer and Type 1 diabetic

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