December 2013 issue highlights

We’ve taken a slightly different approach with the December issue, coincidentally just in time for the high caloric intake of the holidays as we give you a doubleheader with two features on the much publicized and often controversial topic of surgery to address obesity.

Gastric bypass surgery has been well known for its ability to significantly reduce the weight of the patients who seek out this remedy. However, new research seems to indicate that in many of those patients with diabetes, their symptoms are abated or eliminated after undergoing a gastric bypass procedure. While it’s too early to tout gastric bypass as a cure, Eric Seaborg’s article, “Pipe Dreams” on page 13 certainly gives us an in-depth look at the research as well as what the experts have to say.

Likewise, writer Miriam E. Tucker discusses the controversy over what to call bariatric surgery when it’s used specifically to treat diabetes or alleviate other metabolic issues. In “The Name Game” on page 22 she gives us opinions from both sides of this debate, including the issues involving outcomes, treatment, cost-eff ectiveness, and even insurance coverage. Rest assured this conflict will be ongoing for a while.

For decades, Reader’s Digest had a humor column called “Laughter: The Best Medicine,” that spawned numerous books and postings on many a physician’s bulletin board. Melissa Mapes actually puts this theory to the test in “Laughing Matters” on page 26 that includes comments from a variety of healthcare professionals about the healing power of humor. While jokes can prove to be an effective healing tool, it’s important to know when — and with whom — to crack a joke.

With the advent of social media, it’s not surprising that this medium has been used for populations affl icted with certain conditions and ailments. In “Social Therapy” (page 28), Melissa Mapes hones in on this phenomenon and how it has been eff ectively used by people with diabetes. While it gives a welcoming, communitylike forum for diabetics to talk about their specific issues, it’s not a bad idea for physicians to log in and see what concerns their patients have.

Here’s hoping that everyone reading this has a happy and healthy holiday season. See you in 2014 when Endocrine News aims to tackle the Aff ordable Care Act and how it will affect the fi eld of endocrinology. If you have any story ideas or topics you’d like to see in upcoming issues, feel free to drop me a line at mnewman@endocrine.org.

Mark A. Newman
Managing Editor, Endocrine News

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