Hollywood’s version of diabetes not always accurate

    The cable channel Lifetime is airing a remake of the now-classic tearjerker “Steel Magnolias.”

    Many people were curious about how diabetes would be portrayed in the movie more than 20 years after the original was released.

    Dr. Christopher Dunne cares for kids with diabetes at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia and gives the movie a “thumbs up” for entertainment value, a so-so score for medical accuracy.

    After seeing the movie, one of his 15-year-old patients came in worried about diabetic coma.

    “She brought that up to me and said, is that going to happen to me?” Dunne said. “I think they did it more for shock value. I tell all my kids if you have good control, there’s no reason to have outcomes like that. So there was a discrepancy between what was portrayed and what is real life.”

    Mike Hoskins, who blogs on the website DiabetesMine, says his readers noticed some updates in the retelling. Everyday concerns such as checking blood sugar and the need for regular doctors visits were included.

    Hoskins says many older depictions of diabetes have been clichéd and incorrect.

    “There would been some misinformation. There’d be some stereotype. You know … it’d be … it’s a kids disease for type I … or you get it because you ate sugar, or you’re basically lazy or overweight.”

    Hoskins, similar to the character in the film, has the rarer type of diabetes — type I.

    People with that kind of diabetes typically do not produce insulin and need outside insulin to help convert food into energy. Hoskins says he didn’t notice a mention of an insulin pump or injections in the movie.

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