Spike hype | Diabetogenic

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The trend of people without diabetes obsessing over their glucose levels has become increasingly common (and increasingly annoying). Remember when some journo hack likened wearing a CGM to a polygraph test? And that time CGMs were hailed as a weight-loss tool? These days, spotting a Libre sensor on an upper arm no longer guarantees a diabetes in the wild encounter at the local farmers’ market. It could just be a bloke tracking his perfectly in range glucose levels after devouring a steak. With butter. For breakfast. 

But just when we thought we’d reached peak glucose obsession, in steps Jessie Inchauspé, who smugly calls herself ‘the Glucose Goddess’, peddling her ‘Anti-Glucose Spike’ capsules with the zeal of a medieval alchemist. Her evangelical followers are behaving as if she’s just unearthed the holy grail of endocrinology, but in reality, it’s a flask of nostrum, a concoction containing a mishmash of herbs. And cinnamon. Because of course it does.

It’s not hard to realise that this is less miracle cure, and more nonsense without any semblance of scientific backing. Looking for peer-reviewed studies or clinical trials to understand the influencer-led hype? Sorry, there are none. What you will find is a masterclass in marketing to those in pursuit of eternal ‘wellness’. 

But dig deeper and Inchauspé’s potion becomes more than just an ineffective supplement; it’s a symbol of the insidious ways in which diet culture infiltrates our perceptions of health and wellbeing. By suggesting that normal glucose fluctuations are something to fear and fix, Inchauspé is not just selling a product; she’s selling a problem. She is capitalising on the anxiety many feel about their eating habits, offering a solution to a non-existent issue for those without diabetes. And she is exploiting a fundamental misunderstanding about how the body works, turning the natural process of glucose regulation into something to be feared and needing a cure. Oh, and look! She has the cure! It’s a classic case of creating a problem to sell the solution – a solution that, in reality, does nothing but lighten wallets and propagate myths.

There’s a reason I get so furious when I see these sorts of scams. Inchauspé isn’t just misleading the wellness crowd. The ripple effect is that the misconceptions she’s peddling are harmful to people with diabetes.

People without diabetes, I urge you: Please stop misusing the term ‘spike’ in reference to your glucose levels when what you mean is a perfectly normal, healthy bodily responses to food. Your bodies handle these variations seamlessly. Seriously, it’s magic. Instead of throwing a pointless pill at it, marvel at the brilliance. I only wish that my body did that all on its own. 

The word ‘spike’ has a very different, often challenging, reality for people like me. It represents the balancing act of wearing devices that talk to each other and respond based on an algorithm (still don’t know what that word means) while my brain goes into overdrive as I attempt fail to correctly count carbs, wonder if the walk to the café needs to be factored into how much insulin I need for my latte, consider my stress levels, contemplate if it’s likely that I could possibly be getting my period (unlikely, hello peri!), check the humidity level, and do the hokey pokey. That’s what it’s all about (to us)!

The problematic narrative that ‘spikes’ need to be ‘cured’ or ‘controlled’ with a monthly subscription of a herb cocktail trivialises the complexities of necessary glucose management. And it suggests that managing glucose levels is as simple as popping a pill, ignoring the intricate and often unpredictable nature of diabetes.

Even with the most advanced AID and exceptional tech brain, those of us with diabetes still experience fluctuations in our glucose graphs. When scammers like the Glucose Grinch sensationalise these fluctuations, it adds unnecessary alarm and misunderstanding about how diabetes works.

And it gives people buying into the hype a false sense of their own expertise in glucose management. Everyone becomes an authority on glucose. Everyone must fixate on their glucose levels. And so, everyone becomes an expert in the issue. Respectfully, that expertise is completely unfounded! You know who are experts in glucose management? Those of us who have to actually manage our own glucose every single day. You know, the people actually living with diabetes!

P.S. I seriously love the take that diabetes advocate from Netherlands, Eline, took when Anti-Glucose Spike was launched. She immediately took back the name ‘Glucose Goddess’, giving it to people who deserve it: people with diabetes! Find Eline on Instagram (@typisch_ein) and add your Glucose Goddess image using the template she’s provided in her GG highlight reel.

Screenshot of an Instagram Story that reads 'Here's what a real Glucose Goddess looks like'. There is an image of a CGM graph and a photo of Eline.



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