Diabetes Podcasts

Now that you are reading a blog about diabetes, you might consider listening to another recent innovation that has several things in common with blogs. I mean podcasts.

Podcasts are even newer than blogs. As I wrote in my article on “Reading Health Blogs” they have actually been around for about a dozen years. Podcasts, on the other hand, only began three years ago.

And podcasts about diabetes didn’t begin until last year. Diabeticfeed was the first.

While host Christel Marchand and producer John Aprigliano no longer update it, the Diabeticfeed podcasts about news, information, and people in the diabetes community, are, however, still available online. In fact, it is just one of about 28 podcasts on diabetes.

The word podcast is itself only two years old. It comes from Apple’s wonderful “iPod” and “broadcast.”

The word podcast is actually a misnomer. You don’t need an iPod to listen to podcasts. All you need is a computer, an Internet connection, and one of many software programs that will play MP3 files.

Nevertheless, I think that an iPod is the best way to listen to podcasts. I formed that opinion after my wife gave me an iPod Nano for my 71st birthday. How many men can say that?

I have been using my iPod Nano a lot lately. Not while I am working on my blog articles, but because of them.

Since I spend so much at my computer researching and writing about diabetes, I have ended up with a painful shoulder and neck. It’s not frozen shoulder, a common complication of diabetes, which I wrote about on my website a couple of years ago. My current treatment is easier.

Cooking my neck and shoulder with a moist hot pad helps a lot. And using that time to listen to great music or to diabetes podcasts is great for reflecting and learning.

I understand that younger people often use their iPods to listen to such stuff as hip-hop. But on my iPod I listen mostly to the wonderful music of Johann Sebastian Bach and ragas that Ali Akbar Khan plays.

I also listen to diabetes podcasts. Like diabetes blogs, diabetes podcasts are free. Also like blogs, podcasts are something that you can subscribe to so that every time someone releases a new podcast it will come right into your computer.

My favorite way to get and hear podcasts is through the iTunes program. This is, of course, an Apple Computer program, but versions run on both Windows and Mac computers. iTunes 7 seems to work essentially the same way on my Macs and on my PC.

To find the diabetes podcasts with iTunes go to iTunes Store, click on Podcasts and in the search blank enter the word diabetes. Click subscribe on those podcasts you want to download.

I think that the most valuable podcasts are Dr. Alan Rubin’s Healthcast and Diabetes Podcasts from dLifeTV and Dr. Rubin is the endocrinologist practicing in San Francisco who wrote one of the two best diabetes books, Diabetes for Dummies. dLife is the first television program specializing in diabetes. Its related website includes a half dozen of my articles.

As I write, Dr. Rubin has 43 substantive podcasts on diabetes ranging from four and one half minutes on “Fat in Fish” to 24 minutes on “How to Quit Smoking.” The most recent of these podcasts went online in June, but Dr. Rubin just wrote me that, “I will be doing a couple in the next week – one on Byetta and one on inhaled insulin.”

I also learned some things I didn’t know about diabetes from his podcasts and from the dLife podcasts, where I enjoyed listening to diabetes experts. Especially valuable, I think, are CDE Janis Roszler’s interviews, including those with researcher Dr. Denise Faustman, and John de Csepel, chief of minimally invasive surgery at Saint Vincent’s Hospital in New York, on gastroparesis.

Podcasts about diabetes are there for the downloading. Then the only thing to do is sit or lie back, listen, and learn.

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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