People With Diabetes

Power of Prevention

The annual convention of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists — those medical specialists who treat diabetes — is underway in Houston. I’m covering the event for The Health Central Network.

The convention took over the George R. Brown Convention Center in the downtown of America’s fourth largest city. The convention center is so big that after Hurricane Katrina 7,000 refugees lived here.

In the mob of today’s convention you might imagine my surprise that the first person I made eye contact with asked if I was David Mendosa. The person who asked was Sarah Senn, who I had sent several photos for an article that she wrote about me. But we had never previously met in person.

That article appeared in print this morning. It came out in Power of Prevention, the AACE’s new magazine for doctors and their patients around the country. Sarah told me that they printed and distributed 600,000 copies.

Dr. Donald Bergman, who chairs the Power of Prevention Committee for the American College of Endocrinology, which is affiliated with the AACE, introduced the new issue at this morning’s press briefing. He is in private practice in New York City and has been clinical professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City since 2004. Today he held up the issue of the new magazine with the article that Sarah wrote about me:

Here is what Sarah wrote about me:

Extraordinary Journeys
David Mendosa
Through the Lens of a Diabetes Patient

By Sarah Senn

David Mendosa is a celebrity in the online diabetes community. He is one of the Internet’s most prolific writers on the topic. Like many others, David did not know what to expect when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. His insightful and research-packed blog entries on topics such as diabetes testing are read by thousands.

In 1994, David went to see his physician because of pain he was having. The doctor ordered blood tests and one showed that his A1C level was dangerously high, at 14.4 percent. David recalls the doctor asking, “Has anyone ever told you that you have diabetes?” The answer was no.

“That diagnosis changed my life,” David explains, “I was enjoying my independence. Life had been so easy that I had put on more than a few pounds.”

Before being diagnosed with diabetes, David served as a Foreign Service Officer for the US government for 15 years. In 1980, he became a freelance writer for a small business magazine. Shortly after his diagnosis in 1994, David decided to put his knack for writing to use discussing something he knew about first-hand — living with diabetes. As a journalist, he already knew how to captivate an audience, and hoped to inspire others by writing about his experiences and success.

To control his diabetes, David started a low-carbohydrate diet, and took anti-diabetic medication for several years. Today, David manages his diabetes with a healthy diet, an exercise program, and with regular visits to his doctor. As a result of his new lifestyle modifications, David brought his weight down from 313 lbs to his current 152 lbs. He has been able to keep the weight off for several years. David has also maintained a lower A1C level, his most recent test result at 4.8 percent.

“I’ve never been healthier or happier,” he exclaims.

David is too busy to let diabetes control of his life, so he’s taken control of his diabetes. Now at age 73, David is an active voice in the online diabetes community. He is a contributing author to a variety of diabetes publications, and is a diabetes consultant for, a leading health information Web site for patients.

David notes that staying active is essential in maintaining his condition. As an avid hiker, photographer, freelance writer and diabetes patient, he encourages other people who have diabetes to find ways to have fun with their exercise. David hopes to motivate others with his blog, “Fitness and Photography for Fun,” which integrates his need to exercise with his loves for hiking and photography. Since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, David has hiked through parks along the Pacific Coast and over mountain trails across Colorado. He has even crossed the Continental Divide on foot. You can visit David’s fitness blog at

Looking back on his experiences, David says: “What people with diabetes have to do to control their disease is exactly what everyone has to do to prevent it.”

For more information about David Mendosa, visit

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

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  • Barkat at

    After practicing medicine for 30 years and lately having read thousands of articles on diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, Alzheimer and cancer, including many of yours, I think, they are all interconnected. i also think that we are being short sighted and are not doing enough to PREVENT such diseases. Additionally we are trying to MANAGE diseased patients and not try and get them cured.

  • David Mendosa at

    Dear Marlene,

    Thanks for writing. Your message was the first one letting me know that the magazine is already out there in doctors’ offices.

    Best regard,


  • Marlene at


    Imagine my delight when I recognized you in the ‘Power of Prevention’ while sitting in the endocrinologist’s waiting room before my first visit a few days ago. We had just made brief email contact last week when you so kindly responded to my email. I had no idea what a guru you were when I wrote to you!

    I am learning so much from your site and deeply appreciate the huge effort that you have put into educating and motivating others with diabetes. You are a wonderful inspiration.

    Your site has brought something important into focus for me – the value and benefit of connecting with the diabetes ‘community’ – of entering the experience and not restricting myself only to communication with the doctors. The management of diabetes is a day by day activity and for me, it is well served by identifying with others who are in a similar situation. It educates me, increases my motivation and inspires me to emulate the ‘guru’s’ lifestyle!

    Thank you so much.