Hello! Long time no blog but I’m back on the scene now as exams are finished. Yay!!!
Now that I’m not revising and taking A levels I’ve started reading more. I came across an article recently that commented on a recent Diabetes New Zealand campaign that was disappointing Type 1 diabetics. (https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/123359777/type-1-diabetics-disappointed-with-diabetes-nz-campaign )
The controversy centred on the grouping together of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics. The phrase that caught the ire of some was the new “love don’t judge” slogan. The suggestion being that Type 1 was somehow reflective of a lifestyle choice and could be reversed with support (which it can’t).
It was interesting to me to see that even in a country like New Zealand where those who were tasked with spreading awareness were ambiguous in their clarity!
Reading it prompted me to clear up some common misconceptions between the two. Seeing as I am a self-proclaimed Type 1 diabetes black belt (or maybe a more like a purple belt) I feel that it is my duty to attempt to explain and outline these differences.
Type 1 diabetes:
An autoimmune disease in which your body mistakenly attacks the cells in your pancreas which means it cannot make any insulin. It seems to have a genetic basis and its usual onset is during childhood.
Type 1 diabetics are dependent on insulin which can either be injected or pumped into the body.
At present there is no cure for Type 1
Type 2 diabetes:
People with Type 2 do not make enough insulin or insulin that the body can use properly. The cells in the body become resistant to insulin so more insulin is necessary to maintain a normal blood sugar.
Type 2 can be reversed through a maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regime.
It feels to me that the names of the disease are so close that they are used interchangeably whereas, as you have just read, they are very different. In NZ there are 250,000 diabetics of which 90% are Type 2s. So I guess it is up to us Type 1’s to come up with a catchy new name to differentiate.
Any better ideas than my father’s suggestion of “Diabetey McDiabeteyface” are welcome. I subsequently learnt the inspiration of my father’s natty name for my disease was inspired by the internet competition to name a UK research vessel. See the attached article.
Glucose upon publishing: 5.5 mmol/L