Nov. 9th is D-Blog day, a day when the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) all post a blog related to a specific chosen topic. This year’s topic, created by Gina Capone (a fellow Type 1 who has just had her first baby this week!) is an open letter to the media and what we would want them to know about diabetes. This is an easy one for me, as I am always venting to people about how frustrating it is to hear how inaccurate the media too often portrays diabetes.
Dear 6 O’Clock News Broadcaster:
During the ‘Healthbeat’ or whatever you call your medical/health segment, I would greatly appreciate it if you took a minute to change your verbage around diabetes:
- Please don’t say things like:
“Diabetes – leading cause of blindness” instead say; “Diabetes – recent study shows link to eye disease in poorly controlled diabetics”
“Obesity – leading cause of diabetes in children” instead say; “Childhood obesity has led to an increase in Type 2 diabetes among obese children”
” Epidemic – the growing number of Americans with diabetes costing our healthcare system billions” instead say; “The cost of healthcare is a growing concern for the millions of people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes who need frequent medical care”
“Pregnancy and Diabetes: leading cause of birth defects among babies born to diabetic mom’s” instead say ” Babies born to mother’s with pre-existing poorly controlled type 1 diabetes or those with poorly controlled Gestational diabetes at higher risk of birth defects”
” Diabetes is one of the leading causes of death….” instead say: “Individuals with poorly controlled diabetes who do not seek appropriate medical care are at a higher risk for complications which include…”
All I ask is that you be slightly more specific and don’t always make it sound like it’s the patients’ fault for having this disease or that we are an assumed burden on everyone around us. I understand that in an effort to raise awareness and money for the cure of this disease, that it is often more appropriate to lump type 1 and type 2 together and just say “diabetes”. However, if the opportunity arises and it makes sense to break out the sub-groups, especially when it comes to Children with diabetes or pregnancy, please do so. This will make my unwavering effort to dispel these inaccuracies that much easier!