Type 1 = Insulin from DAY 1

May 24, 2012By 0 Comments

I am sorry.  I need to rant for a minute here.  Part of my passion in life is educating people who do not know anything about any type of diabetes and finding creative ways to help them understand, if not relate to what those of us with any type of diabetes go through on a daily basis.  Part of my job as a diabetic and as a diabetes advocate is fixing the misunderstandings.

Let me start by saying that while not every type of diabetes is treated exactly the same, we all do have one thing in common which is the side-effects of our disease including blood sugar changes, daily routines, and fighting to prevent or delay complications.  Now, as far as I know, the diabetes nomenclature hasn’t changed.  It is however interpreted differently by patients and unfortunately by people that we are supposed to trust, our physicians.  So, I can’t blame the patients who think that they all of a sudden can call their long-standing type 2 diabetes a newly diagnosed type 1 once their primary care physician puts them on insulin and says so.  This is not the case.  When you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, sometimes you are prescribed diet and exercise, or maybe one pill a day, or maybe they even put you on a one-shot-a-day long acting insulin.  Down the road, if or when you are put on a meal time insulin, you still have type 2 diabetes, but now you are on insulin.  It’s not simple, but the title should remain uncomplicated.  On a side note, there are many middle-aged adults that should technically be diagnosed as type 1 because they need multiple-daily injections right away, but doctors misdiagnosed them as type 2 based on age or weight.

I am only correcting this because as part of the very small percentage (less than 3 million of the 25 million people living with diabetes are in fact type 1).  As the JDRF puts it, Type 1 diabetes strikes both children and adults at any age. It comes on suddenly, causes dependence on injected or pumped insulin for life. 

I ask that everyone fight together to raise awareness for all types of this disease so that we can fight for the best drugs, devices and cures available.  I only separate the terms because there are often differences in how a type 2 or type 1 diabetic is cared for by their medical team and there are also differences in terms of insurance coverage (which often is unfair for both sides).  While both types have so much in common, it’s important for us to understand where we all started so that we can help one another get where we are going.  I hope I am not offending anyone!!!  I am just wanting to make things less confusing for the already misinformed non-diabetics of the world.

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