Monday, November 8, 2010

6 Things I Want People To Know About Diabetes

Happy D-blog day everyone! If you are a person without diabetes, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this! I hope you learn something useful!

6. Do not under any circumstance ask the question, "Should you be eating that?" If I'm being completely honest with you, when people ask me that question, every ounce of me wants to round house kick them to the throat. Even with good intentions, what it communicates to us is a narcissistic view that you think you know more about managing a disease that we live with day in and day out, with no weekend vacations. Trust me, if I have a muffin hanging out of my mouth on a Sunday morning at church, I've probably already done a math equation involving carb counts, blood sugar levels, fiber, stress and exercise. So in a nut shell, shut it.

5. With that being said, don't be afraid to ask diabetics honest questions about diabetes. Though it bothers me when the "diabetes police" come out to try and arrest me for my food choices, I do love it when people ask me honest questions about my diabetes or my insulin pump. I am ALL about explaining the differences in Type 1 and Type 2, explaining how my pump or glucose monitor works, helping new diabetics with recipes and giving encouragement! Advocacy is actually something that brings some peace and gratitude to the situation of dealing with a broken pancreas each day!

4. Speaking of differences, I really want the world to know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes! So here it is cut and dry......

3. Type 1 Diabetes: It was formerly called juvenile diabetes and typically (but not always) occurs before the age of 20. People with type 1 diabetes are usually thin, and the cause of type 1 diabetes is that the pancreas, the organ that secretes insulin, is destroyed by autoantibodies, that's why people with type 1 diabetes always need insulin, either injected or through an insulin pump. Type 1 diabetes occurs in about 10-15 percent of all the diabetics in the country. It can not be reversed. There is no cure.

2. Type 2 Diabetes: Is the most common type making up 85%-90% of all diabetics. Type 2 diabetics are usually heavy, usually diagnosed after the age of 35. The cause of type 2 diabete is primarily a complicated medical condition called 'insulin resistance.' In fact, in the early stages of type 2 diabetes, there's plenty of insulin around, it just doesn't work well. To treat type 2 diabetes, doctors typically use lifestyle (diet and exercise), oral medications, and/or insulin with oral meds. (Excerpts taken from Dr. Steve Edelmen's interview on

5. But wait! There is one more! Type 1.5 LADA: Latent Autoimmune Disorder in Adults: A genetically-linked, hereditary autoimmune disorder that results in the body mistaking the pancreas as foreign and responds by attacking and destroying the insulin-producing beta islet cells of the pancreas. Simply stated, LADA, is an "allergy to self." In its early stages it typically presents as type 2 diabetes and is often misdiagnosed as such. However, it more closely resembles the juvenile form of type 1 diabetes, although it is not classified as the same disease.

I'm seriously proud of you if you've made it this far! Consider yourself a smart, well informed person who cares about diabetics! Seriously, go hug the nearest pancreas to you right now! Or eat a salad in celebration!

6. Lastly, INSULIN IS NOT A CURE. It is a dang good treatment, but it is far from a cure. Please contribute to worthy causes like the DRI or the JDRF who are working hard on a cure. If you can't donate, watch this video! For each view in November 2010, money will be donated to help children get lifesaving children in underprivileged countries. (Plus you get to see my friend Manny bite it on the ice, and my favorite Ninja make an awesome swoosh on the court!)

P.S. Yes, I know my numbers don't make any sense on this post, kinda like my life with diabetes!!


Allison said...

I don't agree with asking questions to PWDs! How are we to expect knowledge if we tell non-PWDs to hush up and leave us alone? That only helps to perpetuate misinformation because nothing ever gets explained!

Windy said...

I think you completely misunderstood the diabetes police issue. In the next point I encouraged lots of honest questions. Maybe you didn't make it that far.... I was simply stating that I really don't like getting questioned on everything I put in my mouth.

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