Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Am I crazy to want them to distinguish between the two?!

Yesterday THIS article appeared in the local paper.

Am I just sensitive or does the fact that they do not distinguish the difference between Type1 and Type2 bug the pants off you too? They just lump them all together...making statements that could have been accurate...erroneous. The last paragraph really bothered me...why can't they say Type 2 Diabetes instead of just Diabetes? The woman who's quote this is, works with what I assume are Type 2 Diabetics. Does she really not understand that the two are different?

Come on people...and I being too sensitive? AM I?????????????

It's OK to say I am...but boy did it pi** me off.

Immediately after reading this article I wrote this letter. Below is my rough draft, I made a couple changes in my email...but you get the idea. I also know it's really long...but when I want to educate I get spontaneous diarrhea of the keyboard.

Thank you for your article regarding World Diabetes Day. Although much of it is accurate, you failed to distinguish the difference between Type 1, (also called Juvenile Diabetes,) and Type 2 Diabetes. The classification of Diabetes is made in general terms. Many of the statements simply refer to “diabetes” rather than distinguishing a specific type. Because of this, many of the statements in the article are misleading. Almost all the statements and quotes are referring to Type 2, but imply both Types.

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are completely different diseases. Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease in which the body mistakenly attacks the islet cells in the pancreas, destroying the body’s ability to produce insulin. It has nothing to do with a person’s diet, and furthermore, diet and exercise will not reverse it. The statement in the end of your article says, “. People often develop diabetes due to lack of activity, and because of eating prepared, rather than fresh, foods. There is no cure for it, but it is a controllable disease: People need to improve their mobility and nutrition.” It is very misleading. This is absolutely NOT the case for Type 1 Diabetics. The purpose of World Diabetes Day is to educate and I feel although this article was written to do such, it certainly was misleading, asserting that both these diseases are caused due to poor diet and exercise.

In a recent study done by the American Diabetes Association they found that only 1/3 of those polled knew that too much sugar did not cause Type 1 Diabetes. Also just 12 percent of those surveyed knew that people with Type 1 Diabetes don’t’ have to follow a more restrictive diet than the healthy diet that is recommended for the general population. (Side note: Thanks to Le Ann's blog for these facts!)

This article hit very close to home as I have three young children with Type 1 Diabetes. They were diagnosed at 8 months, 2 years and 5 years old. All three boys are on insulin pumps and endure many comments in the community in regards to their condition. We want the world to know that no, they will not grow out of this disease. No, a new diet and exercise routine will not reverse their diabetes or make it more manageable. My children can eat what any other healthy child can eat, and that includes an occasional cookie, cupcake or ice cream cone. They each prick their fingers 10 times a day to keep their blood sugars in check. I wake up at least once every night to check their blood sugars, as diabetes never sleeps. Stress, illness, excitement, exercise and food ALL can fluctuate their blood sugars. They insert a new pump line every 2 days. It is a heartbreaking process that is part of life with diabetes. Low blood sugars cause comas, seizures, headaches, and stomach aches…high blood sugars cause flu like symptoms and extreme thirst. Complications from high blood sugars are one of the few things Type 1 Diabetics have in common with Type 2 Diabetics.

My heart also goes out to those with Type 2 diabetes. My mother and father in law suffer from this disease and it is also, very misunderstood. They lead a very restrictive lives, and it is a very complicated disease to control. I believe Type 2’s do not get the education and care that they need and deserve. I once was in line at the pharmacy behind a woman getting pills for the first time after just being diagnosed with Type 2. The pharmacist asked how often she will be checking her blood sugar. The woman replied, she didn’t know what that meant, and did not have a monitor to check it. How could a doctor prescribe pills and not give someone a blood sugar monitor? The pharmacist ended up giving her the pills without a monitor. I cannot stress how dangerous this was.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 have a long way to go before the population fully understands the ramifications of both diseases. We hope that World Diabetes Day will help educate, but it will only do so if those reporting have a good grasp on both Types of Diabetes.

I don't know, after reading it again it doesn't do my thoughts justice...but I sent it out to the writer of the article AND the editor. It feels good to say my peace and now I will, hopefully, be able to let it go.

On a brighter and more exciting note...I just found out that they will be lighting the San Francisco Ferry Building in blue on November 14! There will be a ceremony and all are asked to show their blue colors by painting their face blue and putting blue celephane over flashlights. Can I even tell you how excited I am to wear our shirts! I am so excited to go I am honestly bursting!

Yay World Diabetes Day!!!!! Yay for people who get it!!!!! Yay for educating those who dont!!!!

Update: I just got this email...
Hi Meri,

I appreciate the e-mail. Yes, I should have made a distinction between Type
1 and Type 2. I appreciate you pointing this out, and will make the
distinction clear in future articles..


Dan Johnson

*So do I leave it at that, or kindly ask that they put a correction in the paper? *


  1. Maybe you could kindly ask that they correct it in the paper...and if they don't- write a letter to the editor! Umm....I think you could ask a *few* of your friends to help you as well! :)

  2. I agree with what Amy said. On a side note, that is awesome that they're lighting up the SF Ferry Building. Are you going to make the trek to the city?

    I haven't heard a peep about anything that's being done here... sad.

  3. yeah you should ask for a correction in the paper and also on another note nothing is being done here for world diabetes day . I think it stinks that most major citys dont do anything for world diabetes day .

  4. I would kindly asked for the paper to make the correction.. I see papers make corrections often.

    Glad the bay area is lighting up for world diabetes day. There is a big event at the capitol too.

  5. I agree... they Should correct it.
    This is the reason a lot of people thing we caused our kids diabetes.

  6. Ditto! I would ask them politely to please make the correction now!

  7. This drives me nuts too!!! DRIVES ME NUTS!! I would definitely kindly ask them to make a retraction.

  8. Hi Meri!

    First I want to say that I recently came across your blog and you are an inspiration to me. I also have two daughters who have type 1 diabetes, they were diagnosed within 1 year of each other and it has been extremely difficult. This whole life is still pretty new to me, but I can tell you that I am extremely uncomfortable with how ALL media simply refers to diabetes as just that "diabetes" with no distinction between the two. Thank you for making our voices heard!

  9. It makes me crazy when they don't distinguish too!

    Good for you!


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