I have had type 2 diabetes for 18 years, and have spent about half of that time discussing it publicly. Over time, I’ve come to recognize there are numerous things people don’t fully comprehend about diabetes – here are four of them.
- “Diabetic” Ought Not Be Utilized As A Thing
Please don’t mistake me for being just another “diabetic.” I may have diabetes, but please don’t see me simply as that! I am also a wife, stepmother, daughter, auntie, sister-in-law, niece and cousin as well as being an entrepreneur, cook, essayist formula designer photographic artist consultant rental property holder accountant wellness fan advocate peruser avid supporter care group pioneer among other things — not to mention other roles I fulfill! Moreover it makes me angry to hear stories about children being called out by their schools as “the diabetic.” We are people living with diabetes as much as anyone else; all we are just different compared to how people with no diabetes; all humans we share it!
- Type 1 And Type 2 Are Not Something Similar
Type 1 diabetes is an immune system disease. When this happens, the body attacks insulin-producing cells in the pancreas and leads to no insulin being produced – without it, death follows quickly; individuals living with type 1 must needlessly inject themselves with it to stay alive. To stay alive. People living with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, yet their bodies don’t use it effectively overall. Over time, their insulin-producing cells could become depleted from overuse; but lifestyle modifications, prescription drugs or in some cases insulin can all help manage it effectively. There’s also latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA), commonly referred to as type 1.5. This condition combines features from both types 1 and 2. When someone discovers you have diabetes and asks whether it’s “the bad kind”, it can be very disconcerting – none are good choices!
- Everybody’s Diabetes Is Unique
There’s no one-size-fits-all diabetes management plan; even if you find something that works now, it might no longer work in 10 years’ time. Where once I could consume 60-70 grams of starches at one meal; now 40 is enough. Others with diabetes might only consume that amount per day. Everyone’s diabetes experience varies; for some of us eating sweet food sources such as pasta or potatoes in moderation without feeling self-conscious is perfectly acceptable; we know our own weight management plans best and appreciate any comments such as: Would it be prudent for me really to consume that amount? Ultimately. Thank you all.
- I Didn’t Get Diabetes Since I Ate An Excess Of Sugar
I find it offensive when people make jokes like: “That cake was so sweet, I thought I planned to get diabetes.” Please understand: eating sugar doesn’t cause diabetes! While being overweight and failing to exercise regularly increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, other factors also contribute; age, hereditary qualities and being from specific ethnic backgrounds all factor in. So please try to move past any misperception that people with diabetes are fat, lazy couch potatoes who indulge in sweet treats all day or “did this to themselves” by making poor lifestyle decisions – these ideas need to be put aside in order for true understanding to occur.
The Focus Point
There are currently over 30 million Americans living with diabetes and an additional 84 million with prediabetes in the US alone. Therefore, increasing awareness about what exactly diabetes is will benefit us all in equal measure.