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PEP Talk

Diabetes Divorce

Recent headlines have read, “Diabetes Civil War” and “Type 1s seek split from type 2s.”  Anyone connected to diabetes has had the often heated discussion at one time or another: the difference between type 1 and type 2.  We threw the topic out to our Facebook group.  Read what members had to say about it.  And if you want to join the PEP Talk, check us out on Facebook.

With all of the media attention on obesity and diabetes, do you find that you are always explaining the difference between type 1 and type 2 to people who think all diabetes is the same? What kind of response do you get after the "education" process? How important is it, to you, for people to know the difference?
November 30 at 6:50am

yes...I didn't know...and very important that my grandson not be pitied or treated like he is Typhoid Mary.
November 30 at 7:10am

Yes, It is very fustrating.They always say, oh she can loose weight and excersise and she will be fine. Then I have to tell them everybody should do this and explain the difference between 1&2.
November 30 at 7:48am

It can be very frustrating. People often assume that we caused the T1 and my daughter needs to be on a special diet. I try to educate without sounding preachy but it's hard.
November 30 at 8:24am

I have never seen a "fat" type 1.
November 30 at 8:25am

People assume that he's fat, I loaded him up with sugar and crap, and all he has to do now is stay away from sugar and it will go away. After a bit of education, the response is usually "wow, I had no idea." I'm all for the movement to rename type 1 and give it distance from the T2's.
November 30 at 8:45am

This one time while we were eating out and this waiter saw that we were giving him his insulin and he came over and told him that if he watched what he ate that he wouldn't have to take his insulin. I was shocked. I looked over at him and tried to explain what the difference was in type 1 and in type 2 but he just didn’t want to listen to me until my 5-year-old son said, "If I don’t take my insulin I will die!"  Then he looked over at me and said what are you teaching your son. I said I tell him nothing but the truth about what could happen if he and I don’t take care of his diabetes.  I wish that there were more education about the two but all I can do is help spread the word about it where ever I go.
November 30 at 9:24am

People will say "Oh I have type 2, I know what he is going through." It upsets me sometimes. I know they are trying to relate but they don't have any idea. They had a childhood. I agree, Diane, wish they change the name.
November 30 at 10:09am

Constantly. And I usually get blank stares back, like "Why are you telling me all this?" I think only one or two people have actually thanked me. It is very important that they know the difference and that I did not do anything to make this happen to my son -- it just happened.
November 30 at 10:29am

I agree with Diane, and wish T1 had a name to differentiate it further from T2. I have given so many lessons to friends, family and strangers in the 2 yrs since our daughter's diagnosis. Most are thankful to have the knowledge. I try hard not to get angry with their questions, remembering that if I can explain the difference to one more person, maybe our kids might be spared an insensitive comment in the future.  (You must have been a fat baby? and You ate too much junk food? or All you do is stay away from candy and have a shot in the morning, right? etc.)
November 30 at 10:44am

I had my son's 4-H leader tell me, after I explained the difference, that I was "making too big a deal" and she had read that if he lost some weight he would be "all better," so I should just feed him better. FWIW, he is in the 90% percentile for height and only the 50th for weight so he is NOT overweight. ARGH!!!! To me, it is frustrating that some people do not want to be educated.
November 30 at 11:49am

This topic really hits home. My 14 yr old was told by a classmate that even though she ate too much sweets and got diabetes, she is still her friend. My daughter was already having a hard time this year with trying so hard not to be just that “diabetic girl” and this comment almost brought her to tears.  Her teacher stepped in and corrected the other student.  Later that evening, my daughter said, “There needs to be more commercials about type 1…there needs to be more education about the differences between type 1 and type 2.” This is just the latest episode in our lives in regards to uneducated people.  I’ve explained numerous times to people and even had one sub nurse at her old school tell me to feed my daughter better food so she won’t have it anymore…A NURSE!
November 30 at 5:19pm

I live with both: I have a type 2 husband and we have a type 1 daughter. We need to stop this civil war and work together. Have any of you listened to Manny Hernandez's YouTube video? Yes, 90% of diabetics are type 2, but most of the money for research is raised by families of type 1. The enemy is not type 2: the enemy is ignorance.  This is something we can fight together.

I think finding a new name for type 1 is the most asinine thing.  There are enough similarities to keep the name for both.  The people that don’t know can be educated.  Be patient.
November 30 at 7:29pm

I get all the time...your daughter is too thin to have diabetes. I used to explain, but I am SO SO over it! We know what is what and that is all that matters. I know that it sounds harsh.
November 30 at 10:03pm

Kaileen I totally disagree. My father has type 2 and my daughter has type 1, and when Baby Sara was diagnosed, my uneducated-about-diabetes father cried because he thought he "gave" it to her. Although the diseases are similar (both dealing with the pancreas and insulin), they are very different.  A heart murmur and congestive heart failure both deal with problems with blood pumping through the heart and their names are noticeably different.  I understand that it is people's ignorance that is the problem but changing the name slightly would cure a lot of confusion about both types of diabetes~I am all for a name change!!
November 30 at 10:50pm

Oh! I just read that article in Sunday's paper. I truly wish there was a different name for Type I.
December 4 at 9:01pm

Boy with type 1 diabetes gives himself an insulin injection.
Should there be a new name to better distinguish type 1 from type 2?  What do you think?  Join the conversation on Facebook!

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