One of my diabuddies recently posted an article on Facebook about a petition two mothers are putting together to give Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes two separate names so that we can clarify to the public that these are two different diseases. I was so excited to see this article. I have nothing against Type 2 diabetics, but I have to admit, I get frustrated when people hear I have diabetes and immediately think I have Type 2 and try to tell me how to manage my disease when in fact Type 1 is managed completely different.
I think it is important to separate the two. Not to say the one is better or worse than the other, but they are very different. For starters, Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune chronic illness that is not brought on by diet or lifestyle. We have to have insulin all day everyday (because we don’t produce it anymore), and our blood sugars are affected by everything we do, not just by the food we are putting in our bodies. Type 2 Diabetes for some is caused by lifestyle and obesity (which is in the persons control) and for others age and genetics (which are not in the persons control). People with Type 2 diabetes still produce insulin; their bodies are just insulin resistant. This disease can be controlled by diet and exercise, but in cases where the disease has progressed the person may be put on oral medication and/or insulin injections.
One of the most interesting parts of their petition was talking about changing the names so that advocates of each disease will no longer be lumped together and can get their own individual message out to the public. They mentioned the money for fundraising for Type 1’s and Type 2’s need to go towards two different things. Of course we need to find a cure for Type 2, but until then putting the money towards educating about lifestyle changes works just fine. But this education is a waste on someone with Type 1 because there is no way to prevent it from happening to you. They also mentioned that giving Type 2 it’s own name will help to shine a different light on its meaning and also help to bring awareness to Type 1 and give it the attention is finally deserves.
I am really excited about this petition and the goals these women have created with it. I think all of their goals for their petition are well thought out and not only help just one disease, but both. Check it out for yourself. http://www.change.org/petitions/revise-names-of-type-1-2-diabetes-to-reflect-the-nature-of-each-disease