I have simply had this post on the edit shelf for a while now and would like to air it.
We persistently get slammed by the media about diabetes, how it is out of control in modern society, how the numbers are staggering and numerous other sensationalized claims. The problem is they are generally referring to Type 2 Diabetes. Which in why I am writing about the topic. As it is my opinion that media needs to clarify the differences, and the public needs to be aware that there are two distinct types of diabetes, and 2 distinct disease processes taking place.
Instead Type 1 PWD fall through the cracks from a media perspective. Even looking at my own community I notice; more support groups, classes, and options for Type 2 diabetes then for Type 1 diabetes. It is my opinion that this is largely related to the public's misconception of the two different types.
To give you an example of how the media can screw things up; remember Oprah's show a few months back, that was blogged about and discussed online, whereby they(Dr Oz and Her) failed miserably to differentiate between the 2 types of diabetes. More recently there was a huge uproar from a Dr in the USA who runs a fitness club who grouped the two types together, and blamed type one on lifestyle(he retracted the article immediately) These two scenarios are obvious examples as to how the public is susceptible to these blanket media statements grouping diabetes into one common disease process.
Frankly it's down right irritating. I have considered(if I didn't have five kids to feed) starting a nationwide road show to tell people the difference. We(Type 1's) wake up one day and wham, our pancreas is no longer in working order, so we require lifelong insulin to live. It is autoimmune, nothing lifestyle related.
I pulled some information from a 2009 Type 1 Diabetes Facts and Statistic Hand from the JDRF.
- Diabetes affects 246 million people world wide
- Expected to increase to 380 million by 2025
- More then 2.4 million Canadians suffer from some type of Diabetes
- Over 240000 people have type 1 diabetes
So to look at the above numbers as usual the stats are the same as they have been in terms of the difference in prevalence between type 1 and type 2 since I was a young diabetic. 90 % or more Canadians have Type 2 or other type of diabetes and 10% have Type 1. So I get it, since we are 10% of the total population of diabetes, are more resources are allocated to type 2? Maybe it is just easier to group us together based on the 10% number, who knows?!
But i do feel, and know that governments, and the general voter may or may not know the differences and decisions are being made regarding allocating funds for coverage etc. Like tests strips, insulin, pumps, etc.
To me it's a no brainer! We Type 1 PWD could do nothing to prevent us or our loved ones from getting this disease. Nothing, zilch, the big zero. We could not prevent it by changing lifestyle, losing weight, eating less sugar as a kid, it had nothing to do with breast feeding, or not using oregano in our sauces.
So to me, funds should be allocated completely differently for type 1 diabetes compared to type 2. Not saying Type 2's don't deserve funding, not at all, this is a major health issue, but what I am saying is that Type One Diabetes Is Uncontrollable in its Onset, so we should be covered, period.
Media and Politicians, need to understand this concept, and educate people about diabetes correctly. For goodness sake people just google type 1 and read about it, then google Type 2 read about, before discussing it publicly.
Wait a minute, maybe I should start writing to the editor?! Sorry just had an epiphany.
In the meantime, as I know all PWD do all too often, we have to educate friends, strangers, and others who have no understanding of the distinct differences in Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.
The problem with the spot light being primarily focused on Type 2, is that Type 1 people tend to fall through the cracks.
PS: Let me know your thoughts, from other areas of the globe especially. Or if you feel I am totally in left field.