22 Things To Remember About Type 1

A very good list, but I do not agree with all of them. How about you?


Richard - Thanks for linking to this list. A have a few comments about the list and I know your link does not indicate that you agree with them.

The first two points make an error that I’ve made myself without knowing the full implication of these positions. Here are the points in question:

  1. They constantly face misguided judgments
    Many people don’t know that Type 1 Diabetes is inherited. Your loved one constantly feels faulted by ignorant people for eating too much sugar or not exercising.
  1. They have an incurable autoimmune disease, not a lifestyle disease
    They cannot cure their disease by changing their diet or by exercising. Please help them by correcting people who suggest they quit eating sugar or start riding a bike.

I disagree with these points because they imply that other people with diabetes, read T2D, did get diabetes by eating too much sugar or not exercising. This feeds into the whole blame/shame game that so many in our society mistakenly believe.

No one with diabetes, no matter the type, caused their diabetes through lifestyle!

T1Ds should not try to educate the public about diabetes by defending people with T1D at the expense of people with T2D.

I’m not aiming my rhetoric at you, Richard, just the notion that T2D is caused by gluttony and sloth. Many people are spring-loaded to see the world through this fundamentalist lens. It’s just not true!


The bits about hypo alert dogs and hovering parents are a little out of whack.

The repeated implication that T1 diabetics have a lot of friends who died of T1 diabetes… not generally true. I’ve been part of T1 support groups etc. and yes I know folks who have died of T1 but the overlap is not there. Odd that they would think that T1 diabetics must have a lot of friends who are T1 diabetics!! Given inheritance factor it is far more likely T1’s have a close or not so close relative who died of T1 (possibly decades ago when things were much more stone-knives-and-bearskins.)

Honestly, the stigma of T1 diabetes is nothing like when I was diagnosed 33 years ago. Or maybe I’m just a lot thicker skinned than I was back then and don’t care what other people think. Sure lots of people have wrong ideas but that’s true about any subject!

I don’t have the impression this thing was actually written by someone with T1. A lot of it reads like a non-T1’s idea of things to remember about T1.

I agree with everyone above. The part about a diabetes alert dog being a “great gift” is also a bit ridiculous. Service dogs can’t be given as gifts—usually they are selected by organizations as puppies and matched with applicants in a training program. I suppose a gift could cover the cost (if there is one) of getting a dog… But giving someone a random puppy as a gift doesn’t mean that puppy will automatically become a great service dog.

I was going to make the same point. Though parenthetically I gotta say I do still struggle with being on the receiving end of this canard because as a T1 I end up having to do kind of an awkward two-step with people who are none too, let’s say, intellectually flexible to begin with. It pissses me off sufficiently that I want to smack them back about T1, which is relatively straightforward, whereas it’s harder to take on the T2 canard, which is pervasively echoed throughout the media in stories and editorials about “America’s Obesity Epidemic” of which “diabetes” (rarely differentiated) is always invoked as a symptom. And just in the nature of things I’m going to have more authority speaking about my own condition than someone else’s. But I totally agree that we need to do what we can and I’m trying to be more proactive about it when the topic comes up.

No.1 says T1 is inherited. That is true in some cases, but there are many T1’s who do not have any relatives with T1. I do not have anyone among my relatives with T1. I did have several childhood diseases when I was 5, and my symptoms appeared while I was recovering.

No.5 mentions that hypos, when not treated properly, can cause death. It fails to mention that hyperglycemia can also be just as serious and cause deaths.

No.10 suggests that most T1’s are diagnosed with the very young, bu more than half are actually diagnosed in their early 20s, and older. I have read about some who were in their 80s when diagnosed.

I also posted this response to Richard’s Facebook post, but of course #10 and #11 are factually incorrect. #10: The vast majority of new-onset Type 1 is seen in adults–always has been. The U.S. CDC says the majority of new onset Type 1 is seen in those 20 and older. It is not a childhood disease and it is a dangerous myth to promote that T1D is a childhood disease. Then #11: as so many on TuD have reported, including founder Manny Hernandez and yours truly Melitta, if you acquire Type 1 as an adult, you are probably going to be misdiagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes. So while 5-10% of all people with diabetes may be CORRECTLY diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, about 10% of people diagnosed with “Type 2” diabetes are autoantibody positive, have been misdiagnosed, and have Type 1 autoimmune diabetes. Otherwise, I actually agree with a lot of these “22 things.”