How often do you explain to people the difference between Type 1 & Type 2?

I am the textbook “type 2 diabetic type” that everyone expects to see when they hear the words, so I don’t have much trouble trying to explain what type I am:

Middle-aged, obese, pale and not very athletic in my appearance. Check, check, check…

However, I am insulin dependent and I do have to explain to people that, no, my diabetes would not just “go away” if I lost weight.

They always look baffled and/or skeptical when I try to explain that I have a genetic disease – that there are tens of millions of obese people in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and older who will never get diabetes, while there are others with a genetic predisposition to diabetes that often manifests itself in symptoms long before the diabetes finally is diagnosed (PCOS, reactive hypoglycemia, metabolic syndrome, etc.) some of whom will get type 2 diabetes despite being active, of a normal weight and eating a “healthy” diet.

I’ve tried to explain that no, I don’t have diabetes because I’m lazy, but because of a complex genetic weirdness that is not fully understood by doctors and that it can be very, very, very difficult to manage.

As a result of all the people thinking that diabetes has a direct cause-and-effect relationship with willful self-abuse with food and laziness – and that losing weight will automatically cure diabetes – I almost never bring it up, and as soon as I see that skeptical and/or glazed look in their eyes, I either change the subject or find a reason to walk away and do something else.

What’s the point in trying to educate people who already think they know it all?

That was a type o in my last post, I KNEW very little at the time I was diagnosed. I have been at this game for 9 years and I am very well educated in both type 1 and type 2. I probably know more than you on the subject of type 1 vs type 2 and what treatments are available and what are the possible side effects of most treatments. I probably know more than you about the impacts of nutrition on the body and the control of bg’s an how each piece of food potentially impacts the body.

My point to make was that 9 years ago the internet was not at our finger tips and information was not readily available so there was not a place like tudiabetes to get inforamtion and my doctors never classified me.

I know that type 2 can take pills and insulin and other combinations. My point to make was that others people who do not have diabetes have a misunderstanding that all type 2s have to shoot insulin when they do not.

!!! What is type o? !!

(I think that people who don’t have diabetes don’t give two hoots about what we do. Which is why it’s so much fun to hang around these message boards w/ you people!! )

you know, when you have a type 0. The act of typing some other word instead of the word that was ment to be typed. Not a new diebetes type.

Personally I do not talk about the genetics of it. I give a brief overview of each.
Type 1 - Beta cells ( aka insulin producing ) Were killed off by my immune system so my pancreas does not make any insulin so I need my pump for this reason. I can not live without insulin.
Type 2 - Different causes but the body is still making some insulin but 2 issues body does not use the insulin properly and 2 body may not make enough so that is why they can take pills. Some do require injections but they don’t always.Meaning some can get by with oral meds and diet changes and proper exercise while others has advanced and they need the injections

I always end with everyones diabetes may vary. No diabetic is the same.

Maybe “type 0” are the people who don’t have diabetes?

Why should we have all the fun of being a type?

Let them be a type, too? (No, not type two!!!) Heh.

When I had a melanoma lesion on my foot, I caught myself saying, “My foot has melanoma.” It was a coping mechanism – I wanted to get that melanoma as far away from me as possible.

Over time, I was able to stop with the dissociation and admit to myself that my foot is part of me and that I did, in fact, have a melanoma lesion removed from myself.

That said, I also prefer “I have diabetes” to “I am diabetic”. We are much, much more than our diseases, eh?

As a person , who advocates for both , I don’t feel I have to explain the differences …it’s called DIABETES …I think folks around me get that !

I get really frustrated by the lack of equal support for Type 1 diabetes. All of the support groups, education centres, etc that I have accessed in the past is totally geared towards Type 2. I have been insulin dependent for 21 years. I don’t need to learn how to read the nutritional information on a box of whatever. Or how to look at me feet to check for wounds. I need to figure out how to accurately count the carbohydrates of homemade soup, or sushi. I need to figure out how to control my sugars when I am PMSing.

I feel alienated when I am surrounded by type 2 diabetes and we usually have very few of the same issues to deal with.

Even among diabetics it is hard. some type 1 cannot see that insulin is a weight gain drug for many diabetics.

Brenda, I like your point in the 2nd paragraph. I think the reason for this is that most people think diabetics brought it on themselves and that their diabetes is a moral failing. Hence the ‘perfect’ lifestyle is just punishment for that moral failing. And Joe Public then feels so upright and morally virtuous that they don’t have diabetes, and hence they are doing something right, unlike those diabetics who evidently did something wrong to cause their dreaded disease.

Unfortunately if you struck it lucky in the genetic jackpot, the sort of lifestyle that does not trigger diseases in Joe Public might not be enough for you. You have to live to higher standards. Though even those higher standards might not be enough. As an example I like to cite Sir Steve Redgrave, Britain’s greatest Olympic athlete with 5 golds in 5 Olympics. The 5th gold was won after he was diagnosed with Type 2. Yes you read that correctly, Type 2. How much healthier a lifestyle can you think of than that of an Olympic gold medallist?

I can’t wait to read the replies to this question! Just yesterday I was listening to a PSA about Diabetes and how it is PREVENTABLE. UGH. Please specify Type 2 in your PSA! Because as the Mom of a Type 1, I don’t want to hear more people tell me if only I hadn’t fed J sugar, he wouldn’t have Diabetes. Because “everyone knows Diabetes is preventable!”
Differences between the types is why I named my blog what I did:
Autoiummune. LIke MS. You can’t prevent it.

Question for you. Would your need for exogenous insulin go away if you did lose weight? I’m sincerely curious. Despite all the PSA stuff being about Type 2, I don’t know much about it because I deal with Type 1.
So, with Type 2, once you are on insulin, is there any way to get back off of it? I read that Type 2’s lose about 4% of their ability to make insulin per year, so a lot of them end up on insulin.

I know a nurse who told me her Type 2 husband is now Type 1 because he is on insulin.

Must agree with Acid, obesity can be a contributing factor, so is age, Agent Orange exposure, genetics. Non of the T-2s I personally know are obese some are heavy but not obese

MrsAcidRock’s uncle practiced judo enough to work as a judge in the 1976 Olympics and hunted all over the UP in Michigan, very active guy, not obese at all and apparently got tagged w/ prediabetes and is working around it. I’m not sure exactly what he does as we haven’t seen them for a while. He’s not heavy at all.

ding ding ding we have a winner!!

I guess I am not as upset as some people over this issue. I mean how does the media portray cancer? Is pancreatic cancer the “bad” cancer and is leukemia (like CML) the “good” cancer. Most media and the public have absolutely no idea. And we actually might find that many of the health practitioners we encounter are also pretty naive.

Heck, I don’t even know know what type I am.

But I do feel there are issues with support and allocation of resources. Allocation of pumps and CGMSs varies between T1 and T2 for strange reasons. And often the numbers of patients are very different, 20 T2 patients for every T1 meaning that support groups are often dominated by T2s. But in the end, a T2 that is insulin dependent really is in pretty much the same situation as a T1.

And while some of different allocation of resources between T1 and T2 may be about confusion, I think some of it has to do with history and money. I mean how do you treat T1? With insulin. Not exactly a “profit center.” Now T2 drugs, you can make some serious money there. Think about how much money is being made on Victoza, that stuff set me back $400/month and millions take it and they just announced it will be sold to China! So I think many T1s were diagnosed, given some syringes and basically just shunted back into society with the message that they should just “buck up,” “deal with it” and get back to life. Well, it is not so easy, and it is hard to sit back and watch our government spend millions on the “war against obesity” and wonder if that is the right way to spend our hard earned money.

so true!

hmmm…I’ve never thought about letting the word “diabetic” describe me. I see the subtle difference and like it! I am going to have to work on rephrasing myself…