Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Diabetes – Be Type Specific! Type 1 or Type 2

Now that I’m a certain age (i.e. approaching @%), when I tell people I have diabetes they sometimes do a double take. Everything they hear about diabetes places emphasis on obesity and lack of physical activity as being two of the contributing factors for getting Type 2 Diabetes. In other words, Type 2 Diabetes happens to people who are fat and lazy and therefore deserve it.

I don’t believe this to be true because I know some Type 2’s who are healthy & slim individuals. But, the more and more I meet Type 2’s the more I do see the pattern (which makes me sad).

I know I should be shouting out that people who are at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes need our help and support and encouragement to avoid it, not our judgement. But instead I’m trying to distance myself from this group.

I want to ask all people who discuss diabetes, who work in diabetes awareness and prevention, to be Type specific. Don’t just say “Diabetes”, say “Type 2 Diabetes”. It will be less confusing for all of us (including the few people out there who think that because they are put on insulin they have changed from being T2’s to T1’s).

Type 1 and Type 2 are very different illnesses and should be treated in that way, especially by people who work in health promotion. Treating Type 1 and Type 2 as two sides of the same coin is confusing to the general population.

P.S. I know there are many more types of diabetes than just T1 and T2 but for the purpose of this piece I’m focusing on these two.


  1. Having read this ignorant an prejudiced opinion I've "unliked" your Facebook page.

    As a Type II diabetic (on insulin) I do not need your help, support or sympathy but do please distance yourself and your ignorance from me if you will.

  2. As a Type 1 I can identify with some of your comments. However there are still common issues with both Type 1 and Type 2.I think the reason why Type 2 gets more attention is purely numbers- 85-95% of people with diabetes are Type 2. If anything I think Type 1's can "deal" better because they have no choice-it's insulin from day1.Plus there are still at lot of Type 2's out there who think their's is less severe when in fact a lot of the time the opposite is the case as damage is done before diagnosis.

  3. Not sure I agree that this is an ignorant or prejudiced opinion. What is stated is entirely true - Type 2 diabetes is most prevalent in those who are overweight, have poorly controlled diets and lack physical exercise - FACT. Secondly it is very hard to remain "ignorant" about a condition that someone has lived with for over 15 years and who works tirelessly supporting diabetics. The medical requirements of T1's are completely different and should be treated as such. Finally for clarification I would suggest reading http://www.diabetesaction.ie/diabetes-in-ireland to understand the clear differences and most particularly the fact that 58% of T2 is preventable. Reversable it may not be, preventable yes. What is required is that those most at risk of T2 should liaise and talk to those with T1 to get a much clearer understanding as to why they should improve their lifestyles to prevent where possible. This would also alleviate the pressure on the Health System.