Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A typical misconception of T1 Diabetes

(NaBloPoMo Day 2)

Since The Superhero was diagnosed with Diabetes the ONE thing that I feel is the MOST annoying is that people assume he ate too much sugar!

Seriously? He was 18 MONTHS OLD!

I have heard MANY times when people hear me say The Superhero has Diabetes, they will say something to their kids like "That is why we don't let you eat sugar" or "No more sugar for you!" etc.

This irritates me. Do people really think that I fed my toddler TONS of sugar? And therefore *I* caused him to get Diabetes?

From the Mayo clinic's website...

"The exact cause of type 1 diabetes is unknown. Scientists do know that in most people with type 1 diabetes, their body's own immune system — which normally fights harmful bacteria and viruses — mistakenly destroys the insulin-producing (islet) cells in the pancreas. Genetics may play a role in this process, and exposure to certain viruses may trigger the disease. "

And this from eHealthMD...

"Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. That means the body's defense system attacks some of the body's own cells. In type 1 diabetes, the cells in the pancreas that make insulin are destroyed, and therefore they are no longer capable of making insulin.

We don't know exactly why this happens, but we do know that some people are born with a tendency to develop diabetes. Then something "triggers" the onset of the disease. It may be a virus that triggers the onset, or it may be something in the environment. There is nothing a parent can do to prevent this from happening."

I usually make comments back to those parents trying to educate them.

I explain that T1 Diabetes has nothing to do with what he ate.

I also explain that in fact, My Superhero RARELY had anything that would be considered a "treat". We were very conscience about food choices for him and he still got T1! It is an autoimmune disease and there was nothing I could do to prevent it from entering our lives.

Diabetes Fact #2: T1 Diabetes is NOT caused by eating too much sugar or being over weight. It IS an autoimmune disease and cannot be prevented.

Diabetes Fact #1: T1 Diabetes CANNOT be treated with medication. The only way to manage T1 Diabetes is with insulin. Without insulin, T1 Diabetics would die. Period.


Reyna said...

Tracy, I have gotten the ol' "That is why we don't feed our children sugar" comment a few times myself. It always floors me, then like you, I educate.

Great post!

Heather said...

Oh, yes those are some of the worst and most frustrating misconceptions.

KerryC said...

Yes, we get this a lot.... Singaporeans have NO idea! Type 2 is rife in Asia so it's automatically assumed that this is what Bob and Isabel have. Bob gets "Wahhhh, no wonder you so fat, lah....too mu' sugar, lah!" at least 15 times a day, or so he would have you believe. He isn't fat - just looks very large next to the little Chinese person who is gawping at him and his pump. We educate! Or ignore it. Bob laughs, now, and moves on. Bit difficult to do otherwise when it's a client to whom he's trying to sell a multi-million dollar algorithmic trading solution! Thanks for sharing this - we all need to raise awareness!

Nicole said...

grrr...the whole time reading this post I just felt MAD and frustrated...I HATE THIS MISCONCEPTION so much it makes my blood boil!! and I love how you have you type 1 facts at the bottom starting with the first one :) great idea :)

Jen said...

Great post..you were in my brain this morning!!

Denise said...

We have more junk food around now that D is in our lives. We rarely had sweets before diagnosis, now we NEED them around as medicine. Sucks.

Amanda said...

That makes me crazy too! I always wonder, "What, do you think I put Dr. Pepper in her bottle when she was an infant?" For crying out loud. But with all you ladies SAEing it loud and clear maybe we won't get that so much!

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