Diabetes T1 or T2—Need a New Name?

There has been much talk that we need to change the name of diabetes…..which one; Type 1 or Type 2?….well THAT is the question.

Some comments heard here and there:
“They are completely different, they need different names.”
“The complications are identical, well close enough.”
“Well Type 2 can be avoided, they should not be lumped together.”
“Type 1 could not be avoided and should not be just diabetes.”

Okay….okay…slowwwwwww down.  I have been hearing this argument/discussion/point-of-reference for years and I believe there is a very simple solution for this on-going debate and I actually had a chance to make it happen recently and guess what…….it worked.

You see, they do have different names.  They are Type 1 Diabetes; and Type 2 Diabetes (and there are others I know).  Just make sure they are always used in the frame that they are intended.  I’m part of a group on Long Island called the Suffolk County Lions Diabetes Education Foundation.  At a recent meeting; a local hospital stated that they were in the process of creating a commercial for one of the surgeries used to lose weight.  I stated, “Do the world a favor, do not just say it helps in the cases of diabetes, say Type 2 Diabetes.”  Well I heard the commercial today and that is exactly what they said. 

And it hit me. 

We do not need to change the name…..we just need to make sure we educate people constantly in the media and elsewhere that when referring to diabetes; just make sure the Type 1 or Type 2 is included…………always.

I’m a Type 1 Diabetesdad.


4 replies on “Diabetes T1 or T2—Need a New Name?”

This has been my personal mission for years!! Correcting & educating the main stream (media and otherwise) about the 2 DIFFERENT diseases. There needs to be more public awareness. As I write this I’m drafting a letter to the editor of IDEA Fitness Journal, a trade magazine for fitness pro’s. Inside is an article about the projected increase in cases of “diabetes”. No reference to Type 1 or Type 2.

I could not agree more ! Excellent post. I am a Type 1 Diabetes dad too and a genetic engineer by education ; I am writing to media often with the message and some scientific background to differentiate between the 2 diabetes types. While omitting this seems harmless (my son gets the remark often enough “you don’t look that overweight” – even for those that suffer of type 2 diabetes that is not a generic feature), if the distinction is not added, type 1 diabetes patients are discriminated for insurances, loans, … because of the preconception that they could revert their affliction by an improved or healthier life style.

This has been my exact point of view on this debate ever since I first heard about it! This is EXACTLY what the diabetes community needs! There IS a difference between Type 1 and Type 2, different treatment plans, etc… however it is the MEDIA that needs a thorough education and proper knowledge on how to express to the world the differences, and how all these different products may or may not help people with diabetes, of each type! We, the T1/T2 crowd get into an uproar over this debate on almost a yearly (sometimes it feels like even a monthly or weekly) basis. However, MANY people (including many of us on the DOC) are unaware of the other types as well. Yes, there are MANY types of Diabetes, not just Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational. Imagine how those people who live with an even more rare type feel when they here the media spew thing and just lump it all into the “diabetes” category. Ok, I’m ranting now.

Back to the point… I think, not only do we, the DOC, need to educate those around us (i.e. friends, family, caregivers, schools, co-workers, etc) but we also need to extend our education out to those who CAN make a big impact on the education factor of diabetes, all types….. the media. They reach hundreds of thousands of people every day. They can make a huge impact on educating the world on the different types, the symptoms to watch for, the different medications for each type, and so on. However, I also know that this can be a difficult task.

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