Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Type 1 Diabetes isn't easier than Type 2, it's just different!

Type 1 Diabetics don't have working Islet cells in their pancreas, meaning they will need to give themselves insulin for the rest of their live in order to LIVE. Type 2 Diabetics have fully functioning pancreases, however their body isn't responding to the insulin the way it should. Type 1 and Type 2 are different conditions. There are even some petitions to get the name of Type 1 Diabetes changed after so many misconceptions regarding the two conditions, especially in the media.

Recently, I was told by a Type 2 Diabetic that having Type 2 is harder than having Type 1. The first feeling I had was outrage. The premise he used to support his opinion was that type 1's can eat whatever they want, and type 2's can't. I reject this. Eating a chippy, for instance, is unhealthy for a type 1 as well as a type 2. In fact, its unhealthy for everybody. My second feeling was indecision. I had never thought about it from a type 2's angle, but I know it must not be easy, and just because I'm not living it and experiencing it doesn't mean that type 2 diabetics don't face challenges everyday just the same as type 1 diabetics. Type 2 diabetes isn't easier than Type 1, it is just different.

Presently there are 4 million individuals living in the UK living with Diabetes, however there are only 400,000 living with Type 1 Diabetes. That means that Type 1 Diabetes makes up 10% of the diabetic population in the UK. This is why some type 1 diabetics feel like they are being judged by everyone, because they are often put in a category with those with type 2, as they have the majority in the UK. As frustrating as it is, Type 2 diabetics are what people think about when you think of diabetes, and when I tell people I have diabetes, they say "But you're not fat!?" Or "Did you eat too much as a child?" Or "Do you have the bad kind?". They lump us together, but the truth is that not all type 2 diabetics get their condition because the ate too much sugar. Both conditions are the bad kind. They should be given separate names because, although they both involve the hormone insulin, they are very different!

I know some Type 2 Diabetics have to go on insulin because the treatment they are receiving isn't working as it should be, but the majority of type 2 diabetics need either Diet and Exercise or Meformin to control their condition (not the only ways). Type 1 Diabetics NEED to replace the insulin that their body is no longer making. Type 1 Diabetics need to constantly test their blood sugar, and most of the time Type 2 diabetics don't.

So before you judge anyone based on their condition, remember that TYPE 1 AND TYPE 2 DIABETES ARE DIFFERENT! One is not harder than the other necessarily. Both are hard, and both require control.

Please consider this the next time you tell me that you have it easier than me, because you don't know what I'm going through, and I don't know what you're going through.

Type 1 Diabetes isn't easier than Type 2, it's just different

Until Next Time,
Alyssa x

P.s. I am aware there are other types of diabetes. I don't know that much about them and didn't want to include false information. Don't want to offend anyone!


8 comments:

  1. Well said Alyssa, I am sure the person who suggested your Type 1 was easier than their Type 2, didn't know the facts between the two. Each knows their own type and can only speculate on the other. Good on you for learning the difference and having the pluck to share your thoughts. Dad xx

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    1. Thank you to the person who suggested I do a blog on this ;-) glad you like it

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  2. I thought cgms sensors were difficult to obtain under NHS. Is that changing?

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    1. No, I have hypo seizures regularly and i'm the only person in my hospital who has one funded.

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  3. Thank you for opening up about this. My mother has suffered from diabetes for a long time. I love your blog, Alyssa :)

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  4. Being either a T1 or a T2 is difficult. We are told by people that if we stop eating sugar we won't be diabetic anymore, or if we just lose the weight. Well speaking as a T2 who is on Insulin/metformin/Bydureon and is well controlled with a hba1c of 5.8, it is tough. I have to watch every fucking thing that I eat and when I dose my Humalog I have take into account the calories I'm eating.

    Being Diabetic just plain sucks.....

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    1. yup, being a diabetic in general is hard, and that was the premise of the post. Well done on the amazing hba1c!

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My name is Alyssa Faulkner. I am a Type 1 Diabetic Teen living in Scotland. I currently use a Medtronic insulin pump and an Enlite CGM, and am a volunteer for Diabetes Scotland.