4 Things People Understood About Diabetes

I’ve had type 2 diabetes for more than 18 years, and I’ve been writing about it for almost half of that time. Over the years, I’ve realized there are many things people don’t understand about diabetes. Here are four of them.

1. “Diabetic” should not be used as a noun

It breaks my heart when I hear stories about kids, especially, who are called “the diabetic” at school.

2. Type 1 and type 2 are not the same

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. It causes the body to attack the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. This means that a person with type 1 makes no insulin.

3. Everyone’s diabetes is different

There is no one-size-fits-all diabetes management plan. Even if you find something that works, it may not 10 years down the road. Once I could easily eat 60 to 70 grams of carbohydrates at a meal; now I’m lucky if 40 grams keeps me in range.

4. I didn’t get diabetes because I ate too much sugar

I really hate hearing jokes that go something like this: “That cake was so sweet, I thought I was going to get diabetes.” Repeat after me: Eating sugar does not cause diabetes.