“You can’t eat that!” “Aren’t you allergic to sugar?” “Why do you wear a pace maker?” “What songs do you listen to on that?” “How many steps does your pedometer read?” “Please turn off your pager!”
I am Julie Hooper and I have type 1 (juvenile) diabetes mellitus. These are all misguided questions I get on a regular basis concerning my diabetes. Yes, I usually can eat that I just have to give myself insulin for it, because no I am not allergic to sugar, a compound by the way which is essential for survival and exists in pretty much every edible substance. No, I don’t wear a pacemaker. I wish my pump could play music and counted my steps but it can’t (Animas here’s an idea). Yes I can take it off I just have to unzip my pants first, and didn’t pagers become obsolete in the past five years particularly with the invention of smart phones?
Over 2.25 million Americans are estimated to be living with type 1 diabetes in the United States, with close to 40,000 new diagnoses every year. More and more people have friends or family members with the disease, and less and less do I have to explain why I wear a silver thing that looks slightly like a pager on my hip.
Type 1 Diabetes is not Type 2 Diabetes
In recent years, rates of type 2 diabetes have skyrocketed leading to the greatest public health concern of our generation. Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are different diseases that have different causes and are treated in a different manner.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus (previously known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is an auto-immune disease, where the immune system attacks the pancreas, destroying the beta-cells that produce insulin, a hormone necessary in the absorption of glucose into cells for energy. In type 1 diabetes, production of insulin is halted completely. There is currently no known cause of this auto-immune disease and no cure, although there is a lot of hope in stem cell research.
Type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin-dependent or adult-onset) results from the body’s inefficient use of insulin that the pancreas produces. The body in type 2 diabetes may not produce enough insulin, may not respond to insulin properly (insulin resistance), or both. Type 2 diabetes is largely the result of excess body weight, lack of physical activity, genetic predisposition, and old age. Type 2 diabetes can often be prevented by weight-loss, dietary changes, and increase in physical activity.
Check out the Link Below for more Type 1 Posts:
I live in Berkeley, California where I work in type 2 diabetes lifestyle intervention programs at UCSF and study nutrition. Even though I am no longer living abroad, I continue cooking, traveling, and working to maintain control of my diabetes.
I hope to spread my love of good food, fitness, and adventure. With a little planning and preparation, we can dive, backpack, ski, and swim great lengths. Please sound off in the comments section if you have questions, tips, and opinions.