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D-blog Day: 6 things

As noted before, November is National Diabetes Month, and November 14 is World Diabetes Day. Today is D-blog Day, started on November 9th 2005 during Diabetes Awareness Month to help unite diabetes bloggers and create awareness about diabetes.

This year’s topic is: 6 things you want people to know about diabetes.
Here are the first six things that came to mind for me:

1. Diabetes is not one disease. Some times people like to say there are two types, "type 1" and "type 2," but those names are inadequate and don't fit a lot of people with diabetes. Doctors fell back to numbered types because they kept picking bad names for the diseases, as in "juvenile onset diabetes" for a disease that could strike at any age, "insulin-dependent diabetes" when dependence on insulin could come about in many totally different ways.
Type 1 and type 2 are still lousy names and there aren't enough of them. There are many different causes and symptoms of different people with both "type 1" and "type 2" diabetes.
The generic nature of these names, type 1 and type 2, expresses a continuing lack of understanding of the diseases.
It's hard to blame the public for not knowing the difference between type 1 and type 2. They sound the same.
Names like insulin-resistant diabetes or autoimmune diabetes, monogenic diabetes, MODY, LADA, would all be good for the public to learn.

2. I would like people to know that the idea that unnecessary medical tests are a huge financial burden on our health care system is a myth. Medical tests are how doctors figure out what you've got.
Did you see the short list of kinds of diabetes above? Do you know that there are more? Do you know that not only does most of the public treat them all the same, but so do many in the medical community?
Do you know that many people who think they have autoimmune diabetes may in fact have monogenic diabetes? Those with autoimmune diabetes require injected insulin, but some with monogenic diabetes could be treated with oral medications, if their doctors knew.
Diagnosis makes a difference.
There is a part of our health care system that takes 30% off the top and provides no health benefit. It is not medical testing. It's the insurance industry.

3. I would like people to know that diabetics suffer disproportionately in the broken health care system of the U.S.
I'm grateful that we have finally done something about affordable health care after all these decades of people struggling, suffering, and dying because of the system we have had in place. I wish more had been possible, but not much can be done politically when billions of dollars are at stake.

4. I would like people to know that my insulin pump does not take care of my diabetes for me. Being diabetic requires a lot of attention, 24/7.

5. I would like people to know that insulin is not a cure, and we really want a cure.

6. I would like people to know that while it's no fun to be diabetic, it's something we can deal with because we have to. It has to be dealt with, but it doesn't have to limit us.


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