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RE: [IP] Types of Diabetes (Was: Diabetic Magazines) -- LONG

I have waited too long to wade in on this issue.  Frankly, there is some
elitism on this board and in general against Type 2 diabetics.  I say
this as a Type 1 myself.  There seems to be a perception that Type 2's
are in their predicament solely due to a behavioral flaw on their part
or lack of willpower.  This is not the case.  Although different, we
struggle with many of the same issues.  One is not better than the
other.  As to the public's lack of understanding, changing the name will
only cause more confusion.  This forum has value for all diabetics,
especially those on pumps.  I have personally learned a lot.  However, I
find the attitudes on this issue to be counterproductive and at times
downright condescending towards others.

Can't we all just get along????

-----Original Message-----
From: email @ redacted
[mailto:email @ redacted] On Behalf Of Scott
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 9:04 AM
To: Insulin Pumpers
Subject: Re: [IP] Types of Diabetes (Was: Diabetic Magazines) -- LONG

I think a name change is totally appropriate, and I don't believe the
issue is
trivial because the confusion between the main types often leads to
inappropriate or even harmful medical care for many people with Type 2,
not to
mention misconceptions about what kind of diet is appropriate for
someone who
is a non-obese Type 1.  Also, there are functional differences between
the two
main types.  I blame much of this on The American Diabetes Association,
was instrumental in getting the current definitions in place.  The new
are worse than the old ones they replaced.  Even the current definitions
ADA provides on their website does not clearly delineate important
between the major types of diabetes.

There are distinct names for other diseases which are similar to one
... a good example is Chrohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  (Crohn's
disease affects the end of the small intestine and the beginning of the
intestine, but may involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract, while
ulcerative colitis is limited to the large intestine only.)

I also think the terms IDDM/NIDDM are NOT appropriate because it focuses
the treatment of the condition, which may be the same regardless of the
rather than the underlying epidemiology of the disease.  Personally, I
something along the lines of Autoimmune Mediated Diabetes Milletus
instead of
"Type 1" and Insulin Resistant instead of "Type 2" which are just
numbers that
few people, including many medical professionals, even understand.  I
sat next to an EMT on an airplane who spent 20 minutes telling me why I
ask my doctor about trying glucophage instead of insulin because it
much better for her mother.  I couldn't believe I was hearing this from
someone who worked in the medical profession.  I then had to re-educate
her on
the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 and why it was totally
for her to be suggesting that.

Telling someone they have diabetes and giving them a vague, numbered
suggests that the conditions are exactly the same, which they aren't.
akin to telling someone they have cancer and then numbering it.  (OK,
sir, you
have Cancer, Type 7.  What the heck is that supposed to mean?)

There are probably more Type 2s who use insulin than there all Type 1s
combined (an estimated 40% of the 16 million people with Type 2).  Some
2s may eventually become insulin dependent, as there is evidence to
that many Type 2s have fewer beta cells than average to begin with, and
possible that their insulin resistance requires the few beta cells to
overproduce insulin indefinitely, which can destroy the beta cells over
But even if they use insulin, people with Type 2 are still insulin
The writer who said they were a Type 2 who used something like 400 units
day has no endogenous insulin production remaining and is therefore
dependent, but their treatment would certainly kill me, as I am highly
sensitive to insulin.  I am a 33 year old Type 1 male who weighs
160 lbs. and I probably use less than 40 units per day in total, even
when I
eat all day long (on Thanksgiving, for example).  Even a small change in
basal rates of as little as 0.05 units/hour can result in very dramatic
differences in my BG levels.

Aside from endogenous insulin production, there are also some things
that are
functionally different between the two main types.  For example, because
Islets which contain both beta as well as alpha cells responsible for
production of glucagon are destroyed by autoimmunity, Type 1 individuals
a functioning counterregulatory system for blood glucose levels.  When
starts to drop, they do not have as much protection from hypoglycemia as
someone who has insulin resistant Type 2 who still has functioning
People with Type 1 rely exclusively on a series of hormonal and neural
responses, most notably the secretion of epinephrine, which generates
(e.g., palpitations, sweating, anxiety, etc.) that warn the patient of
dropping blood glucose.   Over time, epinephrine secretion is reduced
and, so
there are no symptoms occur to warn the patient of a problem, resulting
"hypoglycemia unawareness".  Although hypoglycemia unawareness can also
to individuals with Type 2, the fact that functionining Islets remain
helps to
protect most of them.

For all of these reasons, I think renaming the different types of
diabetes is
entirely appropriate, and not trivial in the least.
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