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[IP] Re: Autoimmune Disease - Type 1 & Name Change

<I have not seen any posting stating that Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune
disease. >


Actually, this has been mentioned in several posts regarding the name change.


<For those of you that don't know what that is (I am sure the Type 1s
do), it is a disease in which the body's own immune systems attacks itself
mistakes good cells for invading cells....thus the distruction of beta cells,
therefore no more insulin production due to no more beta cells (this is a
really simple explanation).>


Unfortunately, this is an oversimplification of  the definition of Type 1 and
what causes it.  While this may apply to most Type 1's, it does not apply to
all.  There are now several subclassifications of Type 1:  Autoimmune Type 1A,
Idiopathic Type 1B, and LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood).  I
have Idiopathic Type 1B, which means in simple terms, nobody knows what the
cause is, but there is no autoimmune response.  Theories are that a
chromosomal abnormality or viral infection may be triggers.  I was diagnosed
last year at age 37 and have the stereotypical profile, symptoms and treatment
requirements of a "traditional" Type 1 - I need insulin to live and am very
sensitive to it, rather than resistant.  Unlike 95% of Type 1's, however, I
tested negative for Islet Cell antibodies, GAD antibodies and Thyroid
antibodies (I'm Hypothyroid too).  Because of the current stereotypes for this
disease, nobody was looking for any kind of Diabetes.  I was considered too
old for Type 1 and too young for Type 2, which delayed my diagnosis.

There are other causes of Diabetes too:

- Genetic Beta Cell defects (e.g., MODY)

- Genetic Insulin action defects

- Diseases of the Pancreas

- Other Endocrine disorders

- Drugs or Toxins

So, considering a lot of  Diabetics (or family members of)  don't completely
understand the differences between the Types and make inaccurate blanket
assumptions and statements themselves, how can we possibly expect the general
public to know the difference?  I don't think coming up with different names
will solve the problem, but only add to the confusion.  As long as your
medical team knows the difference and how to treat you, that's what's
important.  If we're frustrated as to the ignorance of others, it's up to us
to educate them or ignore them.  People ask stupid questions and make dumb
comments all the time regarding subjects that have nothing to do with Diabetes
- it's no different, but we're probably more sensitive about this topic than
most.  (How many people out there really understand what you do for a living
when you try and explain your job to them?)  If anything, I think it's more
important that people be educated as to the symptoms of Diabetes rather than
its underlying cause and specific treatments, so that diagnosis can be made

dx'd T1B 3/02, pumping 8/02
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