Type 1 diabetes – it’s no joke

I’m on my soap box again! As a rule, I tend to sit on the fence when it comes to having an opinion. I do have opinions, however, I can nearly always see other points of view too! There is one subject that get me right off that fence! When it comes to raising awareness of type 1 diabetes, I definitely have an opinion!

I was happily watching a vlog recently (something I’ve become slightly addicted too) when my heart sank a little. A comment was made about going in to a restaurant ‘healthy’ and coming out with ‘diabetes’. I felt compelled to comment, which is not something I usually do.

This is what I said “I am one of your silent viewers (probably one of your older viewers too)! I don’t usually comment on videos, however my heart sank a little when you mentioned ‘diabetes’ and felt I had to comment. There are two types of diabetes type 1 and type 2. My daughter has type 1 diabetes which is an autoimmune disease she will have for life – not caused by lifestyle or food choices. Most people aren’t aware of this (I wasn’t until 5 years ago). Because of this widespread misconception, she puts her health at risk every day rather than letting people see her inject her insulin or check her blood – something she has to do to stay alive, as she feels people will assume she has brought it upon herself. I hope this doesn’t come across as a rant. I know you will have meant no harm when you said that comment, but if I can make just one person think before making comments about food and diabetes then it will have been worth coming out of my comfort zone to write this! x

The response I got back only highlighted further the lack of understanding from this vlogger about the condition. I wanted to laugh and cry (and should a little too). I had to sit on my hands and take a few deep breaths! I didn’t respond, there clearly was no point, deciding instead to vent my frustration (and hopefully spread awareness) on my own little corner of the internet!

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, not caused by lifestyle choices. You may be surprised to learn it generally effects young people from babies to late thirties. I recently sponsored a man whose story touched me. He ran 100k last week to raise money for JDRF as his young son was diagnosed at just 6 months old (do watch his story below – warning you may need tissues)! My daughter at least had most of her childhood worry free. I can’t imagine having to look after a baby with type 1 diabetes.

Someone with type 1 diabetes cannot regulate their blood sugar levels – so need to keep a regular check via a finger pricker and testing strips, multiple times a day – every day. Insulin needs to be given via injection or infusion pump pretty much whenever any carbohydrate is eaten.  There are lots of situations that cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate such as exercise, illness, hormones and weather.  This is only a little snapshot of life with type 1 diabetes. What I’m trying to say is day to day living is tough.

If you asked my daughter’s friends (the few that know she has type 1 diabetes) about how she copes, I’m sure they’d say she’s fine; you wouldn’t know she had it. It doesn’t stop her doing anything. That’s because she pretends. Hides what’s really going on, because of comments like the one made in the vlog. I can tell you, it’s no joke. It’s a relentless condition that can have serious consequences and is NOT BROUGHT ON BY EATING TOO MUCH SUGAR!

Rant over. Normal service will resume on Wednesday!






Leave a Reply