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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

tobybuckeye, I think I love you!

As I was perusing some local news sites during my lunch break, I came across a familiar acronym:  "JDRF opens new Huntsville office." 

"Sweet!  This is great!" I thought.  I was all to excited to begin reading about the new office in my hometown and the subsequent walk to be planned, but then I skimmed down the comments section: 

1st commenter, jarhaid, said, "Teaching the little darlings not to cram food like they're on some mission from God would be a good start." 

"WHAT?!  Are you serious??!!"  I could feel my blood beginning to boil and starting my not-so-rational response, until I read down to the following commenter, tobybuckeye: 

The old saying is: Ignorance is bliss. This country would be in much better shape if folks like jarhaid would get "educated" before spouting off the first thing that comes to their mind. Juvenile Diabetes is also known as "Type 1" Diabetes. A common "MYTH" is that high amounts sugar consumption causes this. Research has NOT found the cause of this "Type 1" diabetes. Although many times it is found in children, even older folks are not immune to this disease. Juvenile diabetes is when the pancreas quits working entirely. Type 2 on the other hand is when the pancreas is working but the body doesn't remember how to distribute this insulin. Which is what YOU or I Jarhaid could end up with. Please get educated before passing a judgment on children. An organ in the body has stopped working and the medical profession still has NO IDEA why. Do something useful and donate to the cause of finding out why.

Followed by:

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body's own immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas (called beta cells).

Normally, the body's immune system fights off foreign invaders like viruses or bacteria. But for unknown reasons, in people with type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks various cells in the body. This results in a complete deficiency of the insulin hormone.
Some people develop a type of diabetes – called secondary diabetes -- which is similar to type 1 diabetes, but the beta cells are not destroyed by the immune system but by some other factor, such as cystic fibrosis or pancreatic surgery.
Understanding Insulin and Type 1 Diabetes
Normally the hormone insulin is secreted by the pancreas in low amounts. When you eat a meal, sugar (glucose) from food stimulates the pancreas to release insulin. The amount that is released is proportional to the amount that is required by the size of that particular meal.

Insulin's main role is to help move certain nutrients -- especially sugar -- into the cells of the body's tissues. Cells use sugars and other nutrients from meals as a source of energy to function.
The amount of sugar in the blood decreases once it enters the cells. Normally that signals the beta cells in the pancreas to lower the amount of insulin secreted so that you don't develop low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). But the destruction of the beta cells that occurs with type 1 diabetes throws the entire process into disarray.
In people with type 1 diabetes, sugar isn't moved into the cells because insulin is not available. When sugar builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, the body's cells starve for nutrients and other systems in the body must provide energy for many important bodily functions. As a result, high blood sugar develops and can cause:

I realize his 2nd comment was probably copy/paste from a reputable diabetes website, but I was so glad that he/she took the time to do (especially considering he/she isn't diabetic, as alluded to in the first comment).

I normally don't engage in the type 1/type 2 debate.  Mainly because pre-Dx, my family history foreshadowed me to have type 2.  So I tried my darndest to eat well and keep active.  I understand that being type 2 is not always lifestyle, sometimes genetics just mess with us regardless of our eating habits.  Also, my dad is a type 2, so if I start bashing those with pseudo-working pancreii, I would be bashing Dad.  And that's never gonna happen. 

HOWEVER, there should be some, SOME (for the love!) type of education on the difference between type 1 and type 2.  The first commenter, jarhaid, obviously had no idea what juvenile diabetes is, and yet he bashes parents and children for "Teaching the little darlings to cram food like they're on a mission from God."  The only time I'm "eating on a mission" is when I'm coming up from a low with a mission of not passing out.  I realize there is some form of "internet courage" going on here because he can take a stab at children with type 1 with no repercussions (save tobybuckeye's responses), but there should be some common sense politeness if you don't know anything about the subject! 

I know this blog is mainly for connecting with other diabetics, but my hope is that this little rant will inspire other non-D readers of my blog to go out and educate yourselves (that is, if you must comment on a subject you know absolutely nothing about).  But sometimes it just makes me furious the ignorance of the general public about this disease.  And I can be patient with caring questions here and there, "Does it hurt?" "Can you ever just eat and not worry about insulin ever again?" "Are unicorns real?"  OK, the last one is not D-related, but I'd like to think yes.  But the question that I get that makes me turn Hulk-ish is, "What did you do to get this?"  Me?  Well, I was studying for a Dynamics final, so don't ever take Dynamics and you won't get diabetes.  /rant

So, thank you, tobybuckeye, for educating yourself enough to know the difference.  I suspect you are either a medical professional or a type 3, but I'm still grateful all the same.  Now, I will go and eat my 20 g of almond salad and apple "like a mission from God". 

By the way, jarhaid finally responded, "Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuze me!".  To which someone replied, "It's tough when you expose your ignorance, isn't it?"

Isn't it?   


  1. Holly you better stop eating sugar. You know since we're type 1 we can't eat sugar and I'm so glad I have all of these "smart" [ignorant] people to remind me what I can and can't eat! Ugh!

  2. oh PS...that was me, April, I don't know why I posted it as anonymous! Whoops! It was probably all that sugar getting to my brain!

  3. LOL! For sure! Sugar just turns us into crazy-mission-eating zombies or something. Put a stop to us all! (ok, maybe that was a little much, but still)

  4. It really upsets me when I hear about people like this. I've had my fair share of run ins with ignorant people. For instance, a nurse at my old job argued with me for a good 10 minutes saying that BECAUSE i CHOSE to take insulin, I was definitely going to go blind. She said insulin CAUSES diabetics to go blind...and when I tried to educate her, she laughed and said "well, you're not a nurse."

    That is just one of the many examples of people's ignorance. I have no idea why some people try to talk about things they have no clue about! I mean they MUST know that they don't know what they are saying, and yet they try to make it sound like they are experts...why????

    Sorry for the rant Holly, just makes me so mad!

  5. Rant away, Brenda! I've already blown my rant quota for the day. It's always nice when others join. =)

  6. tobybuckeye ROCKS!!! And so does Brenda W. :) I've had similar experiences. I've only been living with type 1 for 19 months but I think I have compiled enough anecdotal data to conclude that there is an inverse relationship between someone's factual knowledge of diabetes and the amount of pontificating they do on the topic. Drives me nuts. I once had someone demonstrate their total ignorance of diabetes and couch it in the "I'm worried about your health" song and dance. I spouted my last A1C (5.8%) and when they looked at me blankly, I said "You don't know what that means? I thought you were an expert?" They haven't brought it up since. :) Did I mention it was my boss's boss?

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DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nurse, certified diabetes educator (CDE) or any medical professional of any kind. (But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!) Therefore, please do not use any of my postings as medical fact. I am simply a blogger expressing my highs and lows (pun intended) with diabetes. For changes in your medication, exercise regiment, or diet please consult a qualified physician.

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My name is Holly and I live in north Alabama with my hubby, two cats, and a dog.