When we say…

People with type 1 diabetes are often put in a place where they need to explain what it means to have type 1 diabetes. The explanation often involves what it isn’t.

That’s where there might be a problem.

When people say “Eating too much (insert “bad” food here) didn’t cause my/my child’s diabetes” that’s not all I hear.

It might not be the intention of the statement, but something about it makes me uncomfortable.

I feel like some people may be leaving the end off the statement they are trying to make. A statement that is actually scientifically inaccurate.

A statement that sounds something like “so stop confusing it with that OTHER type. Because that other type? Too much ice cream probably DID cause their diabetes.”

Can we just all agree once and for all that candy, cupcakes, soda, sugar, pizza, or any other food does not cause diabetes? Any type of diabetes.

The more we learn about diabetes, the more we realize we don’t know. For example, researchers are investigating the idea that a type of autoimmune inflammation may be a trigger for type 2 diabetes.

Autoimmune. Sound familiar?

You can read more about the link here and here and here.

“Certainly, if anything, this study can only remind us of the biological complexity of obesity – anyone who still believes obesity and its complications are simply a matter of calories in and calories out probably also believes that health can be easily measured in pounds or kilograms.” (from the first link)

I understand the feeling of being accused of causing a disease that I could not prevent.

It’s unfair.

It’s hurtful.

But can’t we agree that it is unfair and hurtful for everyone?

I said it before.

Imagine how much more we could accomplish if we stopped fighting amongst ourselves.


  • I’ve tried to be careful with my responses when people (at church, especially) exclaim, “But you don’t look like you have diabetes!”
    We have several T2’s that I know, and probably lots that I don’t know. I would feel awful if I made a comment/explanation that might offend someone standing nearby. So, I usually just explain that there are several types of diabetes, and lots of reasons that people get diabetes, any type.

  • Very excellent point, Sara. I think you’re right, in that we need to agree that any type of D isn’t caused by whatever one ate. That there IS more going on than we, or anyone, really knows or fully understands at this point.

    I’m not convinced we can make a blanket statement, though, about an ending being left off that above comment. I’ve said that enough times myself. And I don’t mean to imply that the “other” type is any different. I’d hate for someone to read that just by my statement about my diabetes not being caused by eating ice cream.

    Here’s to hoping we can educate and advocate effectively, without starting type wars or misrepresenting what is actually going on – or so we seem to know at this time.

  • Awesome, awesome post! I have a personal (i.e., baseless and possibly crackpot) that in a decade or two we’ll look back at how we now (fail to) treat obesity like we now look at leech therapy.

  • How did I miss seeing this post? Thank you so much Sara for this, and thank you for your comment on my blog post. Your support means more than you know.

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