I May Have to Put My Foot Down for This One

August 23rd, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I may have to stand up and request a different name for my disease (currently called type one diabetes) if they end up doing this.

I don’t think we’ll stand a chance to ever clarify in the public’s mind what our lives are really like as we live with type one diabetes if they expand the label of “prediabetes” to include who knows how many people.

Seriously; these researchers looked at patients for several months and determined that of the 14,000 patients who had blood drawn, those with blood glucose levels of 51-82mg/dL had a less than one percent chance of developing type two diabetes.  Those who had blood glucose levels between 91 and 99 mg/dL had a more than three percent chance of developing type two diabetes.  So now the researchers are proposing to lower the threshold of “prediabetes” to 91 from its current 100-126mg/dL.

(If you check your blood glucose you know that you can check at home five seconds apart and get a 90 and a 120 result due to the machine’s margin of error.  I imagine the labs have a margin of error as well.)

It makes me wonder if they are splitting hairs in order to fan the fire of the money-churning machine that is type two diabetes.  The sooner they can call you “prediabetic” the sooner they can get at you and sell you socks, meal replacement shakes, diet meal plans, it’s a wonder they don’t have diabetes cruises by now.  (Okay; the cruise could be fun.)

Here’s my beef: I have type one diabetes, yet the majority of information out there refers only to “diabetes” without clarification.  The origin of
type one diabetes and of type two diabetes are vastly different and by grouping the two under a single umbrella the public stands zero chance of comprehending what’s going on.

We share the name “diabetes” because the two diseases share a major symptom (high blood glucose levels) and similar complications as a result of the elevated glucose levels.  But is that enough to call them both “diabetes”?

To me, sharing a symptom should not be enough to name the disease identically.  (If one disease caused someone to vomit, and a different disease also caused someone to vomit, I don’t think the medical field would say the two diseases should be called by the same name.  So what’s so special about blood glucose?)

For me, I didn’t have any period of prediabetes.  So it’s not a term that makes any sense to me.  It seems like a term doctors are happy to throw around in an effort to scare their patients into changing their habits.

I didn’t get a “pre” period of time to do anything at all about my disease.  I had no chance to prevent my disease.  I got so sick I lost my hair.  I was skin and bones because my body cannibalized itself to find some useable energy.  My body’s pH was dangerously acidic.  I was dying without insulin at the age of ten.

Let me make this clear: I believe both diseases are important and real and difficult to manage and require constant vigilance.  I think people need to do what they can as soon as possible to take care of themselves.

If it takes referring to a blood glucose lab reading of 91 to 99 “prediabetes” well, then, go for it.  More power to you, advertisers.

While those ads are showing and confusing the public, I’ll be over in the corner with my friends, the others with diabetes caused by genetic or autoimmune diseases, maintaining our own sort of constant vigilance.

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1 comment

  1. Julius says:

    Am .. you tell them. Someone is ready to make some more $$. Lower the threshold more drugs .. Just like lowering the threshold for cholesterol. We never heard of cholesterol years ago… so what gives ??

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