1. Frank,
    This is disturbing for a type 2 as well. From everything I’ve read after I learned I didn’t have type 2 but actually had a slow onset type 1 (LADA), type 2 is actually INHERITED (sorry to shout ;). It’s just that, if you have insulin resistance your pancreas deals with the extra demand for insulin until it reaches a point where it can’t anymore. A diet high in sugar will only hasten that demise but it isn’t the cause of insulin resistance. The problem is most people don’t even know they have this issue until they’re blood glucose level is checked by a doctor when they’ve gone in for some other reason. By that point they’ve probably been living with it for years. You know from experiencing lows that the brain triggers a strong “eat carbs now or die” response to a low. What I found interesting to note in my reading is that it doesn’t just signal this when your blood glucose drops below 70. It registers any significant drop in blood glucose and sends the signal. Which means that when, as a type 2, you have these huge spikes in blood sugar, when your pancreas does it’s job and returns you to normal levels your brain notices the drastic drop and signals the “eat carbs NOW” response. And, of course, your body converts all that extra sugar to fat which increases the insulin resistance. It becomes a vicious cycle that Type 2’s are told they caused by their diet and because they have no will power or because they are fat.

    Now, Type 2’s do have the ability, once they know they have Diabetes to begin with, to make dietary/exercise changes that will greatly improve their sugar levels but that will not cure or reverse insulin resistant Diabetes. It will seem like a cure for some because they can go for years or even perhaps the rest of their lives with normal levels if they maintain their diet and exercise regimen that helped them achieve normal sugar levels but their insulin resistance is still there. Because of this there is the misconception that diet causes type 2 Diabetes. Most people don’t know there are different types of diabetes, they just assume that you got diabetes because you ate too much sugar. I’m OK with the fact that people are largely unaware in the sense that I didn’t know anything about it until I got Type 1. After all, unless you are a physician or are touched by Diabetes directly, you have no need to completely understand the mechanisms of Diabetes. Still, I think it’s wrong that companies advertise like this and further cement these stereotypes in people’s conscientiousness.

    • I’m so glad you brought this up and you’re absolutely right – sugar/bad diet isn’t the sole cause of type 2 diabetes either! Its great to hear a type 2 perspective and this would definitely be insulting to many type 2s as well

  2. Just to be clear, I have type 1 diabetes. I spent six years misdiagnosed (very common I understand with LADA) thinking I had type 2. I lived with the misconception that I had somehow caused my disease. Because of the prevelent sugar = diabetes advertisements and misconceptions there is a social stigma that many type 2’s just accept as fact. Of course, type 1’s face the same stigma but the difference is, we know Diabetes is not our fault. There are a lot of emotions to go through when you are diagnosed with Type 1 but guilt that you somehow brought this on yourself isn’t typically one of them.

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