Should Type 1 Diabetes Get a New Name?

Do we want to go down this road?
Courtesy of Nuttakit


People with diabetes of all types, help me out here, I’m on the fence.  Should type 1 diabetes get a new name?  I have been thinking about the pros and cons and feel I’m coming up short.

The benefits of a name change could stem mostly from the likelihood that people would start to learn more about “this new type” because media would report on the name change.  Also, having a different name would give type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes an automatic distinction and separation from the other.  Perhaps another benefit would be the psychological effect of type 1 and 2 diabetes having very different names.  Doctors and everyone else might find this easier when learning about diabetes and therefore not assume that one type of diabetic is the other type.  

Then there are the cons to this and believe me I’m aware of a few.  Would support and funding for a cure and advancement get hindered by this separation?  If people don’t identify with each other as people with diabetes, do they no longer ban together for their cause?  My worry is that they wouldn’t.  Granted, many people already support their type of diabetes exclusively and the information circulating about a cure being required for each type only supports this behavior.  This is not everyone’s case, however.  Another downside might be educating the public.  Let’s face it, it takes years to get new information to spread.  When people in the US started learning about stevia as a healthier replacement for splenda, people in other parts of the country and in other countries nearby were just learning that splenda was this new and wonderful diet accessory.  I’ve witnessed this first hand.  I would be concerned with it taking years to educate those in rural America about this change.  I know that where I live, a term like “eco-friendly” is just now getting more talked about.  Whereas in California, people were going nutty over this a decade ago.  So I see this as a realistic issue. 

So maybe we should just support some sort of educational campaign to get information to the masses about the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and the fact that there are many other types as well.  Or maybe we should get a new name.  Like I said, I’m totally on the fence on this one. 

So what do you think?  What are some pros and cons to type 1 diabetes getting a new name?

9 thoughts on “Should Type 1 Diabetes Get a New Name?

  1. Fran

    So I would like to ask you how would news like this that came out recently about the greatly restricted diet that not only showed a reversal of signs in diabetic type 2’s but were actually found to be symptom free after years of diagnosis impact the perception of diabetic type 2’s across the board?
    Diet Does Away With Diabetes

    One thing that I think should be discussed is if it becomes widely publicly accepted that diabetes type 2 happens because of a perception of dietary choices it could grossly impact the motivation for research. That could have potential impact on all diabetics.

  2. Jane

    Above is the text from the link that Fran has in her comment…I heard about this study a few weeks ago also, it was talked about a lot on a diabetic forum I visit.

    I don’t like to put word’s in Fran’s mouth, but I will say what I think she is saying. Fran (correct me if I’m off) is concerned that if it is determined that type 2 diabetes is curable through diet and is purely caused by food and exercise choices, then research will stop for the type 2 diabetes, as the “cure” will be known. And, if type 1 and type2 are put together and thought of as pretty much the same thing, research will stop for type 1 diabetes also. So, a good reason to try to separate the the types and give them distinct (totally different)names.

    I hear that…but I personally feel that it would just get people more confused, rather being much help (changing the name). I think more awareness needs to be brought to all forms of diabetes, and that it will happen in time. As more people have blogs, forums and websites, it is getting out to the people. There is easier access to the information now. I don’t know what else to recommend except to keep doing what you are doing…getting the word out there as much as you can (each of us!). Make sure people know the distinction between type 1 and 2 when you talk to them. With the hundredth monkey effect, type 1 will eventually be a widely known and understood disease. And a cure will surely be found (I believe in miracles)!

  3. Ann @ Day by Day

    This is such an interesting question. I’ve never actually thought about that, but my own brother who has lived with me for my whole life (until we left for college) recently admitted he forgot whether the type of diabetes I had was referred to as Type 1 or Type 2. He knows I have (what used to be) juvenile diabetes, but he couldn’t remember the type.

    My initial reaction is that I would support a name change. It’s selfish of me, but I get sick of having to explain to people that I am an insulin dependent diabetic, have been sinc I was 13 and am not at all like their 75 year old overweight grandmother. I’d appreciate people knowing the difference, although I guess it could be detrimental to funding for a cure…

  4. Fran

    Spoken right from my mouth. Distinction of maladies might be more effective from the perspective of funding for research & then I also perceive that there is a social stigmatization attached to co-conditions such as obesity with diabetes that detracts from acceptance and positive social support for patients.

  5. Lynn

    I support a name change 100%. As long as Type 1 Diabetes is lumped together with Type 2 it will never be understood. I don’t fined older people have any problem with understanding, but if you say Type 1 they will say ‘That’s Juvenile Diabetes, isn’t it?’. That’s what it used to be known as and there was never a misunderstanding. he name change came from late diagnoses becoming more common (age 20-30). Since then it has been ignored, mainly I feel due to the ADA & the CDA only using the term Diabetes. They are non-profit and ‘no money coming in means no job’. Type 2 is the majority so they put on their seminars for prevention and diet to help Type 2’s and solicit money for research. JDRF, at least, here in Canada are not interested in awareness and use the money raised for research. They don’t seem to get that awareness will promote more donations. I have been told that it is up to ‘us’ the parents to promote awareness, by raising money for the Walk for the Cure, etc. Yes, 100% in favour of a new name!!

  6. Lynn

    PS – I have volunteered for the Canadian Diabetes Association. I couldn’t continue as I felt like I was betraying Type 1 diabetics. They had no problem telling Type 1 Diabetics that they had nothing available for them. They promoted the local support group for Type 2, but refused to put out any information on the support group for Type 1 Diabetes. When I put the flyers for this support group in the resource area, they were removed. This isn’t just a lack of awareness on the part of these Associations. In my opinion, they no exactly what they are doing. Families of Type 1 Diabetics don’t have a lot of money to give them, so it’s not worth their effort to help them. I lost all respect for the CDA. It doesn’t matter what they do at this point it is ‘to little, to late’. Oh, the reason I was given for them not being able to support/give out information about the Type 1 support group was due to a ‘liability issue’! They couldn’t be seen as being responsible for any information given at these meetings. Give me oxygen! What a crock of ______!

  7. JeanetteC

    1,800+ signatures in a week 1/2 – We are moms of Type 1 children who have filed a petition to revise the names of both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes to more accurately reflect the nature of each disease. We tried to do this in a way that benefits both the Type 1 and Type 2 communities. We sincerely hope that we have accomplished our goal to make this petition benefit all of us. Please click on the link below to view our petition on and please read it in its entirety before passing any judgement.
    We respect your opinion if you choose not to support the petition. We apologize if we have offended anyone in any way with the language or purpose expressed in our petition. We truly tried to look at our petition from the position of all within the diabetes community and it was certainly not our intent to dismiss anyone’s feelings or needs. We thank supporters, and non-supporter alike, in advance for taking the time to read and consider our petition.
    Thank you,
    Jeanette Collier & Jamie Perez

  8. Richard Taylor

    How about we change the name of Type 1 to Beta Cell Insufficiency Condition? I’m sick of the ignorance and belief that being diabetic is my fault because I eat too much, I was 2 when I was diagnosed in the last 70’s, so I couldn’t be overeating could I??? Type 2 has overwhelmed Type 1 simply because of the numbers so Type 1s get lumped in with Type 2s. We need to differentiate ourselves so it will no longer be our fault and we can distance ourselves from the association with Type 2.

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