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?