Some people associate diabetes with unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, and excessive sugar intake. In fact, many people do not even know that there is more than one type of diabetes that can affect a person. There are numerous misconceptions about Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, and public awareness of it has not kept pace with advances in research knowledge.
Why is this a problem? For starters, it displays an ignorance that is harmful to the people who suffer from the disease. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. The exact cause is unknown, but researchers theorize its source is a combination of genetics and triggering environmental factors. Type 2 is linked to a variety of factors, including family history, lifestyle choices, and race. The misunderstanding of these diseases has created a widespread stigma surrounding them, causing people to believe that diabetes (as a whole) is a self-inflicted condition. This means in addition to the constant, and often painful, treatment of this disease, is sometimes accompanied by unnecessary shame. Further, this lack of awareness is dangerous because roughly 50 percent of people with diabetes are not aware that they have the condition because they don’t understand the disease.
Stereotypical portrayals of people with Type I diabetes in Hollywood movies have further skewed public understanding of diabetes. In this hilarious video, Insulin Nation points out five inaccurate (and ridiculous) depictions of people with diabetes in movies such as “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” and “Steel Magnolias.” These movies from diverse genres have one thing in common: they’ve got diabetes all wrong. Check it out!Whizzco