Crossing the Great Divide

Finding common ground between type 1 and type 2


Great divides in history:

The Continental Divide.

The Mason-Dixon Line.

The Houses of Capulet and Montague.

The Alps.

The Atlantic Ocean.

Communism and Capitalism.

Lions and hyenas.

Type 1 and type 2 diabetics.


Well, to hear some people tell it, the differences between the two primary types of diabetes ranks right up there with the great divides in history.

May I please go on record as saying that I think this is a total crock of $#*t?

OK. I guess some background is in order before I dress up like an umpire and try to settle this once and for all. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that sneaks up on you like a panther in the night and pounces on you with no warning. The body's own immune system turns on the home team and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Our best scientific minds aren't really sure what causes it. All we know for sure is that we can't prevent it, and nothing the victim did or didn't do had any hand in it.

Type 2 diabetes is a hereditary disease whose onset is triggered by a magic combination of age and weight. It's characterized by insulin resistance. The body makes insulin, plenty of it, but it can't use it very well. The latest evidence suggests that if you treat type 2 aggressively early on you can delay it, but it does not appear to be preventable. And like type 1, the victim of type 2 has very little culpability in causing the disease. At worst, poor nutrition and low activity might start the clock ticking early, but that's about it.

So from the pathophysiology perspective, the two diseases couldn't be more different. But from the human perspective, they're very much the same. The bottom line is that both diseases make it difficult to keep blood sugar in control, and having high blood sugar is like having battery acid in your bloodstream.

Both type 1s and type 2s share many of the same medications for treatment and gear for monitoring, along with many of the same risks to their health and well-being. People with both diseases also share the same hopes, joys, and fears.

So why the divide?

Page: 1 | 2 | 3

Last Modified Date: June 05, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

Sign up for FREE dLife Newsletters

dLife Membership is FREE! Get exclusive access, free recipes, newsletters, savings, and much more! FPO

You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
16 Views 0 comments
by Carey Potash
Charlie’s 12-year anniversary with type 1 just passed and I still know nothing about this diabetes and why it hates us so much. As if to remind us that it was its anniversary, diabetes unleashed hell on Friday. Charlie was stranded well over 400 for hours and even tipped the scale at 580. Susanne pulled Charlie out of school and started what became a wartime exercise in futility. It was one of the worst blood sugar days we’ve had in years. ...