THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Key distinctions must be drawn in diabetes coverage

February 10, 2009
  • Email|
  • Print|
  • Single Page|
  • |
Text size +

SUSHRUT JANGI'S "Illness pervasive and often underdiagnosed" (Discoveries, Health/Science, Feb. 2) reinforces the misunderstandings that my 6-year-old son battles every day since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3.

Jangi's short item, which describes a study that found that nearly 13 percent of US adults age 20 and older have diabetes, but more than a third do not know it, makes no distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

The National Institutes of Health study concerned people afflicted with Type 2 diabetes, a metabolic disease caused by a combination of poor diet, lack of exercise, and genetic predisposition.

A person with Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that strikes primarily children and makes them insulin-dependent for life, can't "not know" they have it.

When the autoimmune process that causes Type 1 diabetes is sparked, the child enters a rapid death spiral that, without intercession, ends in diabetic ketoacidosis and coma. Undiagnosed, a child with Type 1 will die.

The burden of this relentless disease is made worse by frequent misunderstandings that the Globe's item exacerbates: that a child with Type 1 can take a pill and get better; that he or she will outgrow it; that it could have been prevented by better diet and exercise. Parents of children with Type 1 have heard them all.

The Globe has a responsibility to distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in every instance that each is reported on, without exception.

Kim Savage
Winchester

  • Email
  • Email
  • Print
  • Print
  • Single page
  • Single page
  • Reprints
  • Reprints
  • Share
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Comment
 
  • Share on DiggShare on Digg
  • Tag with Del.icio.us Save this article
  • powered by Del.icio.us
Your Name Your e-mail address (for return address purposes) E-mail address of recipients (separate multiple addresses with commas) Name and both e-mail fields are required.
Message (optional)
Disclaimer: Boston.com does not share this information or keep it permanently, as it is for the sole purpose of sending this one time e-mail.

More opinions

Find the latest columns from: