I chose to talk about type 1 diabetes because I believe that it is illness that harshly influenced by our culture today. Many people believe that there is only one type of diabetes and if they do know that there is a distinction, there is a skewed belief about which one is which. Type 1 diabetes, better known as type 1 diabetes mellitus, is where the body does not produce insulin and only 5% of people have this form of diabetes. The media also talks about diabetes as an epidemic in young people and tends to not talk about what are the causes and the effects of the diabetes. Diabetes has been deemed a disease of fat people and often times this is because of our culture projecting this idea onto our population. I believe that culture has a huge effect on every illness and diabetes has been very influenced by our culture. In the video, “A Day Living with Diabetes,” an 11-year-old girl talks about her normal day as a person with type 1 diabetes. The video especially focuses on the fact that she has to check her blood sugar six times a day and has to adjust her insulin pump for when she eats her meals. The video was created to show how people with type 1 diabetes live and how they function just as a normal person, just with some extra steps added to her regimen. The video was also a good video representation of a person with type 1 diabetes because, frequently, people with diabetes are seen as overweight and this is not always the case.
I think that it slightly affects the management and amount of treatment because there is not a great awareness of type 1 diabetes in our country and the belief that “if you’re not fat, then you don’t have it” makes it a little harder to pinpoint if you have type 1 diabetes. The fact that people are not thinking they have it is only one part of the problem of proper diagnoses. The media can influence doctors as well, and since type 1 diabetes is not as common as type 2 diabetes, they can overlook it sometimes, much like the patients they are taking care of.
I believe there is a great connection between belief and healing, because the state of mind of someone is sometimes what makes them better. This very example was shown several times in the movie, “Placebo: Cracking the Code,” especially when the man with chronic knee problems said that he felt a drop in his pain level after he received a non-existent surgery. The case of the woman who felt that her depression was cured by a placebo is also a great example of how placebo’s can make a large difference in someone’s state of mind. It seems that the belief of healing can actually change the state of mind so much that it leads to healing. I have personally had times in my life where a placebo effect has made me feel much better. It mostly occurs when I take a home remedy that does not have any proven medical influence, but is something that my family uses as a means to mask or heal the ailment.
“Type 1 Diabetes.” American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-1/ (accessed July 21, 2014).