Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes is diagnosed in young adults and children and used to be known as juvenile diabetes. Type 1 diabetes in children and young adults means the body is not producing any insulin. Like Anna in the video, children living with type 1 diabetes must regulate their insulin levels (which as we saw can be quite the chore). Anna must keep track of her blood sugar level and the amount of carbohydrates in the foods she eats. Having a type of diabetes at a young age will affect the way that child will go about their daily life. Culture and biomedicine influences the life of a child with type 1 diabetes in a couple of ways. Culturally wise the child will have to deal with the implications of how they are viewed as someone with and incurable illness. There isn’t a cure for type 1 diabetes, just ways to manage it. These cultural constructs are a product of biomedicine and how it has made a major impact on how we view illnesses such as diabetes.
Culture and biomedicine does influence the management and treatment of type 1 diabetes. Besides the fact that living in a country in which biomedicine is the dominant form of medical treatment and that a great deal of people living with type 1 diabetes will seek biomedical care, it in turn affects their medical narrative and the way they view their illness. Other cultures may not view type 1 diabetes the same way we do in the U.S. and may choose to seek treatment in other ways.
As mentioned in the film “Placebo: Cracking the Code” humans have been using belief and healing together for quite some time now. Having a positive attitude when dealing with an illness and the belief that the illness will lessen or go away has an impact on if it will or not. For example, believing that you are taking a medication to reduce/relieve pain (even if it is a placebo) will actually make you feel better and sense a relief of pain.

“Type 1 Diabetes,” American Diabetes Association, accessed July 25 2014, http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-1/

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Francesca Rogers says:

    I chose to comment on Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (DM) because it can be a very demanding illness that involves a lot of work for the individual suffering. I understand that it is the lack of insulin and that Type 1 Diabetes identifies to young people and children especially. I do not view a child differently who has Diabetes Mellitus. Honestly, I do not find this to be a misunderstood illness just because it can be very serious if a children doesn’t keep his or her diet in check. Many patients have to inject themselves with their medicine to keep their bodies at homeostasis. Medicine can be a huge part of them dealing with their medical condition because there is no cure for it yet. From learning about DM in my classes, I have an idea of what the children go through.

    These perceptions are influenced by my family, friends, and social institution by how credible they happen to be. For example, the credibility of my social institution should be above most things so when I am taught things I take them for what they are – unless I was taught something different at another place, then I ask for further explanation. What my family happens to think is important because a lot of the time, I go with what they have to say. I am at an age where I can think for myself and believe in my own things, but the way society works is a lot of people depend on others ideas rather than their own.

  2. christopher reed says:

    I have a few friends who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as children, so my perception of the disease might be different from others. I see it as a pretty common ailment. The girl in the video was much more attentive to her food intake than my other friends are, but I think that may have to do with the fact that she is a child. My friends with diabetes live very normal lifestyles, they just have to make sure they inject themselves with insulin after meals. That is the only real big difference in their daily lives from my own. One of my friends has a pump like the one in the video. He thinks that the insulin pump makes his life a lot less difficult, and just another way for him to lead a “normal lifestyle.” Pumps or no pumps, shots or no shots, everybody has something about their body that they have to pay close attention to. Whether its diabetes or a nagging sports injury that requires a few Tylenol every now and again, I don’t really see them as being all that distracting or different.
    There is a history of type 2 diabetes in my family and this has also influenced my perception of the illness. It generally appears in my family members around retirement age, so it is not something that concerns me all that much right now.

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