Type I Diabetes

The medical condition I chose to analyze is type I diabetes. Type I diabetes (also known as juvenile diabetes), is an autoimmune disorder in which the body is unable to produce any or little insulin in order to control blood glucose levels. Type I diabetes can be genetically inherited, and their is currently no known cure. People with type I diabetes must monitor their blood glucose levels many times throughout the day and give themselves insulin when necessary. In the video, “A Day Living with Diabetes,” Anna is an 11 year old girl living with type I diabetes, and her everyday life choices are impacted because of her disorder. She has to check her blood sugar regularly and give herself insulin. She must calculate the number of carbohydrates she eats at every meal and adjust her insulin pump accordingly. When her insulin levels are high, she feels tired and weak, and is not able to do normal everyday activities. She is not able to live the “typical” life of a pre-teen, as she is constantly working to keep her glucose levels normal so she can function. Because of a lack of education, many people who think of diabetes think that the person affected with the disorder was diagnosed because of an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise (assuming they have type II diabetes). They do not understand that type I diabetes is completely unavoidable, and these people did nothing to cause them to be diagnosed with the disorder; their bodies simply are not working properly. This can cause people with type I diabetes to feel judged and misunderstood. I believe their is a strong connection between belief and healing. The placebo effect has proven effective in “curing” certain illnesses, which in fact are simply “fooling” the patients brain into thinking they are cured. This proves that our minds can effect how we either recover or progress with a certain illness. In the documentary, “Placebo: Cracking the Code,” a women who was diagnosed with depression was given a placebo pill that she thinks is an anti-depressant, and actually overcame her depression because her mind believed her medication was healing her.

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  1. Nia Franklin says:

    When I think of diabetes I think of someone who is overweight, obese, and doesn’t have a healthy diet. I believe that’s probably the stereotype that most people have but in reality type 1 diabetes can affect any kind of person. People with type one diabetes cannot produce insulin. I agree with the biomedicine influences have made living with type one diabetes a lot easier. Our culture is more open to having people hooked up to machines if that means it helps that person live a longer, better life. Some other cultures do not agree with “interfering” with someone’s natural life span. In some Asian cultures it is thought that you should let life take its course and they don’t believe in western medicine and methods. It could be embarrassing for someone living with type one diabetes. Someone might feel left out or different because they can’t eat certain things or have to have special accommodations at restaurants. Or to constantly feel like you’re tied down because you’re dependent on your medication. It’s really nothing to be embarrassed about it’s all a matter of people being educated about the condition. In an area where people are ignorant about this disease they may see it as weird, but in a place where it is taught amongst the people in that area they can understand their illness and sympathize with them.

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