W4 Reflection: Type-1 Diabetes

Type-1 diabetes is a commonly misunderstood illness throughout the world today. As a culture, we in the U.S. still are undereducated mainly regarding the difference between type-1 and type-2 diabetes. Type-2 is typically considered “adult-onset” and occurs as a result of chronically high blood sugar, while type-1 is typically considered “juvenile” and occurs as a result of an autoimmune attack on beta cells in the pancreas.

In the U.S. today, we are still working to find a cure for type-1 diabetes. As seen in the provided video, A Day Living with Diabetes, there are organizations dedicated to finding a cure for the disease, such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). However, it is also shown throughout the video that people with type-1 diabetes still have a means to treat their disease such as a blood sugar test to be taken 4-6 times a day, and regular insulin injections as needed.

There is a definite correlation between belief and healing which we have seen, and possibly experienced for ourselves, countless times throughout our lives. But the placebo effect most commonly only works for people with ailments such as chronic pain or depression. In the video we saw titled Placebo: Cracking the Code, we saw this to be the case involving two patients with synovial arthritis that damaged their knees, and a woman with severe depression. However, with diseases such as type-1 diabetes, I cannot see the correlation being quite as strong. If there is a life-threatening emergency, it is typically a hazard to test if the placebo effect would work. Even if there were a way to test if the placebo effect would work with type-1 diabetes, it is still highly unlikely since autoimmune diseases do not relay directly and immediately to your brain in the same way that chronic physical pain and depression do.

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