How to bust harmful myths about type 1 diabetes this Diabetes Week

Posted on 10 June 2019

This Diabetes Week, JDRF is encouraging people affected by type 1 diabetes to share its Mythbusting Quiz, to bust harmful myths and help friends, family and others grasp the reality of the condition.

By sharing the quiz, JDRF hopes that greater light can be shed on what it is like to live with type 1 diabetes, as well as tackle the stigma that many people with the condition feel due to the fact there are very few outward signs someone is living with it and managing it.

The quiz covers some of the most common myths, including: “It’s not that serious, you just have to inject and you’re fine”; “Insulin is the cure for type 1” or “Children can grow out of it/ adults can’t get it.” It also provides the chance to come back with a fact to bust the myth – helping to reduce the negative impact this lack of understanding can have on emotional wellbeing when living with the condition.

Katie Bailey of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire is a mother of two children who were recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes within six months of each other.

Katie with Lola, 7 and George, 4

She has spoken about how harmful the myths and misconceptions that exist around the condition have been for her, telling JDRF: “Despite the seriousness of the condition my children now have, one of the hardest things to deal with has been the lack of understanding people have about what diabetes actually is.

“It is so hard to convey just how serious their illness is when people so often say to me how healthy my children still look.”

 

Elinor Crawly (credit Morgan Church)

Actor Elinor Crawley who starred in BBC’s The White Queen and History’s Vikings series has lived with type 1 diabetes since she was nine.

Elinor will be sharing the Mythbusting Quiz this Diabetes Week, telling JDRF: “I think it can be really isolating living with the condition so getting as many people from the type 1 diabetes community to share the quiz with people they know is something that will really help spread awareness of what it’s like to live with it.”

Tough

As Karen Addington, CEO of JDRF in the UK explains: “Type 1 diabetes can be a tough condition to live with. It can sometimes be made harder because there are a lot of myths about what it is and how a person develops it. This can have a negative impact on emotional wellbeing and cause feelings of frustration, guilt, isolation and even depression.”

Over the course of Diabetes Week, JDRF will also report on Jonsel Gourkan, a former footballer who claims he lost a professional contract abroad due to ignorance about the condition, as well as how a lack of knowledge about the symptoms can sometimes lead to more serious and traumatic diagnosis scenarios – including in young people with type 1 diabetes.

JDRF is also supporting the #SeeDiabetesDifferently campaign launched by Diabetes UK to increase the public’s understanding of different types of diabetes during Diabetes Week 2019.

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