Diabetes Fast Facts: Level 0 - ExpressionMed

Diabetes Fast Facts: Level 0

July 14, 2021

What to know about diabetes and the difference between type 1 and type 2

The things EVERYONE needs to know, especially if you don’t have diabetes.

Note: I am not a medical doctor. These are simplified versions of complex subjects to make them as easy to digest as possible. More thorough articles are linked in each section. 


Why is this information important? Over 1-in-10 Americans has diabetes. You likely interact with someone everyday who is living with diabetes. Knowing these facts will stop negative judgement, increase positive conversation, and potentially save a life. 


Here are the facts:

There is a difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

  • There is no cure for Type 1 diabetes. 
  • Type 1 diabetes is genetic and not caused by any action or habit of the person who is diagnosed.
  • Type 1 diabetes requires the use of insulin through shots or pumps.
  • Type 2 is not “the good kind”. It also requires constant attention to food and blood sugar levels. It also affects how you feel and function. 
  • Still short, but more thorough articles on Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes

Conversation notes

  • Do not make jokes about diabetes...ever.
    • Not only is it offensive, it makes you look uneducated, jokes like “this will give you diabetes” usually don’t make logical sense. 
  • Don’t give anyone with diabetes diet advice unless you are a certified dietician or doctor and they asked for your advice.
  • Can I ask someone about their device? 
    • I don’t know, ask them. 
      • Most people are open to conversations about diabetes but make sure you ask them if they are comfortable sharing before you ask device related questions. 
  • Here’s an entertaining video on conversation if you want to know more.
  • Another video, this time, british. 

Life Saving Information

There are too many examples of people with dangerously low blood sugars being incarcerated due to their symptoms or denied entry into concerts for carrying their necessary insulin and food. This is largely due to the lack of knowledge surrounding diabetes. Low symptoms are similar to alcohol impairment and insulin is a liquid that must be brought into events. If people knew this and asked the right questions, they could avoid causing potentially lethal situations. 

  • Watch this glucagon video
    • We can’t explain it better than BMC :)
  • Know the difference between high and low treatment! 
    • Check out this simple infographic for telling the difference between high and low symptoms 
      • Low Symptoms: Sweating, shaking, fatigue, inability to concentrate
      • High Symptoms: Thirsty, headache, blurred vision
    • If someone’s blood sugar is low, they need sugar! Yes, people with diabetes can need sugar. It’s crazy that people still think they must avoid it. If it is too low and they are passed out and unresponsive, administer their glucagon (only if you’ve been given prior permission from them to do so) or call 911 and explain that they have diabetes and need help. If it’s a minor low and they are able to communicate. Help them find their glucose snacks, or share your food if they ask.
    • If someone’s blood sugar is high, they need insulin. If they are too high to tell you what they need, call 911 and explain that they have diabetes and are displaying high symptoms. If they are able to tell you what they need, let them administer their own treatment, ask them what they need, and stick around for support. 

That’s all for Level 0! 


If you’ve made it this far we’d like to thank you for being a great person and contributing to the creation of a more educated, supportive society! 


If we’re missing something or you have important facts to add to our Level 1 blog (coming soon) DM us on Instagram

For more information go to Beyond Type 1, JDRF, or T1D international.



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