Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions? (Thanks to Jane of Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDE and Bob of T Minus Two for this topic suggestion.)
So many chronic disease, so little time.
The truth is, I appreciate that Type 1 is a chronic disease that - if done right - is one that can potentially make you healthier than you'd be otherwise. All that carb awareness and exercise. Good stuff. And even though pricking fingers and injecting insulin can sting, it doesn't hurt nearly as bad as a Sickle Cell crisis or Rheumatoid Arthritis.
But if I HAD to switch, I'd choose a chronic illness that is way less high maintenance than diabetes. And being that I work in Endocrinology, you know I simply must choose something hormonal.
So I pick Hashimoto's thyroiditis, otherwise known as autoimmune hypothyroidism. It's still an autoimmune disease that destroys a hormone-producing part of your body, but replacing thyroid hormone is like pre-school compared to the university-with-summer-school-followed-by-grad-school that is insulin replacement.
One tiny little pill per day instead of multiple injections? Only worrying about taking the pill on an empty stomach instead of timing insulin 15 minutes before eating? No immediate adverse effects if you forget a dose? Not having to count every carb? No thyroid hormone swings with food, exercise, stress, or just breathing? One doctor's visit per year instead of every 3 months? One lab draw per year instead of 8+ finger sticks per day plus annual lab tests? Yes, please! PLEASE!
And I know there are plenty of people with diabetes AND hypothyroidism. About 10% of Type 1's, to be more precise. But the deal is to swap, not to add on. If I can't swap out for hypothyroidism, I'll just stick with my current sweet ol' type.
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