A few T1D facts, thanks to Fuller House punchlines!

As a typical 90’s kid, I grew up watching Full House. I loved watching Danny Tanner and crew meddle and solve the problems of the three girls they were raising, the beautiful San Franciso setting, and the fact that I was the same age as the Olsen twins. Over the past few years, I started following Candace Cameron Bure – the girl’s got style, great fitness tips, and is open about her faith and family.

So when Netflix debuted Fuller House, I obviously started watching it! (Okay, and even hubs watched it with me too). We breezed through the first season so when the second season debuted in December, we naturally started it up again.

Everything was going as the first season did per usual, except when I reached the Halloween episode… season 2, episode 4. A neighborhood kid was telling D.J. (Candace’s character) that her house was uncool for trick-or-treating because she only hands out raisins and pamphlets on Juvenile Diabetes.

CRINGE….…. candy does not cause Juvenile Diabetes, y’all. Basically the stereotype we as T1Ds have been trying to get over our whole lives! Mind you as I was watching this I was currently treating a low with gummy bears and stopped mid-chew for a few seconds I was that annoyed..my mood was definitely elevated.

Please note, my intention in writing this is not to slam the Fuller House writers, or even rant about the way our culture has made a punchline out of diabetes in sitcoms; rather, to take the opportunity to educate. Here are a few favorite facts to dispel the “candy-causing” Juvenile Diabetes myth:

  • Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food.
  • Often called “Juvenile Diabetes” because it comes on suddenly and usually strikes in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood.
  • It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys insulin-producing cells in the pancreas (called beta cells). Why it does this is not entirely understood.
  • Scientists believe that both environmental triggers and genetic factors are involved. Onset has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. There is nothing you can do to prevent T1D, and there is no cure.
  • Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person’s body still produces insulin but is unable to use it effectively. It is usually diagnosed in adulthood (more lifestyle/genetics related) and does not always require insulin injections. Sometimes it can be reversed through doctor-prescribed diet and lifestyle changes.
  • Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes. Out of that number, 1.25 million have T1D. (One of the most interesting facts to me – that out of the 26 mil Americans that have diabetes, less than 5% of them are T1Ds).

If you made it through the facts, a last fun fact is that husband wants to rename Type 1 Diabetes to “beta cell destruction syndrome” to further differentiate the types of diabetes. ? I like it. The truth is all of us diabetes folks need to stick together and educate the world — our culture, the media and those around us about its causes and effects on our daily life.

On a final note, Candace Cameron is a class act. Another T1D blogger wrote a post on this topic and Candace responded with this on her Facebook page:

“Thank you for this post and informing me about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. I know the writers, producers and us actors did not intend to offend, imply false information or make light of diabetes and those affected by it. I wish I knew this information at the time of filming, but have heard your voices and am glad I know now! Thank you. I am posting this article so others will know too. Blessings to you all.”

Now after getting these thoughts out on a blog post and a month has passed, I’m ready to see what happens in episode 5.

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  1. I love “beta cell destruction syndrome!” I think it is hard for people to get the distinction between type 1 and type 2. Thanks for this great breakdown!

    1. I agree! And with all the medical terms flying around it, it can be hard to keep straight! Thank you for reading Krissy 🙂

  2. Good info. I did not know this either! By the way, Fuller House is Nicolette’s favorite show! I told her you watched Full House when you were a kid!

    1. Ohhh I love that sweet Nicolette loves it too!!! And too funny that you remember me watching Full House! Thank you for reading…love you guys ♥

  3. That was well written and so easy to understand. I know this is said pretty often but, you are truly amazing. I love your blog… love you too.!

    1. Thank you Carlo! 🙂 I truly love talking about it now to educate and help people understand through writing. Love you and thank you for reading!!