The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Type 1 and Type 2 are Different!

My father-in-law was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, formerly known as Juvenile Diabetes. I think you can see why they stopped calling it that. Dad Rumley is NOT OLD by any means, but early 50s isn’t exactly “juvenile” either, is it?

Most of you know that my awesome hubby {Luke} and our firstborn {Grace} are also both Type 1 diabetics. Luke was diagnosed at age 10, and Grace at age 4.

Gracie girl at the endocrinologists’ office, the day after diagnosis. February 2009.

Our dear friends also have a little guy who was diagnosed a little over a year ago, at the age of 1 (just a few days before his 2nd birthday).

Grace and Zachy, the diabetic duo

So, I write this post in honor of these, my dear loved ones who deal with diabetes every day…and every meal.


Let’s get our facts straight.

You might not realize it, but there are many common misconceptions about diabetes, and I would love help clear them up.

First important point: There is a big difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

  • Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease (where the body attacks itself). Type 2 is probably a metabolic condition that may be rooted in an auto-immune reaction. (It’s being debated.)
  • In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer produces insulin (a hormone that deals with sugar in the blood). In Type 2 diabetes, the body still produces insulin, but doesn’t USE it correctly.
  • Type 1 diabetes is ALWAYS treated with insulin shots (or an insulin pump) – with insulin that mimics a “healthy” person’s body. Type 2 diabetes is treated with diet/exercise/pills…and occasionally insulin shots.

Most people are more familiar with Type 2 diabetes, so let me say this…

You canNOT get Type 1 diabetes from eating too much sugar.

You can also NOT get Type 1 diabetes from being overweight. Have you ever seen our family? Our two diabetics are the thinnest in the bunch.

Grace with her awesome Daddy on her 7th birthday

And that brings me to the next important point: while a Type 1 diabetic should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, they cannot control their diabetes with their diet. They eat whatever they need/want to eat, and count how many carbohydrates are in the food. Then they administer insulin depending on how many carbohydrates are to be eaten.

I can’t tell you how many times someone has asked me, “Can Grace eat this?” And I so appreciate people’s sensitivity to our little girl…but I can tell you the answer every time: YES! She can eat anything (within reason, of course), as long as I can calculate how many carbs are in it and give her some insulin to cover it.

I wouldn’t call myself a diabetes education advocate in the strictest sense of the term…but I am a wife and mama who deals with finger pokes, insulin doses, carb counting, site changes, high blood sugars, and low blood sugars ALL THE TIME. I want you to be able to understand what’s really happening in our world.


  1. Really excellent post, thanks.

  2. Tears! This is an excellent post! I also am very sad that we have THREE diabetics in our family. THREE! Did you read that right? THREE! So sad! But, there is progress in the medical world and we are hopeful that soon there will be a resolution. Yay! for shots (jk)!

  3. Informative and brief. Nice job, Lacey! Every time I told people that Dad was diagnosed with Diabetes I would follow with, “But he’s not fat!” You’re so right that there is the assumption that people get Diabetes from just not taking care of themselves.

  4. I can comment on your blog again!! I just got Chrome at work, and it is amazing!

    I love this post. It will be helpful as I too tell people about Dad’s diagnosis.

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