Type 1 diabetes causes widely misunderstood, sufferers say, with sugar shaming a ‘trigger’

A simple lunchbreak more than 20 years ago still brings up feelings of shame for Mackay resident Selina Neill.

As a type 1 diabetic, Ms Neill has to inject herself with insulin several times a day, especially before meals, to regulate her blood sugar levels.

“I was working for the Gold Coast City Council at the time and doing lots of field work, which meant lots of lunch breaks in parks,” she said.

“Because I was in uniform and in a council car they rang my employer to complain.

“I might laugh about it if it happened now, but I did feel very ashamed.”

Lack of knowledge ‘frustrating’

For Jeremy Morris, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, the lack of understanding about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes was frustrating.

He said the use of terms like ‘sugar diabetes’ to describe type 1 don’t help and assists the spread of misinformation about the disease.

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