SUSHRUT JANGI'S "Illness pervasive and often underdiagnosed" (Discoveries, Health/Science, Feb. 2) reinforces the misunderstandings that my 6-year-old son battles every day since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3.
Jangi's short item, which describes a study that found that nearly 13 percent of US adults age 20 and older have diabetes, but more than a third do not know it, makes no distinction between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
The National Institutes of Health study concerned people afflicted with Type 2 diabetes, a metabolic disease caused by a combination of poor diet, lack of exercise, and genetic predisposition.
A person with Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that strikes primarily children and makes them insulin-dependent for life, can't "not know" they have it.
When the autoimmune process that causes Type 1 diabetes is sparked, the child enters a rapid death spiral that, without intercession, ends in diabetic ketoacidosis and coma. Undiagnosed, a child with Type 1 will die.
The burden of this relentless disease is made worse by frequent misunderstandings that the Globe's item exacerbates: that a child with Type 1 can take a pill and get better; that he or she will outgrow it; that it could have been prevented by better diet and exercise. Parents of children with Type 1 have heard them all.
The Globe has a responsibility to distinguish between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in every instance that each is reported on, without exception.