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Rory Douglas-Speed on the stigma of Type 1 diabetes

10th May 2021
Posted by Aston Avery

Type 1 diabetes is caused by a disorder of the immune system, not by an unhealthy diet or lifestyle. However, 43% of those living with the condition believe they are stigmatised against as they are perceived to live an unhealthy lifestyle, according to new research from Medtronic.

Furthermore, more than three-quarters (83%) say people have insinuated to them that the disease is self-inflicted. Sadly, around a third said this judgement came from people close to them – including friends (33%) or family (27%) and colleagues (28%).

Meanwhile, 81% have been offered unsolicited advice, suggesting diet and exercise would cure their condition, which is not true. Perhaps this is because more than third (37%) said that they believed it was confused with type 2 diabetes which is also stigmatised and associated with an unhealthy lifestyle.

This is why Medtronic is launching the ‘T1D Balloon Challenge’ to visualise the daily burden of living with the condition and raise much needed awareness.

Aston spoke to Hollyoaks actor Rory Douglas-Speed to share the challenges he faces daily to manage the condition and why he thinks there needs to be more awareness of the disease.