The anti-vaccine movement is going strong. So strong that measles has reared its ugly spotted head again. The disease that was wiped out in the US in 2000 is back because people are refusing to vaccinate their children. I pray that none of these unvaccinated children are Type 1 diabetics.
It is extremely important for Type 1 diabetics to get their vaccines. I get a flu shot every year, without fail. Because if I get the flu, I guarantee it will knock me on my ass and let me tell you why.
A Type 1's immune system is already compromised. The faulty immune system is already killing off the insulin cells in your pancreas. The last time I did not get a flu shot was several years ago. I got struck with the flu which then turned into underlying pneumonia and bronchitis. Because of the illness, I went into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis). For those unaware, DKA is one of the suckiest things you can go through. It is caused when your blood sugar is excessively high for a period of time. It puts tremendous stress on your kidneys, causing you to pee . . . a lot. And because your blood sugar is high, your body is going to try to expel the excess sugar in your system. So, you're exceedingly thirsty, which makes your trips to the bathroom even more frequent.
Then, your muscles begin to ache and you lose your breath. After that, the abdominal pain sets in and all you want to do is sleep. This is not a short-term condition. It will continue painfully until one of two things happen - you get your blood sugar down (which is difficult to accomplish when you're struck with another illness) or you die.
I ended up hospitalized. All because I did not get a flu shot.
And I know with the anti-vaccine movement becoming more popular, some Type 1 parents might be tempted to not vaccinate. DO NOT DO THAT! If you do not get a Type 1 vaccinated, that Type 1 is compromised. You might think that if the Type 1 becomes ill with a disease that has a vaccine, and then that Type 1 develops DKA, that you will be able to just take him or her to the hospital and all will be well.
Maybe - if you catch it in time. And even if you do prevent DKA death, you might have to deal with kidney failure. All because you didn't get vaccinations.
There is a book written by Markus Heinze that claims vaccinations gave his daughter Type 1 diabetes. There is absolutely no scientific research to back that claim up. Type 1 is caused by a combination of hereditary and environmental factors. He said there is no history of Type 1 in either his or his wife's family. Every family that has a Type 1 child - it started somewhere - either with that child or with an ancestor. It had to start somewhere. The scientific community does not know exactly what causes Type 1. They do not know what the factors are or what the triggers are that set those factors off. This book is biased and dangerous.
So, please - if you are a Type 1, get vaccinated. If your child is a Type 1, get him or her vaccinated. It will prevent serious illness and perhaps death.
But, as always, the choice is yours. Just remember, every choice has consequences. You need to determine which consequence you and/or your child will deal with.