Would you rather have Diabetes or Asthma?

No particular reason for asking, I’m just bored.

We’ll assume the choice is between your average Type 1 diabetes and your average asthma. (whatever those are…)

I’d definitely take the average case of Asthma. Asthma can be deadly if you have a severe attack, but in general I don’t think it would put as many restrictions on your life as Type I diabetes does (worrying about your diet, blood sugar, taking insulin, etc.).
My answer is no doubt influenced partially because my father was a brittle diabetic and truly suffered because of it. Most of his problems were in the form of having a lot of circulatory problems, which diabetics are at a higher than average risk for. He experienced a major stroke and amputations because of his condition. It is hard for me to imagine asthma complications being worse than that!

WHat lavenderviolet said, and I’m asthmatic (although it’s mild). Yes, I like breathing, but if I take care of my lungs my breathing problems are pretty infrequent and have never landed me in the emergency room. Yes, people die of asthma attacks, but many of those people haven’t been taking care of their lungs properly. Complications for me can include a susceptibility to bronchitis, or even pneumonia, but those generally clear up with a few days of relatively straightforward treatment. Complications of diabetes are a PITA to treat.

Also, I don’t have a needle phobia, but I can’t imagine having to shoot myself up on a regular basis. That, and I love food way too much to want to worry about the precise content of everything I eat. It’s generally easier for me to do something like avoid cigarette smoke, which I never liked anyway, even when I was a little kid and before anyone diagnosed me with asthma (I probably had it my whole life, but nobody figured it out until my 20s).

Ditto here. I have mild asthma. I never have “attacks” per se. I take a couple of puffs of medicine a day, and I never have problems. I can even forget to take my medicine for a few days and not have anything more serious than a bit of wheezing. Compare that to what you have to do when you have diabetes and it’s a no-brainer, for me, anyway.

However the very severe asthma sufferer, the kind that goes to the emergency room on a regular basis, might have it rougher. They can actually drop dead of not being able to breathe, not a good way to go.

These days, both diseases are pretty manageable, and proper control of each will greatly reduce the risks of premature morbidity and mortality.

Having said that, more effort is usually needed to control DM I (lots of needle pokes, often 4-6 times a day) than asthma (inhaled maintenance medication and sometimes oral maintenance medication twice a day, along with rescue inhalers only when needed).

So personally I’d opt for a case of mild asthma.

Of course one doesn’t get to pick and choose, and if you have severe asthma, you might find yourself wishing you had DM I.

What’s the difference between morbidity and mortality?

Also, another vote for A over D. (has A).

I lived with someone for years who suffered from asthma. There is a feeling of not getting enough air, and he said it was truly frightening. People die all the time from sudden-onset asthma attacks.

OTOH, being a home health nurse, I see plenty of DM patients. I’m tending to break new ground here and go with the diabetes, because I know that I am disciplined enough to follow the testing and diet regimen. I have no qualms about needles whatsoever. In fact, I often test my own blood sugar when I’m out working a long day and can’t break for a meal. It would be a lifelong struggle, but I think I could handle it better than asthma.



The morbidity from asthma: Decreased ability to be physically active due to worsening attacks, physical damage to the lungs in the form of developing emphysema.

The morbidity from diabetes: Coronary artery disease with heart attacks, loss of vision, kidney failure, nerve damage, loss of sensation in feet, hands, sex organs, loss of erectile function, strokes, loss of limbs due to gangrene, etc.

Mortality from both: Death.

I’d take a case of mild-to-moderate, well-controlled, non-brittle asthma over Diabetes any day.
Which is good, because that’s what I’ve got.
The possible consequences of Diabetes that QtM outlined scare the crap out of me. But I know of people with brittle asthma that have to take heavy doses of oral steroids, and it really fucks them up. Cushing’s Syndrome, cataracts, osteoporosis, and so on.
Both can be potentially very scary illnesses. Which is why I swim and don’t smoke. :wink:

The worst I could stand would be dandruff. As it is, my wife has standing orders to shoot me in my sleep at the first sign of “ear-hair”.

:eek: [sup]You have a very low life expectancy.[/sup]

Asthma, for two reasons.

(1) I’m probably getting it anyway. My grandmother had asthma, my mother and one sister have it, and I’ve had two occurances of asthmatic bronchitis in the past 2 years.

(2) I could never never never give myself shots. I have a needle phobia.