Amazing Diabetes Tattoos And What They Mean!
What is T1?
The image of serpents wrapped around a staff is a familiar one in the medical field--this tattoo plays on that, but substitutes a syringe of insulin for the staff. The image is based on the Rod of Asclepius, which takes its name from the Greek god Asclepius, a deity associated with healing and medicinal arts in Greek mythology. Oh, and T1? It's shorthand for type 1 diabetes.
A diabetes tattoo marking a parents love for their child
A parent, whose child has type 1 diabetes, chose to honor his daily struggle with the disease by getting the insulin pump that her son wears tattooed on her torso. He was feeling alone with his disease, and wearing the pump made him feel different from all the other kids. So she decided to get a pump tattooed on her body, to show him that she is with him, that he is not alone. This meant the world to her son, and also shows a greater solidarity and compassion for all of those parents and children that are living with diabetes.
Citizen of the world has diabetes.
What a gloriously rich tapestry this tattoo weaves! The hatch marks give you the number of years that this person has had Type 1 diabetes—10 years— and the caduceus makes it clear that this tattoo is intended also as a medical alert in case of emergency. And the multi-lingual approach? This just announces that this is a global citizen, prepared for what may come, in whatever country it may happen in!
What does the blue circle mean?
The blue circle is the universal symbol for diabetes. While diabetes has been a widespread disease for many years, it wasn't until 2006 that there was a global symbol for diabetes. The purpose of the symbol is to raise awareness of diabetes, and to provide support for the fight against diabetes.
More sugar more problems? This tattoo concurs with a recent Stanford study that substantiated what many had thought for some time: sugar intake is correlated with diabetes. And more sugar is correlated with more diabetes. Diabetes rates drop accordingly over time, when sugar availability drops.
The trend is global
While the Asian characters may be indecipherable for most of us, the "Star of Life" symbol in red, along with "Type 1 diabetic" tells us all we need to know. The “Star of Life" symbol was designed for NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Society Administration) in response to the need for a uniform symbol to represent our emergency medical services system. This symbol, embedded with the other parts of this artful tattoo, tells us that this skin art is intended as a medical alert in the case of emergency.
A rub-on temporary tattoo that can measure blood sugar?!
We are truly living in amazing times. Healthcare technology is looking to take the sting out of daily life for diabetics. For many of those living with the disease, diabetes means pricking your finger multiple times a day for a blood glucose test. Not fun. Thankfully, some clever researchers have been hard at work on a bloodless and needleless alternative: a rub-on temporary tattoo that gently sucks glucose through the surface of the skin. The temporary tattoo is a flexible sensor sticker that measures glucose by through a mild electrical current instead of a needle. This non-invasive technology will help cut down on the number of people who avoid measuring their glucose for fear of needles, pain, or blood.
Hello, Hello Kitty!
While we don't think Hello Kitty is diabetic, we love that she is showing us how diabetes-prepared she is, by holding both a syringe and blood sugar test strips!
In lieu of a medical bracelet, a diabetes tattoo.
Some people don't like jewelry. Or may not mind it, but don't always remember to put it on. This is where the simplicity of this diabetes tattoo comes in--it's safer than a medical alert bracelet. Because it's always delicately, unobtrusively, there in case of an emergency.
Wear your heart on your fingertip.
A mom got this tattoo in honor of her son, who has Type 1 diabetes, who has to prick himself 8 to 10 times daily to test his blood sugar. That's love!
Organic chemistry + diabetes make for an engaging tattoo!
What clever use of organic chemistry! This tattoo is the chemical formula for human insulin--one of the critical components of diabetes management. In people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas no longer makes insulin. Those with type 1 diabetes need insulin shots to use glucose from meals. Those with type 2 diabetes can make insulin, but their bodies don't respond well to it. Some people with type 2 diabetes need diabetes pills or insulin shots to help their bodies use glucose for energy.
Nanotechnology, tattoos, and blood sugar. Coming soon to a tattoo parlor near you!
Draper Laboratories, a Cambridge, Massachusetts nanotechnology company, is working on an injectable ink that contains tiny particles (about 120 billionths of a meter across), which can indicate blood sugar levels via use of a dye that changes color depending upon blood glucose levels. If the glucose-detecting nano-molecules find high glucose levels in the blood, they turn the ink yellow. If glucose levels are low, the molecules latch on to the glucose mimics, producing a purple color. Ideally, say the researchers, healthy blood glucose levels will produce an “orangey” color.
Math symbols meets diabetes.
At first, it's hard to make out what this tattoo is about, but if you take it bath to some basic math, it's meaning becomes clear: love is greater than the ups or downs. This tattoo reminds us that with diabetes, you have to focus on the bigger picture. Blood sugar will go up, blood sugar will come down, but love supersedes all the ups and downs.
The gray ribbon with the drop of blood is the diabetes awareness ribbon—this tattoo is a riff on that concept, using the curve of the ribbon to complete the "y" from "Someday.” An interesting fact: the gray ribbon was started not by an organization, but by people who had diabetes; making it a grassroots, bottom up symbol. While it stands for awareness, it also expresses a sense of despair, and a hope for a better future.