5 Things NOT to Say to Someone With Diabetes
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you've probably dealt with it before: the person who says something well-meaning - but offensive - about your condition.
While diabetes is one of the most common diseases in our modern world, a fair share of people still don't know enough about it to engage in the right etiquette during conversation.
So whether you have diabetes or you know someone that does, here are five things you shouldn't say to a person with the condition:
1. "At least it's not deadly."
Sure, diabetes doesn't have the negative public connotations that come with conditions like cancer, but diabetes can, in fact, be fatal. The complications that may arise when a person has diabetes can make living with the condition a daily challenge - and out of whack blood sugar levels, high cholesterol or even the common cold can turn into life-threatening situations for some diabetics.
2. "Are you supposed to eat that?"
Diabetes means you can't eat sugar, right? Wrong. For a type 1 diabetic, especially, devouring a cupcake or a candy bar might be necessary to avoid dangerously low blood sugar levels. While type 2 diabetes patients must carefully monitor their sugar and carbohydrate intake, having others police their food habits doesn't help. Most diabetics are well aware of what and how much they can safely eat when it comes to any of their food choices.
3. "I heard _____ can cure diabetes! Have you tried it?"
Unless you have medical or health credentials that entitle you to give this type of advice, it's generally not a good idea to tell a person with diabetes about the latest "miracle" cure. First of all, he or she has probably already heard about it. Second, the miracle cure has probably already been debunked by doctors and researchers. The fact is, there is no quick fix to diabetes, and suggesting this can seem insensitive to a person who is living with the condition.
4. "My friend had diabetes, and she almost died."
While it's perfectly acceptable to swap stories about other diabetics you know, avoid telling doom and gloom tales. Yes, you may have had a friend with diabetes who almost died - or who did die. But relating this information doesn't do anything for the person you're talking to except arouse fear and anxiety.
5. "I ate so much sugar last night, I think I gave myself diabetes."
You may see it as an innocent joke, but this type of comment is no different than suggesting you developed cancer or AIDS overnight. Diabetes is a serious condition, and it should be treated with the respect it deserves. These types of comments are also problematic because not everyone develops diabetes because of bad dietary habits. For people with type 1 diabetes, especially, it is an autoimmune condition that is often hereditary or developed early in childhood - and therefore beyond their control.
In general, approach conversations with diabetics the same way you would talk to someone with any other life-altering condition. You will earn more respect and - who knows - you might even learn something.
Source: A Sweet Life