Diabetes articles use of the term "non compliant"

By Anonymous Latest Reply 2013-04-01 23:23:53 -0500
Started 2013-03-29 08:20:35 -0500

I was reading a few diabetes related articles over the past few days that left me feeling… upset at the use of the term " non compliant diabetic." I have to work so hard for my " good control" and still experience many negative effects of life with diabetes. I for one am 24 yrs into my diabetic existence and feel pretty exhausted by it. The use of the term makes it seem like" bad things happen because they weren't doing what the dr told them to" rather than " wow what a far reaching complex disease. Any one else feel this way?

13 replies

Stuart1966 2013-03-30 20:40:48 -0500 Report

Preaching to the choir our anonymous friend!

We all do whatever we are able at the time. Such terms are an asinine and pathetic blame game. Do not tolerate it.

type1's mom
type1's mom 2013-03-30 08:32:18 -0500 Report

Well being a nurse, I believe that the word noncompliant means that u chose to go against doctors orders. The word uncontrolled far better suits one that gives their best even though the numbers might not show it.

jayabee52 2013-03-30 11:58:35 -0500 Report

I do like the term uncontrolled better than noncompliant, now that you mention it.

Nick1962 2013-04-01 16:01:45 -0500 Report

I agree with you James that “uncontrolled” is preferable to “non-compliant”, but I don’t see them as equal. You’ve heard me mention it before, I have a friend who is truly “non-compliant” – the only measure taken for control on his part is taking his max Met dose daily. Yes, he gets exercise, but it’s only what is required by his daily activities (albeit some of which are quite strenuous), nothing more and nothing regular. He still consumes over a quart of soda a day, lives on snack foods from sun up to dinner time, and most dinners are take-out. In all fairness, he may not be able achieve control for very valid medical reason like many here, but we’ll never know if he’s “uncontrollable” until he tries to become somewhat “compliant” with his condition.

jayabee52 2013-03-29 12:22:14 -0500 Report

Howdy Anon.

I don't like being termed "non compliant" by my Dr, but looking back many of those times I deserved it. Plus I deserved the complications I have gotten as well.

What would you prefer Drs use "diabetes slackers" or other more colorful terms?

Yes it is a complex disease and the Dr sometimes cannot tell how hard one has struggled with the disease, but sometimes they get it right too. To ask them to withhold judgment by using the term "noncomplient" would be asking them to abdicate their calling to try to assist you in managing your Diabetes Mellitus (DM)


Stuart1966 2013-03-30 20:54:57 -0500 Report

Hello James:

COME AGAIN 8 O ??? How about you DO NOT deserve complications.

What happens if complications are caused by genetic predispositions instead… not caused by our efforts? The Joslin medalist studies… 50 year folks with minimal or no serious complications… they have no idea why most acquire them, others do not.

Stuart1966 2013-04-01 23:23:53 -0500 Report

The D.C.C.T. is the club which most of us get beaten to death with 'control".

They ALWAYS "strangely" forget to mention the fact this magical tight control… causes us severe damage too! Too many missed that part of the study.

Stuart1966 2013-04-01 23:15:39 -0500 Report

Turn it on its side… the emoticon(?) represents giant eyes wide open and a huge, open, gaping mouth look. Typically represents a stunned, or huge stunned look of total disbelief?

jayabee52 2013-03-31 02:11:55 -0500 Report

Howdy Stewart

Well perhaps you'd like the term I "earned" those complications?

I blame myself and my lax contol of my diabetes in the past. I don't hide behind my genetic make up and use it as a fig leaf to try to cover my lack of control of my condition. I am not talking about others. Only about myself and my own actions or inactions. Yes I am aware of the Joslin medalists and those folks with minimal complications.

BTW I see you posting "8 0" here and I beleive in another discussion. what is that supposed to mean?


clcozma 2013-03-30 11:48:37 -0500 Report

My problem with the word non-compliant is that it implies that the only way to treat diabetes is to let the doctor tell you every step of the way what you need to do. It doesn't work that way. People with diabetes have to learn enough about the disease to treat the ups and downs of daily life with diabetes. Health care providers are partners in this treatment - not dictators. And complications can arise even if you are in perfect control and totally"compliant." I've had T1d for 39 years. I didn't even have a glucose meter through 4 pregnancies when I was in my twenties. Complications happen.