What do you wish other people understood better about diabetes?

Jeanette Terry
By Jeanette Terry Latest Reply 2014-12-28 16:03:27 -0600
Started 2013-12-10 20:54:29 -0600

I am sure we have all been in situations where you have to explain what diabetes is to someone or why you are testing your blood sugar or some other aspect of the disease to someone that just doesn't know. If there was one thing that you wish others just knew or understood about diabetes what would it be?

32 replies

RebDee 2014-12-28 15:51:22 -0600 Report

Having Diabetes is different from not having Diabetes. We may not look differently, but we are. Therefore, please don't push food on us even if you love a particular food, we may not be able to handle it. And if we eat all that we can eat and then push away our plates, don't try to make us eat more. We have our goals and they should try to help us achieve them rather than putting road blocks in our way.

tabby9146 2013-12-16 07:44:14 -0600 Report

I just wish more people with diabetes would take care of themselves. I personally know people with it in my town and I see how they eat, and the portions and they act like they can just eat whatever they want, and however much they want. It hurts me to see some that I care about, not doing what they need to do. I wish those without diabetes, would understand the seriousness of this disease, and that it gradually very slowly can cause many problems in the body, that when people continue to eat wrong all the wrong and never exercise, that it is going to catch up with them. so many don't thnk there is all that much to diabetes, and people like my husband, who even went to two classes with me, is still awlys saying, oh eat that, it is not going to hurt you!!! I have told him numerous times, over time, eating things I should not, way too often WILL cause problems, trying to get those non-diabetics, that BS goes way up after eating sweets, and certain foods, and it comes crashing down, very fast, and that can cause symptoms. all that high BS over time, leads to complications, even if it takes 20 years for some!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-16 20:54:00 -0600 Report

Tabby I have seen the same thing. People with diabetes will not take care of themselves. My neigbors 40 yr old boyfriend was an IV drug user and contracted AIDS he had been diabetic before the AIDS. He absolutely refused to do anything about either of the two. He died before his 41st birthday. Both feet were amputated. He lost a hand, his vision and ended up being a vegetable. He did not bother to tell my neighbor he was HIV positive so her and their daughter had to be tested for quite some time. Six months after he died his mother came and chewed out my neighbor for not helping him with taking his medication. She told her he was a grown man and if he didn't want to take care of himself, too bad because she had no intention of being responsible for his health.

It seems some diabetics can find every reason in the world not to take care of themselves then want people to support them when they do step up and do something. I no longer bother to try to get my friends and family to do better with their diabetes. I no longer care whether they do or not. In the end they are the ones who will suffer the most.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-12-14 19:03:24 -0600 Report

You cannot make anyone understand anything they are not interested in understanding. What I really wish is that people with diabetes would take better care of themselves. They are the ones who should understand that more than wishing what others will or will not understand.

PaigeMaree 2013-12-14 03:32:03 -0600 Report

That we can have sugary things they just aren't great for us. And that if we eat something wrong we won't just drop dead. And I also wish they knew to let us eat ehat we want and don't question it unless you have diabetes.

tabby9146 2013-12-16 07:45:11 -0600 Report

yes too may non-D, think that if we eat bad things in front of them, nothing happens to us, so we are fine!! but "inside" our bodies, things are not fine. too many people think well if they can't outwardly see something is wrong, then nothing is wrong

katiejoanne 2013-12-12 09:13:28 -0600 Report

I wish people understood how people are really diagnosed, I can't tell you how many times I see people post pictures of candy or sweets and say "bring on the diabetes" or things like that. It's really frustrating.

jdenton360 2013-12-11 20:53:36 -0600 Report

I have friends that like to give advice and think they know best. About a disease they don't have to live with every day. I would rather receive advice from a person who lives with the disease. Friends should be there for support but limit their advice to real life experiences rather than what they've read on the internet :)

silvie mae
silvie mae 2013-12-11 20:32:55 -0600 Report

I don't get aggravated by others lack of understanding diabetes. Until it chose me I wasn't educated about it either.
I do wish however that health care professionals were more knowledgable about it. I believe those in health care should have mandatory diabetes education. I am amazed at the ignorance among health care professionals when it comes to diabetes. More and more are being diagnosed. It is so wide spread now that anyone working within the health care system should be more aware.
I was at the hospital with my daughter yesterday to coach her through her labor and delivery. I informed the nurse I was a type1 pump user. She
Said " i'll get to the family history later." :-/ Duh! I was just letting her know in case I got too involved in the process and missed a low.
So, I guess in situations like that I would appreciate a nurse understanding the importance of me sharing that information. She reacted as though I was out of line or that it was irrelevant.

RebDee 2014-12-28 16:03:27 -0600 Report

Perhaps if you had started your sentence with: I am a Diabetic Type 1 and on an insulin pump, if I start acting weirdly, please get me something to drink such as orange juice so that I don't go into a coma. Then she would have noticed that what you had to say was important rather than irrelevant as she misinterpreted what you said to have something to do with her patient, your daughter.

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette Terry 2013-12-12 14:29:06 -0600 Report

I too get very frustrated at the lack of understanding among health professionals. It just seems like too big of a risk to not educate them and yet many have no idea.

One Step at a Time
One Step at a Time 2013-12-11 16:50:19 -0600 Report

I wish people knew that it's about carbs, not sugar. This week at work I passed on both baked spaghetti and a brownie and someone said "I get the brownie, but you can eat spaghetti." I'm, no. And who are you to tell me what I can and can't eat.

Also, the difference between the two types. I'm a size 4 and sick of hearing people say "how are you diabetic? You're so thin!" Type 1 is NOT about lifestyle or choice. I have a dead pancreas. Good grief! (And type 2 isn't always about lifestyle. Not all diabetics are lazy slobs…)

Now I'm all fired up!! :)

tabby9146 2013-12-16 07:47:08 -0600 Report

true! I am type2, and I was overweight before, for a few yrs, and I was not lazy at all, and there is a misconception out there about it for sure

jdenton360 2013-12-11 21:01:17 -0600 Report

Amen. I'm a type 2 and a size 6.

tabby9146 2013-12-16 07:48:14 -0600 Report

I am too!! type 2 and size 6-8, we need to talk sometimes. I assume you are controlling real well by diet and exercise like me? I was diagnosed in Nov 2008 and got off pills in Feb. 2009 and bee doing well ever since. I check once a day some days I do forget.

Diabeticspeaker 2013-12-11 12:29:35 -0600 Report

We'll I try to explain it like this "when you watch a commercial about a drug they tell all the side affects right? We'll a diabetic has all these 1) low blood sugar, a) cold sweet b, weakness in the hole body, c) hungry, hungry hippo meaning wanting to eat and eat till sugar level or worse goes high.
There more but this could take a while :) and they still have a problem with knowing how the diabetes affects so all they know is the word so we have to educate family, friends, co-workers and employer.

Yerachmiel 2013-12-11 08:10:43 -0600 Report

Diabetes is a huge overall label covering everything from people who need to watch their carb intake to those who need to aid their bodies production of insulin to those who need to take most if not all of their daily need for insulin.
It is NOT a one size fits all diagnosis and should not be either brushed off due to the patient's laziness OR worried about since "they'll never have a normal life"

jaydoubleyou23 2013-12-10 22:43:02 -0600 Report

Probably the difference between the two types, and the fact that sugar is not the cause of diabetes. I hate hate HATE when people are posting pictures of food on social networking sites and say "this is diabetes on a plate", or "this is so much sugar I'm going to wake up with diabetes". It literally sets me in a rage!!!!

dagger1234 2013-12-10 23:40:43 -0600 Report

EXACTLY!!! My first appointment w/ my diabetic counselor. I told her to stop using the word "sugar". First of all, we have not yet spoke about what I usually consumed on a daily basis etc. She told me to start eating healthier and stop drinking soda and stop eating candy, cake etc. I said "can you please stop using the word 'sugar'? I never eat sweets, and only consume about 2-3 cans a day which I know is bad but overall, I do not eat sweets at all". She said "I'm sorry I will start saying the word 'glucose'.

Also…maybe that before I wasn't diabetic, whenever I hear the word "diabetes", I'm on high alert as to what I'm going to hear. I've been watching Malcolm in the middle lately, and there had already been 4 references regarding diabetes that irk me. People definitely need to be educated about diabetes because like I said they hear diabetes and put two and two together and automatically think we are slobs or have poor habits and we live off sugar. = WRONG

jaydoubleyou23 2013-12-10 23:47:03 -0600 Report

Oh my gosh seriously!!!! I watch that show too and also noticed that! Hate it I'm sorry by the way! I don't do fake sugars or artifical anything. So I get a lot of crap and my friends always ask if "I can eat that" or "drink that soda". Ugh!

dagger1234 2013-12-10 23:50:48 -0600 Report

I am glad my family doesn't say that kind of stuff to me. Instead they offer me to eat this and that and I remind them "did you forget I have diabetes and that I will die from consuming too much?" lol. They're like "crap!!!! I'm sorry!!!". On the other hand though my bf has been cooking and eating healthier than me. Sometimes at night he knows I'm hungry and will eat elsewhere so I don't get the urge to eat off his plate. What a sweet heart. <3

jaydoubleyou23 2013-12-11 00:42:53 -0600 Report

Haha I'm glad I'm not the only one who has that problem! Every time my boyfriend cooks something I get this automatic hunger! Lol its so weird. We're a lot alike! :)

dagger1234 2013-12-11 00:50:48 -0600 Report

Lol probably why we get along. (Which is a good thing) :) I normally don't have a lot of girlfriends because I speak my mind and most women irritate me. Haha you're cool in my book.

jaydoubleyou23 2013-12-11 00:56:48 -0600 Report

Lol thanks! You too! Hahaha and I totally agree. That's pretty much why I have hardly any woman friends either. I always end up saying something that gets them all emotional. My bad lol.

sugarbaby07 2013-12-10 21:49:05 -0600 Report

Hi dagger1234, you are right! Diabetes does not define who we are :) although I am the opposite, when I was diagnosed July/2013 , I wanted to talk about my feelings about my new condition ..so I think I brought it up all the time with my family, I would even tell strangers, for instance this past fall at my State fair , I would order something from the consession stand, I would order something and say " u know I really want that lemonade but I can't order it because I'm diabetic…it's like I went out of my way to tell people, I just wanted to talk about it or maybe the person would say I know someone who is too, and then I could talk about it, that is one reason I came to this site :) I just feel really alone around my family because I am the only one in the entire family (that I know of) that has diabetes type 2…and I thought it was common but anyways I'm so glad I found DC, the people here are amazing and i have learned a lot already ;)

dagger1234 2013-12-10 22:16:33 -0600 Report

Lol. I am a blunt girl. I usually yell at my family to get that f'in soda, cookies, etc out of my sight. My bf told me I shouldn't punish people about it though so I'm trying to be more considerate now. Now it's more tolerable wit me eating something more healthy and seeing others eat the foods I normally would've ordered and scarfed down lol.

also, I am not that confident yet enough to tell the rest of my family. I too also sometimes randomly mention to some strangers about my diabetes or make small talk but then again I'm not announcing it, I just am a talkative kind of person. Maybe that isn't a bad thing overall too. We can educate those who aren't aware.

dagger1234 2013-12-10 21:15:09 -0600 Report

I would tell them people with diabetes can still function and do the same thing as everyone else. Sometimes I feel embarassed to tell people about my condition because when I first thought about diabetes, I assume people are overweight, lazy and old. It has to do with that too and genetics. Now I am that person who dreads telling people unless I have to. Most of my family still doesn't know about it. I am just trying to live life as if I didn't have a disease.

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