Diabetes Police and What They Shouldn't Say

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2017-08-28 19:30:51 -0500
Started 2017-08-17 20:13:26 -0500

I came across a good (and a little old) blog about the things people should not say to someone with diabetes. The classics like: "Should you be eating that?" or " You don't look like you have diabetes."
People say some really stupid and insensitive stuff out of ignorance (at least I hope it's ignorance or I just may have to slap someone).
Here is the blog:https://www.ontrackdiabetes.com/blogs/datelin...

Like most chronic conditions that people have no experience with, it's hard to wrap your head around living with it. People make weird assumptions based on misconstrued and sometimes flat out wrong information. I can't always fault them…but I certainly can take some time to clear things up a bit.

What are some of the things you HATE that people say or do to you? What do you say back? What do you do to help them understand better?

19 replies

Vhm 2017-08-28 19:30:51 -0500 Report

I try to view these comments a 'teaching opportunities.' Someone opens the door; I walk through.

You tell me I "Don't look like a diabetic," let me tell you my belief as to why?

Or "you eat healthy food" or "you walk all of the time"… Let me tell you why that doesn't matter.

Again, I try to turn these diabetes police comments into positive experiences.

cmr55 2017-08-23 17:49:47 -0500 Report

When someone tries to be the food police with me I tell them I pretty much have my diabetes under control. I also tell them I have figured out what I can eat what works for me an that I use to be on insulin and have been off for 44 months. Then they say WOW!

haoleboy 2017-08-20 12:33:17 -0500 Report

however …
I have to bite my tongue when I'm out with a friend or family member I know to be type 2 that has recently been complaining about how they struggle with their "numbers" and the person is eating high carb foods with wild abandon
(actually, I have that issue with anyone I care about eating high carb foods with wild abandon … yeah … I can be the food police)

❤ eat as if your life depends on it

GabbyPA 2017-08-20 15:15:44 -0500 Report

This is where education versus accusation can be handy. Though I know unwanted education is hard to overcome as well, from both sides.

onafixedincome 2017-08-21 14:52:11 -0500 Report

Does come in handy for the 'omg you shouldn't eat THAT' folks… :) I just inundate with scientific information until they go away…or throw up. :)

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-08-19 18:57:57 -0500 Report

I pay no attention to the Food Police. I eat what i want to eat when I know I can eat it with no problems. I am not always the nicest person on the planet and I don't have a problem with telling people to mind their business.

Consueloj 2017-08-19 11:44:34 -0500 Report

After over 2 years at managing my type 2 - Iam very comfortable saying to anyone who asks about or pushes a bad food at me - :No thank you. I wish I could but it's not good for me." And thats when I feel like being polite. Sometimes its just a negative shake of my head.

Luis65 2017-08-18 12:41:04 -0500 Report

My great, great aunt Marie used to tell me about foods she wouldn't eat, "I like it, but it doesn't like me." This confused me as a child, but I get it now.

My standard reply to, "Just this once, it won't hurt." is "I have no control, to eat one means to eat them all."

haoleboy 2017-08-18 11:54:52 -0500 Report

my response to any diet related "help" is usually … "I used to weigh 325 pounds, and while I appreciate your concern I know what I'm doing."

Vhm 2017-08-28 19:28:12 -0500 Report

I agree with Pegsy below. You sure do. And I and others have taken good advice from you as a result (thank goodness) of Diabetic Connect!

onafixedincome 2017-08-21 14:54:35 -0500 Report

Or a 'Thanks, but I'm good.'. Most comments are meant kindly as reminders, and while it's hard to remember that some days, I manage most times to keep the cover on the razor edges of my tongue. :)

I've had a number of people get TOTALLY curious and ask a ton of good questions, and I think that's awesome. I love to teach!

Type1Lou 2017-08-18 08:43:20 -0500 Report

My lunch, most days is one apple, cored and sliced, eaten with 4 tablespoons (2 servings) of all-natural peanut butter. I meet with sewing friends once a month and one of the members kept questioning me about "Wasn't that too much fat for me to eat?" (She was not diabetic but had been struggling with her weight for years.) After explaining to her several months in a row that as a diabetic, I counted/limited my carb grams and did not track calories or fat but that the fat in all-natural peanut butter was "good" fat, I finally lost patience when she again raised the issue. I asked her what part of my prior explanations did she not understand? (BTW, my BMI is 20.5 and my last A1c was 6.3…) For me, limiting carbs enabled me to better manage my diabetes while keeping my weight at an optimum level. She hasn't raised the issue again.

onafixedincome 2017-08-21 14:59:14 -0500 Report

I get similar reactions when I don't eat a meal—I eat about once a day, with intermittent pork rinds to satisfy crunch and so forth. But only one meal a day. Friends quit asking when I flooded them with LOADS of lovely, graphic, educational information…and one has also switched to one meal daily for weight loss. :)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-08-17 22:11:40 -0500 Report

Gabby, I hear so many stories about the questions or comments that people living with diabetes receive. Mostly well intentioned but hurtful or annoying nonetheless. "Should you be eating that?" is the one my clients talk about the most. It is so patronizing. I recently asked a T1 diabetic that I had just met if she lived alone. I was asking that out of concern after she said she had just been hospitalized. But she said she gets that all the time. I realized I might have implied, by asking that question, that I think she may need to be watched over, or may be less than responsible. We had an interesting conversation about how being asked about her living arrangements made her feel.

GabbyPA 2017-08-20 12:05:19 -0500 Report

This is where good intentions can hit a raw nerve. I know there are times when I do the same thing with people. Concern can lead to stereo types as well. But at least you were able to talk it out. Most people just don't want to hear why what they say bothers us or give them a chance to explain their end of the story.

onafixedincome 2017-08-21 15:01:41 -0500 Report

I get the 'I worry because you live alone.' fairly often—it means I don't have help or someone to check on me if something were to go sideways, and I appreciate the sentiment behind the question. But it does get old, and I just point out that, last I saw, there were no studies that said that living alone was harmful, except to people who tried to force others to have companions! :) :)

Pegsy 2017-08-17 20:48:23 -0500 Report

I hate when I am in a social setting and I bring my own food only to be questioned, mercilessly, about the fact that I brought my own food and I am not eating when everyone else is eating. Some people behave as though they have the right to all the personal details about my health issues. It really bugs me!