With nearly 422 million people with diabetes globally, most likely you know someone living with diabetes. With various types and treatment methods, diabetes can be a complex issue surrounded by many myths, stereotypes, and assumptions floating around.
With this in mind, it is likely for friends and family to make comments that can be judgemental. Because words have power, you need to choose them wisely and avoid saying something that could cause more harm than good to their condition.
Even though some are keen and well-informed about diabetes, as explained in mecda.org, we have outlined some common insensitive remarks from many people.
”Why Do You Have Diabetes? Is It from Overeating Sugar?”
Far from the assumption, diabetes does not occur from overeating sugar. The risk factors of diabetes are complex; Type 1 diabetes involves the body attacking genetics or other undefined factors. Conversely, type 2 is from lifestyle, genetics, and several unknown factors.
Even though it has no cure, research says that we can prevent and derail type 2 diabetes. Therefore, ask how you can support them in caring for diabetes. Or better still, visit diabetesiq.com to gain more information to avoid guesswork.
”Should You Be Eating That?”
It is always a struggle for people with diabetes to think of what to eat and snack daily. Besides, their meal is well-balanced that anyone else can eat. Instead of questioning and trying to give diet advice that does not help them feel relaxed, try joining them in eating well-balanced meals and offer healthy alternatives they could incorporate.
”You Don’t Look Like You Have Diabetes”
Never paint a specific look for people living with diabetes. Being obese is among the fundamental causes of diabetes, but that does not mean all overweight people have diabetes. Besides, anyone can have diabetes, from new-born babies to seniors. It would help to understand those with diabetes and support them to get through every day.
”Your Blood Sugar Is High. Have You Done Something Wrong?”
Maintaining blood sugar levels is the best way to manage diabetes. Therefore, sugar levels have nothing to do with management’s success or failures but just a critical way to offer feedback on the monitoring. Some factors that affect the blood sugar levels are beyond the patient’s control. So, normalize to provide a positive remark and support rather than asking if they did wrong.
”I Hope You Don’t Get Complications Like My Uncle.”
People with diabetes know clearly of complications that can grow with the disease. These complications are not a breeze or something to highlight from peers. The best way would be to cease sharing stories of other patients’ difficulties to cause panic or loss of hope. There are health care guides that offer support for each person living with diabetes. These guides and support groups will help them live healthy to counter any further complications.
It would help if you joined them in such group meetings to show support and care as a loved one. Still, it would be an excellent way to learn more about diabetes patients.
To summarize, watching what we say and how we behave around people living with diabetes can trigger a positive attitude to help them handle their situation well.