Every person with diabetes has a story of a diabetes-related comment they received that left them hurt and speechless. Unfortunately even the best minds have been unable to come up with a method to keep people from making hurtful, embarrassing, and woefully misinformed comments to people with diabetes.
Here’s a checklist of 3 things you should never say to a person with diabetes, intentionally or otherwise.
Are you well-controlled?
Apparently it’s not just the doctors who ask this question, but even your friends and acquaintances. To begin with well-controlled means different things for different people. Offer positive encouraging support.1
Can you eat that?
Can you eat that?
If you’re a diabetic it’s generally assumed that good food is off limits for you, which is definitely not true. So, the next time you are munching happily on a frosted cupcake and get asked this question, make it a point to educate the person that having diabetes does not imply not eating sugar, but controlling its intake in tandem with medicines and regular exercise.2
At least it’s not incurable like cancer
You know the saying, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Comparing cancer with diabetes isn’t helpful or funny to anyone. It’s best to offer yourself as a shoulder to lean on than to talk about your friend’s future.3
For all those guilty of having made one or more of the above-mentioned crass comments, know this – all diabetics eagerly wait for new advances in medical care and a glimpse of a real cure, while simultaneously working hard to keep themselves healthy in the interim. If you can’t appreciate the massive hope and efforts involved, don’t insult them with your ill-timed verbal barbs, either.3