Before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I didn’t know anything about the disease. I might have also said something thoughtless out of pure ignorance. That’s what I try to remind myself when a non-diabetic (or maybe even a diabetic) says something to me about diabetes that is rude, annoying, or even offensive.
These comments often stem from a simple lack of knowledge, being misinformed by general media, sometimes thoughtlessness and lack of consideration, and sometimes even fear. While I try to remind myself to be patient with a person’s lack of knowledge around diabetes, and that I believe it’s important that I try to kindly educate and teach those people (so they don’t repeat the same comments to someone else), those comments can still get old, hurt your feelings, make you laugh, and frustrate you to no end.
This list is about knowing you’re not alone, and you’re not the only one who has been on the receiving end of these comments.
The top 29 most annoying things to say to people with any type of diabetes:
- My grandma had diabetes. She lost her leg, then she died. (Thank you, that’s inspiring!)
- You’ll die if you eat sugar, right?
- You have diabetes? You don’t look that fat. (Gee, thanks….)
- You take insulin? Oh, you must have the bad kind of diabetes. (Really? What’s the good kind?)
- Your child has diabetes? Did they get it because you fed them too much candy?
- Oh my god, you have to take shots every day? I’d die if I had to do that. (Well, I’d die if I didn’t.)
- Doesn’t that hurt? (Um, yeah, it’s a sharp object going into my body. Duh!)
- Well, that sounds better than something like leukemia.
- Oh my god, can you eat that? You can’t eat that!
- That’s the disease that causes you to lose your legs, right?
- I heard you can cure that with diet and exercise. (Great, that sounds so easy!)
- I eat so much sugar, I’m probably gonna give myself diabetes, too!
- So you just have to avoid sugar, and you’re okay, right?
- Why don’t you get a pump that just manages it for you?
- My friend’s daughter has one of those pump things that just manages it for her.
- Are you allowed to eat that? (Is it your job to police me?)
- You just have to take insulin sometimes, and you’re okay, right? (Yup! It’s that simple.)
- They say cinnamon can level your blood sugars.
- They say __(any random food)__ can level your blood sugars.
- Your kid has diabetes? Well, at least he can grow out of it.
- You have diabetes and celiac disease? Geeeez, how many diseases do you have?
- You have diabetes? But you look normal. (You mean my freaky diabetes features haven’t shown yet?)
- So you just have to, like, manage it and you’re fine? (Yup, except the “manage it” part is kind of huge!)
- You have diabetes? But it seems like you take such good care of yourself?
- You need to exercise more and you can cure it.
- You’ll die if you have children, right? Like Steel Magnolias? (Nope, thanks a lot, Julia Roberts!)
- Ewww! You have to take shots? That is so gross! (Um, thanks…but it keeps me alive.)
- Well, it’s your fault, right, for eating too much and not exercising?
- Oh, you have diabetes? That sucks! (Yes, thanks for reminding me!)
You can read many, many more in the forums. Learning how to respond to these comments in a way that both educates and empowers you is sometimes the trickiest part.
What kinds of comments have you endured and how do you handle these comments? Tell us in the comment section below!