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Worst Things To Say To A Diabetic

10 Dumb Af Questions People Ask Type 1 Diabetics About Their Lifestyle

10 Dumb Af Questions People Ask Type 1 Diabetics About Their Lifestyle

The other day, I sat in the dentist chair (a place I dread with every fiber of my being) and chatted with the hygienist. She double-checked my medical history, highlighting the fact I'm a type 1 diabetic. Then, she asked about any recent hospitalizations, and I admitted I had recently been in the hospital for about a week with complications due to my diabetes. All was fine until the end of the visit. The dentist informed me if I took better care of myself via a low-carb diet and exercise, I would be able to "fix" my diabetes. (Yes, she said "fix.") I replied in an agitated tone that I would never live a day without carb-counting, insulin shots and finger pricks. Her confused look made me realize just how naïve and ignorant people can be. She had no idea what the differences are between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. She honestly believed a healthy diet would solve all of my problems. Newsflash: Type 1 and type 2 diabetes are astronomically different. Type 1 diabetes occurs when you are insulin-dependent, meaning you have a lack of insulin. Basically, if you have type 1 diabetes, your pancreas does not produce the insulin you need to regulate the metabolism of the carbohydrates you put in your body (which is why we have to do insulin shots when we eat). Your cells do not absorb sugar properly, which affects energy production. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes occurs when you are non-insulin-dependent or insulin resistant, meaning your diabetes is a result of your body not producing enough insulin or ineffectively using insulin. All things considered, type 1 diabetes is not preventable, but type 2 diabetes is. Both diseases are difficult to control and handle, but the distinction between the two is important to note. Type 1 diabetics hear a lot of inaccurate and ridiculous Continue reading >>

5 Ignorant Things You Should Never Say To People With Type 1 Diabetes

5 Ignorant Things You Should Never Say To People With Type 1 Diabetes

5 Ignorant Things You Should Never Say To People With Type 1 Diabetes Waking up every day and being part of America's population of type 1diabetics brings its own unique and rare challenges to day-to-day life. Wether it's taking shots five times a day or dealing with the highs and lows of our blood sugars and emotional state, it can be exhausting. But on top of that, we as a community must defend our own disease more than you think. See, we share a medical term with another disease, type 2 diabetes, which is completely separate from us. But, that form of diabetes hasthe biggest stigma and notoriety. Personally, I don't think there's been a time when I haven't had to explain the difference between type 1 and type 2 to people. It's sad. I'm practically begging people to understand that what I have is an autoimmune disease that I did nothing to spark. No matter how much salad I eat or how much I exercise I do, I will never be able to be free from this burden like people with type 2 can. That's why I have stayed quiet for most of my life about my disease. I get the same questions over and over again. Here are five ofthe worst things you cansay to someone with type 1 diabetes: Hell yeah, I can. What people don't understand about type 1 is that we can eat whatever we like, as long as we check our blood sugar and take our insulin. We are normal people who just have to take a couple extra precautions, and asking why we aren't limiting ourselves is insinuating that we aren't allowed to live normal lives. It's type 2 diabetics who must carefully watch what they eat so they can become healthier and eventually reverse their diagnosis. Thisis something I cannot do. So yeah, I can have a piece of cake. 2. "OMG, I'm afraid of needles. How do you take shots?" Well for starters, I do i Continue reading >>

What Not To Say To Someone With Type 2 Diabetes

What Not To Say To Someone With Type 2 Diabetes

Most of us whove had diabetes for a while have at least a couple of well-meaning people in our lives who like to talk to us about our condition the aunt who sneaks in comments about how we should be caring for ourselves, or a friend who always brings up the latest new item they read online saying we could cure our condition by simply doing x, y, or z. If youre one of those well-meaning friends or family, I urge you: please keep your comments to yourself. Because if you dont have diabetes, you have no idea what its like to keep up with taking medication, getting enough exercise, following a specific diet, and crunching blood glucose numbers every single day. And just as I would never make recommendations about your arthritis medication or your glasses prescription, you really shouldnt offer your thoughts on my medical condition. Please understand, this is not just a trivial matter or a pet peeve. While, yes, it is highly annoying, more importantly, it can foster stigma around having diabetes. Too many well-meaning comments can send some people with type 2 into a spiral of shame and self-blame which can lead to self-sabotaging behavior. For example, for some with diabetes, knowing that a loved one is scrutinizing their weight can send them straight to the bottom of a carton of ice cream. So what are some of these well-meaning triggers? Youre going to eat that? This is probably the most common offender. Diabetes is unique to each person who has it. For some of us, a slice of bread is a no-no; for others, an occasional dessert works fine with the rest of our diet plan. Would you monitor someone elses blood pressure before they add salt to a steak? Im guessing not. So, please, back off and trust that we understand our meal plan. And even if we are making a poor decision at Continue reading >>

Diabetes Isn’t Even That Bad

Diabetes Isn’t Even That Bad

Let me tell you why the statement above is a load of crap. 1. Our bodies are waging war against themselves2. It takes us longer to heal when we get hurt and it takes us longer to recover from illnesses because our immune system is jacked3. We could die at any moment without warning4. Low blood sugars feel like you’re going through drug withdrawals 5. High blood sugars feel like your body is drying out like a raisin 6. Afraid of needles? Well tough! We need to prick our fingers 3+ times a day, and either pierce yourself every 3 days for a pump site change or take 4+ injections everyday7. Our organs are slowly failing8. We have a high chance of going blind9. We could lose our feet and legs10. Insulin is crazy expensive11. Testing strips are crazy expensive12. The constant highs and lows drain us 13. We can’t just eat food right away. We need need to calculate how many grams of carbohydrates are in our food, test our blood sugar, configure in a correction if need be, dose, and by the time we take our first bite; everyone else have already finished14. Doctors are super expensive15. Pumps, Meters and CGMs are really really expensive16. No one ever takes our illness seriously 17. Having children is VERY risky for lady diabetics 18. The constant fear we have when we go to sleep knowing that we might not ever wake up due to low blood sugars at night19. The bruises and scars all over our body from YEARS of injections, site changes and finger pricks20. How our feet and hands are always freezing due to our poor circulation So tell me again how my suffering “isn’t that bad.” Make another joke about the worst thing that has probably ever happened to us. Laugh again when you say, “All of this food is going to give me di-ah-beet-us.” So just think about that next time yo Continue reading >>

11 Things Not To Say To Someone With Type 1 Diabetes

11 Things Not To Say To Someone With Type 1 Diabetes

1. There is no "mild form" of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when the body doesn't produce any insulin, while type 2 diabetes is when the body doesn't make enough insulin or the insulin it does make doesn't work properly. There's a myth that type 2 is the milder form – but it's false. "It is a commonly held belief that type 2 is the mild form and less serious than type 1 diabetes. This is in fact not true, as both type 1 and 2 diabetes can lead to serious health problems such as blindness, amputation, kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke, if not managed well. "Type 1 diabetes can be sudden onset, where a person may become quite unwell very quickly, whereas type 2 diabetes can go undetected for a number of years. Both types of diabetes need to be treated as soon as possible to avoid diabetes-related complications." – Deepa Khatri, clinical adviser, Diabetes UK 2. You don't get it from "eating too much sugar". "I didn't get it from eating too much sugar. There's nothing I can't eat or drink. And type 1 and type 2 are two completely different conditions. There's two types, I'm talking about type 1, the autoimmune condition. There's nothing I did to get it, there's nothing I could have done to prevent it, and it's not contagious. "No, it's not because I ate too much sugar as a kid, and yes, I can still eat that bit of cake. I can eat anything I want, and I can do pretty much what I want when I want to do it – my T1 doesn't hold me back in any way. It's a lot more than just taking a couple of insulin injections though – there's a lot more to it." – Connor McHarg 3. And it's a serious illness. "One of my major frustrations is that people tend not to view diabetes as a 'serious' illness and will go as far to say that it's self-inflicted due to certain lifestyle ch Continue reading >>

The Stupid Things People Say About Diabetes And How To Deal With It

The Stupid Things People Say About Diabetes And How To Deal With It

WRITTEN BY: Marci Thiessen Editor’s Note: Marci is a part of Beyond Type Run Team, which is sponsored by Medtronic. She is participating in the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon. Why can’t I just be like everyone else for one moment? Why can’t I just indulge in a good hearty meal without spiking or crashing? Why can’t I just go for a jog or jet off on vacation without packing my “essentials,” arranging back-up plans and constantly making sure my numbers stay within range? A night’s rest without any beeping, buzzing or alerts would be a dream. This is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. Why do I have to be so different from everyone else? Just because my pancreas tapped out, I am automatically seen as “different.” I’m the butt of all diabetic jokes. I’m the mystery girl walking around with an invisible disease that 99% of the general public misunderstands and confuses with Type 2. I’m the oddball at the table that immediately gets heckled for being gluten-free, vegan or a “health freak.” Some days I wish I could just blend in and not have someone sticking their nose into my health problems. Some days I wish I could enjoy one meal without someone drawing attention to the fact that I’m a diabetic with comments like, “Can you eat that?” or “What’s going to happen if you do?” or when witnessing an injection or bolus, “Oooh, I’m going to pass out.” Sometimes, it’s okay to make jokes about it and laugh it off. Other times, it just gets old. I’ve heard just about every silly comment you could throw my way. For all my T1D’s out there, living with this “invisible disease,” these are some of my favorites: The Stupid Things People Say… So, with diabetes are you going to lose your feet? My grandpa’s brother got b Continue reading >>

7 Things That Someone With Diabetes Wouldn’t Want To Hear People Say

7 Things That Someone With Diabetes Wouldn’t Want To Hear People Say

There are times as a diabetic when some conversations make you very, very annoyed. These could be one-liners, stories or questions, but they will exasperate you. We’ve taken a look at seven of these triggers. Try not to get angry when you read them. 1. “Have you heard of diabetic chocolate?” Asking someone newly diagnosed isn’t too bad. If you know the person you’re asking has had diabetes for years, however, then yes, they will have heard of diabetic chocolate. They will know about the reported laxative effects, that it is overpriced and contains just as much fat and calories as ordinary chocolate. 2. “I had the worst night’s sleep” Did you? Did you really? Try waking up four or more times in the night for toilet trips due to high blood sugars. Alternatively, try having a hypo in the night and stumbling downstairs to procure some sugar. I bet you actually had a better night’s sleep than that. 3. “I’ve got a real fear of needles” That can’t be pleasant. However, imagine sticking a needle inside you over five times a day – you’d soon get used to it. This comment is especially worse if you’re in the process of injecting and someone follows up with: “How do you do it?” To stay alive, is how I do it. 4. “Can you inject in any part of the body?” This surprised me when I was first asked, but over the years, people kept asking, referring to very strange body parts. Surprisingly, though, the groin, feet and neck are not among the commonly advised injection sites. 5. “So if you have a hypo, I should just inject you with insulin?” Most people with diabetes that inject will have that friend(s) that has it all backwards regarding insulin and low blood sugar. You can correct them until you’re reciting a template message, but it still mig Continue reading >>

8 Things I Wish People Understood About Having Type 1 Diabetes

8 Things I Wish People Understood About Having Type 1 Diabetes

I was 25 and in the middle of my second year of law school when I started feeling tired, thirsty, and hungry. I had blurry vision all the time. I was lucky — I mentioned this to a friend, and she said whenever she complained about her eyes her dad tested her blood sugar, because that's how he got diagnosed with diabetes. I had a family history of both types, but I figured I was too old for Type 1 and too young and too much of a gym rat for Type 2. Still, I went to student health. I explained my typical diabetes symptoms and family history to a person we will call "Helpful Nurse." Helpful Nurse decided the best immediate course of action would be to gaslight me aggressively in the five minutes it took to get the results back on my sugar test. "We don't usually get people in here 'thinking' they have 'diabetes.'" Cool story. "See, your vision isn't that bad." It's usually 20/19. "I'm sure you're just stressed about finals." Yeah, especially since I've spent most of the semester unconscious. That's when we heard someone scream from the lab down the hall and around a corner, "Don't let her leave." The equipment in student health had a limited range. My test didn't generate a number. It just said "high." "High" means it was at least six times normal. No, my life isn't over. It's a pain in the ass, it's terrifying, but the treatments will on average get me through the day. I was waiting for a friend to take me to the ER when Helpful Nurse started talking about high- risk pregnancy and "not dying the way my grandmother died." Pregnancy? I have exams in a month. And I watched my T1 grandmother die. Thanks, Helpful Nurse, you can go now. Of course this was a Friday. I spent the weekend eating nothing but tofu and zucchini with my sugar camped at three or four times normal, and Continue reading >>

10 Things Not To Say To A Person With Diabetes

10 Things Not To Say To A Person With Diabetes

Every person with diabetes has one: a story of a diabetes-related comment they received that completely left them reeling. There are memes and videos dedicated to these comments. The wise folks at Behavioral Diabetes Institute even made pocket-sized etiquette cards you can hand out to try to save people from their own big mouths. And you’d think it would all be enough to maybe keep people from making hurtful, embarrassing, and woefully misinformed comments to people with diabetes – but from my own life experience, it’s not. So here it is: 10 Things Not to Ask of or Say To, About, or Around a Person with Diabetes. 10. “Gross.” Listen, I know. No one hates the invasive nature of diabetes more than people with diabetes themselves. The poking, the bleeding, the alcohol-swabbing, the insertion of metal objects into subcutaneous tissue. But we do it to survive, and when you call us out for disturbing your delicate sensibilities when we’re just trying to juice up for a slice at the local pizzeria, it’s not helping anyone. Maybe just look away, or go get another beer. Cheers! 9. “Are you well controlled?” I used to think it was just weird primary care physicians who asked this question, but a fellow person with diabetes actually posed this query to me at a barbeque a few weeks ago. First of all, “well controlled” is different for everyone. Second of all, none of your beeswax. And third of all, if I say “no,” what kind of question are you going to ask me next? Let’s talk about the weather, shall we? 8. “Aren’t you worried about having kids?” Yes! The price of higher education is insane! Bullying in schools! Sleepless nights and breastfeeding drama! Climate change and – oh, you’re talking about diabetes? Well, yeah. Probably every person with Continue reading >>

Top 29 Most Annoying Things To Say To People With Diabetes

Top 29 Most Annoying Things To Say To People With Diabetes

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 di Continue reading >>

7 Things You Should Never Say To Someone With Type 1 Diabetes

7 Things You Should Never Say To Someone With Type 1 Diabetes

7 Things You Should Never Say to Someone with Type 1 Diabetes Medically reviewed by George Krucik, MD on October 21, 2015 Written by The Healthline Editorial Team If you have diabetes, you know that what others say about your health isnt always right. And, not to mention, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are oftentimes confused for one another. Your family and friends may think their words of wisdom are helpful, when theyre really hurtful. We asked people who are living with type 1 diabetes to share the most bothersome or annoying things people they know have said about the disease. Heres a sampling of what those people said and what they couldve said instead. One of the biggest misunderstandings about type 1 diabetes is what causes it. Unlike type 2 diabetes, type 1 isnt caused by environmental factors like high cholesterol levels, obesity, or a sedentary lifestyle. The exact causes of type 1 diabetes are unknown. Its best not to guess or make assumptions about your friends health history. Do your research, and ask them questions if they seem open to it. Type 1 diabetes affects the pancreas and blood glucose levels, not body weight. Dont be surprised if your friend can outrun you on the track: They may be in better shape than you, despite having type 1. Meal planning is top priority for someone living with type 1 diabetes. Something as simple as going out for ice cream after dinner or grabbing popcorn at the movie theater can wreak havoc on your friends glucose levels. While you certainly dont need to manage your friends eating schedule, a friendly reminder if you have that type of relationship can show that you care. With more than 1.25 million Americans living with the disease, type 1 diabetes isnt something to be ashamed or embarrassed about. If your friend doesnt think Continue reading >>

What Not To Say To Someone With Diabetes

What Not To Say To Someone With Diabetes

What Not to Say to Someone With Diabetes How You Can Reverse Type 2 Diabetes, According to Experts Should you be eating that? Andrea Braverman, 57, who has Type 1 diabetes, has heard that commentand many more. People say, If you didnt eat so much sugar, you wouldnt have diabetes, or Controlling your diet and exercise will cure your diabetes. You get frustrated, you get angry, you feel intruded upon, says the professor of psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University. You feel judged. In fact, a 2016 survey conducted by Wakefield Research reported that 76 percent of people with diabetes have felt judged by family members or friends for how they manage their diabetes, while over half felt frequently judged. Follow these guidelines to show your support. Diabetes Is More Complicated Than You Know In general, people know a lot more about diabetes than they did 30 years ago, says John Zrebiec, director of behavioral health at Joslin Diabetes Center, so they feel more qualified to comment than ever before. But reading an occasional news story doesnt make you an expert. Diabetes is very complex and very confusing, he says. People can do everything right but still get blood sugar [results] that make no sense. People who dont have diabetes think if you do everything right, it should turn out right. But that isnt always true. Lifestyle fixes are only one part of a larger picture, says Susan Guzman, co-founder of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where people have little to no pancreatic function, and Type 2 is based on a lot of factors that arent in our controlgenes and the environment and even climate change, she says. In other words, your judgmental comments may be way off the mark. People with diabetes can internalize your negative message Continue reading >>

5 Things You Should Never Say To Someone With Diabetes

5 Things You Should Never Say To Someone With Diabetes

There's often blame placed on those with diabetes, but like many conditions, lifestyle is only one of many factors that cause the disease. Almost everyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes has one thing in common: At one time or another, they have heard an uncomfortable, judgmental, or inappropriate comment about their condition. These questions or statements often come from a well-meaning place. But misconceptions, lack of education, and bias from friends and family — and even health-care providers — can result in commentary that's hurtful and frustrating to those living with the disease. "Having to admit to having type 2 diabetes feels similar to the stigma associated with disclosing a mental health disorder," says Jim Stordahl, from Des Moines, Iowa, who has lived with the disease for 10 years. "People just don’t know how to react or what to say." To prevent a difficult situation from becoming even more uncomfortable, remove these comments from the conversation: Should you really be eating that? If you have ever proclaimed that you were on a diet, only to have well-meaning friends and family members comment on everything you put into your mouth, then you know how frustrating it can be to feel like you’re surrounded by the food police. "Don’t ask [people with diabetes] ‘should you really be eating that?'" says Maureen Sullivan, RN, CNE, a certified diabetes educator in Pinellas Park, Florida. "Chances are pretty high that an individual with diabetes has received basic education on healthy food choices, and also knows the effects poor food choices will have." Although this question may be asked with the best of intentions, it’s more likely that it will feel accusatory or judgmental. "If you want to be supportive, let them know you care, but then step back an Continue reading >>

10 Annoying Things Not To Say To A Type 1 Diabetic

10 Annoying Things Not To Say To A Type 1 Diabetic

Marianne Nykjaer personal stuff - randomness 6 Comments As you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the fall of 2014 ( you can read my story here ). The past year has been a crazy rollercoaster both physically and emotionally, and one of the things Ive had to learn how to deal with (well, stil learning how to deal with it actually) is that everybody seems to have an opinion, yet very few people know what theyre actually talking about. I cant say I really blame them, as I didnt really know much about it untiI actually got this illness myself, and I know that a lot of people genuinely mean well but that doesnt change the fact that its quite annoying (not to mention sometimes downright rude and offensive). So heres a list of 10 things all type 1 diabetics are tired of hearing Next time you meet someone dealing with this, please refrain yourself from any of these comments ;). Have you tried **? It can cure diabetes! The ** is usually some type of food (eating babanas. Eating figs. Eating cinnamon. Eating only raw vegetables.) or drink (drinking water with salt) or activity (working out). Honey there are hundreds, maybe thousands of people looking for a cure for diabetes. There is no cure at the moment, only ways to manage it. Trust me on this one. I mean think about it: I dont particularly enjoy having this disease, so if there was curedont you think Id already be doing it? My grandma had diabetes. She lost her leg and died. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. I feel so warm and fuzzy inside now. You have to give yourself insulin injections every day? OMG that would SO not be for me, Id die haha! Well, I would actually die if I didnt do it. Again: Im not doing this because I enjoy it. I dont particularly like giving myself injections 4-5 Continue reading >>

8 Things People With Diabetes Wish You Knew

8 Things People With Diabetes Wish You Knew

iStock/Fertnig Most people don’t understand the major differences between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. (There are actually five types of diabetes, but these are the most common). Type 1 diabetes typically has its onset in childhood or young adulthood. The immune system destroys insulin-releasing cells, eventually completely eliminating insulin production. The body’s cells need insulin to absorb sugar for energy. In type 2 diabetes, the body is unable to use insulin correctly. As the disease progresses, the pancreas may make less insulin, resulting in insulin deficiency. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in adulthood. I didn’t ask for this iStock/Susan Chiang Yes, you may prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes with healthy diet and exercise. And yes, being overweight or obese increases your risk. But thin people can also develop diabetes, not every overweight person gets diabetes, and genetics play a role (people with a family history of diabetes have a higher risk). As for type 1 diabetes? There’s absolutely nothing that can prevent its onset. In other words, I don’t have diabetes just because I, say, ate too much candy. It’s not that simple. PresidentMommy Your raw food diet won’t fix it iStock/MarianVejcik I know you’re trying to help, but I am bombarded by emails, videos, and social media posts that tell me some magical food or supplement will make me better (luckily, the FDA has sent warning letters to many companies that market these bogus therapies). Hemp seed oil or cinnamon will not “cure” diabetes. Neither will veganism, low-carb diets, or raw food diets. A restrictive diet can help someone with type 1 or type 2 diabetes reach healthier blood sugar levels, but that just means that person is using it as part of daily diabetes managem Continue reading >>

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