If you are one of the 25.8 million Americans with diabetes, you are probably an expert on the condition…and that means you probably get a lot of seemingly silly (and often frustrating) questions from friends who don’t understand it the way you do. We asked our friends on Facebook to list some of the most important things they want their friends and family to know about the disease – to answer even the most ridiculous questions once and for all!
10 Things I Want My Friends To Know About Diabetes
1. Diabetes affects every part of my body, from my eyes to my toes, and it can lead to serious complications, like kidney failure.
2. I don’t need you to tell me what I should and should not be eating, or what medications I need to take, or how much weight I need to lose, or how I need to lose it. I’ve been living with this condition for a while so I know what to do to manage it – and when I have a question, I ask my doctors.
3. I don’t have Type 1 diabetes because of my diet or exercise habits. There are two types of diabetes and most Type 1's don’t eat unhealthy to become Type 1, they’re just unfortunate. There is no cure for Type 1 diabetes. Improving eating habits and exercising will not change T1 at all.
4. Keep your diabetes anecdotes to yourself. Stop telling moms of T1 children about how your “husband’s mother’s sister had diabetes and died when she was 18.” It’s insensitive and cruel and doesn’t make life any easier – in fact, it’s horrifying and emotionally damaging.
5. Don’t tell me to take it easy. I can exercise and do things just like someone with a working pancreas.
6. Listen to us – if we say we need to eat, it doesn’t matter that we have dinner plans in two hours, we need to eat then. Don’t make us feel guilty about it. Letting our levels drop and spike is hard on ours systems.
7. When I feel I need to talk about my daily struggles with blood sugar numbers, carbs, all that stuff, just please listen. I know you get tired of hearing about it, but if I don’t talk about it, I feel I might go insane dealing with it by myself.
8. There are positives to a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis. It’s encouraged me to be healthier. I am able to control Type 2 diabetes with diet and exercise. I have never felt better but I also know I have to stay on top of this monster called Diabetes.
9. No, I won’t “grow out of it.” And yes, I can eat sugar, and no, I didn’t get it from eating too much sugar. We are extremely fortunate that we have the technology and knowledge now to control diabetes so much more effectively than even five years ago.
10. I am in control of this disease – type 1 does not control me. Diabetes doesn’t define me. I am not a diabetic. Rather I am a mom, a nana, a writer, a tennis player, a jazzerciser, a wife…who just happens to have Type 1 diabetes.
This list was created from customer comments and input on our Facebook page, and obviously doesn’t necessarily reflect the views of all people with diabetes.