When Is It Okay To Nag About Diabetes?
5. What if I’m afraid someone will get diabetes?
Weight, nutrition, and lifestyle factors do come into play in the development of type 2 diabetes, but genetics play a huge role as well, and sometimes those who appear healthy from the outside will develop type 2 while those who appear unhealthy won’t. Telling someone that they’ll get diabetes from eating poorly is largely inaccurate, and it can be insulting to people who have diabetes.
People with type 1 diabetes have an autoimmune disease, which means they didn’t do anything to get diabetes and can’t (until there’s a cure) do anything to get rid of it.
6. What if I have some good diabetes advice?
Are you a diabetes educator, nurse, certified nutritionist, or doctor and a good friend of theirs? Then save your advice for a private time. If you have diabetes, then sharing what has worked for you can be helpful, but remember that everyone’s body is different.
7. Can I share a good diabetes joke?
Doubtful, very doubtful.
8. What about asking questions about diabetes?
Your guest with diabetes will likely be happy to answer questions rather than have you make assumptions. If you have questions about what to serve or how to make things convenient for them, try to ask beforehand. But if it’s too late for that, you can ask questions respectfully and then sincerely listen to their answers. Most people with diabetes are happy to help educate people who are willing to learn.
This is not an exhaustive list, but the rule of thumb is to be respectful of someone’s privacy and their ability to manage their own health. There may be some occasions when it’s appropriate to make a diabetes comment, but make sure your motivations are positive and genuine and that you feel close enough to the person to talk about something so personal.
The exceptions, of course, are if you’re a parent to a child with diabetes or you suspect someone might be experiencing the unpleasant signs of low or high blood sugar—then it’s time to risk being awkward for the sake of keeping them safe!
Stay healthy, friends!