More than one hundred million American children and adults have diabetes or prediabetes. Because diabetes is so common, it is easy for those who do not have the disease to believe they understand it. In reality, however, their beliefs about diabetes are often misconceptions. These misconceptions are harmful because they make healthy individuals think they know enough about the disease to make judgments about those with diabetes or give them helpful advice. Here are eleven phrases based on misconceptions about diabetes that are insensitive to say to someone who has the disease.
“It's Not A Serious Illness”
This is one of the worst statements to make to those with diabetes. It suggests that they do not suffer or have anything to worry about. Although those who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes may not seem ill, they have a serious medical condition that can cause severe physical complications. There are also psychological effects of having to constantly worry about and regulate blood sugar levels. Those with type 2 diabetes may even face additional obstacles if friends and family believe their condition was self-inflicted through lifestyle choices. When talking to loved ones or acquaintances with diabetes, be sensitive and recognize that they are living with a serious illness.