Don't Tell Me about Your Dead Diabetic Relatives, and Other Things Not to Say to Diabetics

If you don't know much about diabetes, you might struggle for something to say when you meet someone living with it. Before you put your foot in your mouth, heed these warnings.

What Not to Say

Don't tell a diabetic about the people you know who died of diabetes. Horror stories are not what a person struggling with a serious disease wants to hear.

Don't tell people diagnosed with diabetes at a young age (or their parents) that it's better to have been diagnosed young because they won't know what they're missing. Way to rub it in.

Don't tell diabetics what they have to do, what treatment they need, or what miracle cures you read about on the Internet. We have doctors for discussing our treatment.

Better Ideas

Do share positive stories. If you have a diabetic cousin who hiked the Alps or your diabetic grandmother lived to be 101, you can share that.

Do ask questions. You probably don't know nearly as much about diabetes as you think. There are different forms of the disease and treatment is ideally approached on an individual basis, so don't assume-- ask.

Do move on to other topics. Living with diabetes becomes a simple fact of life for people, but the 'diabetes' part should not overshadow the 'living' part.

Photo: Role Reboot