Serious Diabetes Police Family

I think I have one of the worst diapolice families out there. Every holiday we go thru the you cant eat that and taking stuff on the menu cause I cant eat it. If we have anything that is remotely carb or sweet they actually take it. I recently had a good endo appt and A1c and they felt it was due to them. I see them maybe once or twice a month yet they feel that them being a nuisance it what made the difference. Today my sister called to point out that my being sick is a choice. If I would watch my nutrition and follow the doctors advice I would be fine. My mother died of diabetes complications at 66 and she says I choose to follow her in not taking care of myself. So essentially everything I suffer thru is because I wont fix it. I am so mad right now and feel so helpless like no one understands what I go thru.

Dealing with the diabetes police is always tricky.

Most of the time they are well intended, but sometimes it’s more about them and their need to be in control than about you. It’s often hard to distinguish one case from the other.

Sometimes the response that makes the most sense is to nod and smile. Sometimes it’s to create a teachable moment. And sometimes it’s to suggest something along the lines of, “Flying leaps are free—take one.” Sometimes the appropriate response is obvious, other times it’s devilishly hard to determine. The one constant is that we’re here and we get it.


I find in most cases sarcasm works well, like oh I tried eating nufin but all the the er doc said was if you try that again I will personally shoot you!. If you are interested in how the cam is going , with the freestyle libra if I am in the range 6-7 the thing agrees with my bgl but if it is high or low the libre exaggerates, defiantly does not replace bgl for type 1s, only shows the trend…why does this change cgm to cam

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I can relate w/ you on the “Diabetes Police”. Being diagnosed at an early age, everyone in my family sought the right and felt they had the knowledge to control my diabetes (along with my doctors and mom who attended appmnts. with me). Yet, no one really knew what was going on. All they figured they knew was that I couldn’t have this and I couldn’t have that. As I’ve grown I’ve had to sort of put them in place and reassure them that I had a pretty good grasp of what I could eat and what I couldn’t. We as diabetics have to grow to understand that some people are simply “ignorant” to the topic of diabetes and do not fully understand it outside of what they THINK it is … which is a person not being able to eat anything w/ sugar in it. sigh … I hope you’re able to work through this and understand that you’re not alone. . perhaps educating those “Police” would help a bit.


Oh no that is the bad diabetes. I have the good kind


Our society, our healthcare professionals and yes even family don’t properly understand diabetes and alarmingly understand diabetes as a condition that we as patients “cause.” This is not only wrong, it is hurtful and in the long term very damaging. We do not need misinformation and propaganda that we are to blame for our diabetes or that we should have shame or stigma about our condition.

I think ideally we would like to “educate” family. You may choose to not do that. If you don’t choose to educate, I would encourage you to build up your own convictions as a personal emotional defense against meddling family. Convince yourself that you didn’t give yourself diabetes by choice, that you can make good choices about your care (and diet) on your own. And be able to just let that “ugly bit of stupid” just roll off your back when you need to.

You need to convince yourself that your diabetes is not caused by choice even if you want to educate. It is hard to convince others if you don’t truly believe it. You yourself said it, your mother had diabetes. Diabetes is primarily determined by genetics. Your mother passed it on to you. And if the diabetes police come out in force you can use this fact to turn the tables. If they actually believe that eating something carby or sweet causes diabetes then being genetically predisposed to diabetes they need some “policing.” In fact, if they really believe it is a choice then they should submit to your deep subject matter expertise and advice on what they should and should not eat. I suspect if you did this there would be a lot less policing going on.


LOL. I like Brian’s last suggestion—if they think diet causes diabetes, then lecture them on what they should be eating and see how quickly the subject gets changed. :sunglasses:


So… if diabetes is an eating disorder, is stupidity a breathing disorder? :grimacing:
I, too, like Brian’s last suggestion. I’ve gone thru some of that, myself; however, lately, my younger sister, who was a PA, and who usually considers herself the family “medical expert,” has started to ask for my diet and nutrition advice, because she is starting to be concerned that she is edging closer to diabetes herself…


After reading your post and the subsequent comments, I realized that no one in my immediate family took on the diabetes police role. I think from my ongoing conversation about living wth diabetes they understood that it’s more complicated than it at first appears. For that I am grateful.

Where the diabetes police made awkward appearances were people more on my social periphery, people who didn’t know me well but did know I had diabetes. My usual tactic with them was to confidently tell them, “I got this.” They could tell that I’m not buying their perception of my diabetes and they usually politely dropped that line of conversation. They may have made other comments beyond my hearing but I didn’t care about that.

We know that at least the initial motivation that the diabetes police hold is one of concern. But the ignorance quickly piles on and I found challenging them socially awkward. Even a simple question to them like, “Are you aware that there is more than one kind of diabetes?” would cause them to realize that they are seriously out of their depth of diabetes knowledge.

I would prefer to avoid the topic of diabetes unless they showed a genuine interest and were ready to learn a few facts about diabetes. If I perceive that the person is a know-it-all, and these people are quickly identifiable, I will shut down conversation about diabetes as quickly as possible.

This is a tough topic to resolve. Perhaps a heart-to-heart one-on-one discussion with one or two of your relatives might help smooth the way for more enjoyable events in the future.


The problem with D Police is not what they don’t know, it’s what they think they do know but are totally wrong about that’s the problem. Ignorance you can fix; confident erroneousness is much harder to crack.


Very true. At the first sign of this, I’ll usually smile and nod and give up the conversational topic. I wise person is aware of their ignorance; a know-it-all needs no new information.

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Nor, usually, will accept any. Assuming they let you get a word in edgewise at all.

Coming from a family of predominantly German ancestry, we shun even the appearance of quasi-military dietetic intervention. Now that I think about it, there are only a few people in my family who eat in harmony with their dietary needs and activity level. Two-thirds of those people are Type 1 diabetics, so perhaps the T1s may scale up their efforts in dietary regulation and imposition of mandatory morning goose-stepping.

I hope the sarcasm in this makes for a little smile or laugh! Hugs to you!

No it’s not.

I am extremely confident in that.



Me? I confirm the truth of their incorrect instructions, thank them for their wise counsel, as I put the item in my mouth I’m not supposed to have and offer them some. :wink:

Nah, I’d look over on their plate and say, “You’re right. So… since you won’t want to eat your portion - can I have it?”


I mentioned that once when my daughter and her boyfriend were visiting. He says to me oh no she would never be in that position cause we eat right and exercise. Its your poor lifestyle choices that lead you to getting diabetes. I felt like such a glutton. Like for a moment I did believed I did it to myself from poor living.

To which I would respond, “You are making bad lifestyle choices. You’re eating the very stuff you tell me not to.”

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Makes me grateful to be as far from family as I am. I get enough of it on Facebook, but at least there I can ignore it much more easily. If it was happening in person, I’d probably treat it much like I treated the parenting advice I got for free.
I like to take my grandfather’s lead on this. He’s been gone now for 24 years, but late in his life he was hard of hearing (he shot in a lot of rifle matches in his day). When we were at his house, talking to him, he learned to smile and nod. Only as I got into my late teens did I realize he never really heard me. Now, when I get advice that’s garbage, in any aspect of my life, I just smile and nod.

If a family member tried some sort of intervention-style conversation, I would simply remind them of my last two A1c results (5.7 and 5.8), even though I’m shooting for lower results. Thank them for their concern but assure them I’ve got the type of control that has my doctor thrilled.

The problem for most people is they’ve watched family members who were given horrible advice suffer from diabetic complications. Now they panic when they see us not following that same horrible advice. They then get on the internet and learn all sorts of stuff that just ain’t true. I had to tell my mother-in-law’s boyfriend that his knowledge was BS.

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