T2 and Stigma

AMAZING video! Diabetes stigma is one of the most significant barriers for people with T2, and one of the issues that we ALL as a community should try to solve.

In the first place, I don’t appreciate being spoken to as though I were four years old.

In the second place, these people work for a clinic that trumpets its ability to “reverse” diabetes, a claim at which I take sharp umbrage.

In the third place, they don’t say how they reduce the “shame” – nor how they reduce anything, for that matter. To discover that, you must go to their web site and/or become their patient. I don’t speak for anyone else, but this sounds an alarm on my advertising meter.

Don’t understand why you feel they are talking to a 4yr old.

I do believe t2 can have some sort of remission, but of course, it takes a BIG lifestyle and mindset change. Definitely not easy. It is definitely a very complex disease!

And by talking about how people felt when they were diagnosed, others can better understand they are not the only ones.

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This video contains the message and tone that could start healing from blame and shame (“reverse T2D” is not in the video). I don’t like, at all, that they claim to be able to “reverse” diabetes on their home web page.

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Their willful misuse of language shows thoughtful intention to mislead for a profit. I agree, remission is an honest alternative term that should have been used in this case.

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It is interesting how divided opinions are; I’m collaborating at a Research with a University that consists in educating people with pre-diabetes on how to reverse it, and it is extremely interesting the way they educate and present the information. And they have a great team of doctors who have been working on this for years.

The term reversing to me is extreme, but a remission to me seems more logic.

I’m sympathetic to what they’re trying to do. I believe they depend strongly on limiting carbs, a valid and powerful technique. There’s a whole group of practitioners who fall under the description of “functional” medicine who have fallen prey to this linguistic deception. I see their reaching over the term, “remission” and using “reverse” as a thinly veiled way to imply a “cure.”

I don’t get it. Remission in the case of T2D is awesome!

It doesn’t sound veiled. This simply seems to be the point of their company. Following is a quote from a Q&A with “Founder” Sami Inkinen Virta.

Q: That’s a bold claim that you’re making that you can cure diabetes.
A: Yeah totally…Without tech you can’t do Virta.
We’re not just a software company, we’re a software company that combines biochemistry and science to cure the disease. If one of those is wrong it’s not going to work.

Your’e right – it doesn’t appear veiled at all.

Big claims require big proof. Their casual disregard for language undermines their credibility.

To me both remission and reverse imply a cure. But I suspect these terms only apply whilst you are still following a very reduced carb diet and an exercise regime.
My brother-in-law followed Dr. Michael Moseleys ‘8 Week Blood Sugar Diet’ and was able to give up taking Metformin. Basically this is a low carb Mediteranean style diet. I am not sure if he is still following the diet.

I’m all over the map on this one. I’ve listened to a couple of videos by Sarah, but frankly have a hard time concentrating because of her high, squeaky voice. I know I should concentrate on the message, but for me it’s like having flashing lights behind the presenter — very distracting. She actually does much better on this video than for her TED talk and other videos.

I agree that “cure” is over the top. When I can eat the same things a non-diabetic friend can eat and not have any unusual blood sugar excursions and/or metabolic consequences — THEN I’ll feel cured! I don’t really see that Sarah and company bring much to the table. Take away LCHF and exercise and what is their unique message? Others have said it just as well and perhaps better.

Finally, if we want the public to understand the “shame” of diabetes, our members have to understand it first. I’m type 1, but my type 2 wife doesn’t experience any shame that I’m aware of. Never did! We’ve never experienced any discrimination either, although I believe that’s a real thing. In those cases though, I believe the message is, “Your diabetes is a risk factor for employment” (in their minds anyway.) Neither of us has ever had the insinuation that we are bad people or should take better care of ourselves. So talk to me about where this shame comes from?

I would argue that is not a cure. That is (potentially) healthy living with good BG control.

Otherwise, from a T1 perspective, we could say we are cured as long as we take the proper amount of insulin.

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To me remission means that you are living drug free with diabetes in check, it doesn’t mean cured. Just that you can live a healthy lifestyle without being bothered with the underlying disease. Yet the disease is still there waiting.

Remission comes no where close to being considered cured. Cured says to me that your disease is gone forever, It has been removed from your body never to bother you again unless you are reinfected, since diabetes T2 is not an infection it will never bother you again.

I applaud what they are doing if it is credible, The burden of proof is on them. I will be extremely happy if they are successful. I see nothing here that screams cure to me. I would feel much better if they were not making unproven promises for the sake of advertising.

I do not like the word reversal either. I prefer using the words managing or remission better. That said, I have witnessed shame. Easy for me to admit to diabetes (TD2). I am tiny and in great physical condition for my age. I do see blatant discrimination when a overweight person mentions diabetes. I am quick to point out that genetics seems to play a huge part in developing insulin resistance, but I do believe our Standard American Diet and/or other environmental factors over the last 50 years or more has also contributed to it as well.

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I have also experienced attempts to shame me but shaming only works if we allow it to, I choose to reject any attempts at shame.

I wrote this post several years ago, It explains how I feel about shame.

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Never, ever use terms like “reverse”–much less, “cure”…Once a diabetic, always a diabetic. However, One can achieve tight control that mimics a so-called “reversal”—and one can maintain that control for many, many years…

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There’s a lot of semantic confusion in this subject area, particularly among the general public. The terms are used loosely, often interchangeably, and it’s an eternal topic of discussion among diabetics. We all know that, we’ve all participated in the conversation at one time or another.

But here’s where I lose it:

Joe Average Public can be forgiven for misusing the terms—it is at worst simple ignorance that you can walk away from, and at best a teaching moment. But for the word “cure” to be misused by doctors and/or people in the legitimate treatment business —the people who absolutely do know better—that is pernicious, reprehensible and inexcusable. Full stop.

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Nailed it, Old Friend, as usual!..

I like the term “managing without meds” over reversing or remission. That is what people do: they manage without meds (at least for a while) but still have T2. It is also important (to my T1 mind) that people with T2 understand and accept that meds,including insulin, can be a very usual profgression - not a result of their failing at managing T2. All too often, HCP’s use insulin (and other meds) as a threat…

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I like this term, too. A self-defined term using plain language is its strong point.

Unlike “reversing,” it concedes the actuality of a metabolic defect, one that will not go away even when the obvious symptoms disappear. To me, the term, “reversing” implies that the absence of symptoms = absence of disease.

I agree that focusing on the real prize, as near-to-normal glucose metabolism as possible, is much more important than which treatment tool is used. Insulin is not a failure; using it recognizes it as metabolically powerful and practical.

I do not feel any particular stigma about being type 2, although I am pretty sure that outside my range of hearing at least one or two people have probably said unkind things about me being overweight and therefore responsible for my own illness. On some levels I really don’t care what people think because the world is full of judgmental types who are smug until they are personally affected by something. I do not like the word “cure” or “reversal.” My primary said that to me when I was first diagnosed 13 years go. I believed her because, well, you know, MD and all that. Fortunately I took a couple of classes at Joslin and they were very clear there is no such thing. Good management keeps the A1C down. Weight loss helps insulin resistance, but there is no cure. When I am very well behaved my glucose levels are acceptable. If I occasionally cheat they skyrocket. Cause and effect.