The Dumb (And Sometimes Funny) Things People Say to Diabetics

Do you ever get really frustrated by some of the dumb things that people say? I sure do. Having diabetes is bad enough, but when people say stupid things out of ignorance, it makes it even more frustrating. But even with the bad, there is always good too. Some of the things people say are downright funny too! I'm often amazed by some of the comments I get and I'm curious about other people's experiences. Please post some of the comments you have received.

I'll start:


"You just need to exercise more and eat better then you can get off all that stuff (referring to my insulin, insulin pump, and CGM."

**I might note that I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a year ago. Without insulin, I will die. She still doesn't get that. Because I was diagnosed as an adult, she thinks my diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise. SO FRUSTRATING!

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"You can't do that, you're diabetic"...far too often, even now off my mother! I've given up fighting or even telling her what my next daft idea is and now just let her stomp into work or on my doorstep waving what I put in the newspaper :P I just leave her to argue it out now with my brother who also seems to snap when she says it which is kind of nice.

"Have you got the bad kind?"


One of my favorites after I was dx'ed was "she's too young to have diabetes" (I was 35 at the time). Um... OK.

And another I heard recently "There's different types?"

In the middle of a hypo: "Are you sure you should be eating that?" *facepalm*

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Or when you are having a low & someone asks if you need more insulin.


A woman at my office brought in homemade cinnamon buns for everyone. She went from office to office throughout the building. When she got to my office, she asked if I could eat them since I have diabetes.

It gave me an opportunity to respond with my favourite comeback: "There are only two things I can't eat. I can't eat poison. Or cinnamon buns ... laced with poison."

I took a cinnamon bun and wolfed it down. :P


Personally, I appreciate it when anyone asks me if I can eat something or not; it shows respect and consideration. And if 10 other Type 1's were in your office there would probably be 10 different answers to the question of what they can eat. Personally, though I don't think in terms of what I "can" or "cannot" eat. I'm a grown-up and can do whatever I want. But I can also make choices. I choose not to eat certain things for a couple reasons: In the short run I find them hard or near impossible to accurately bolus for, and in the long run I know that eating certain things and taking the insulin to cover them, I can gain weight easily and weight gain can lead to insulin resistance which I need like a hole in the head. But those consequences might be easier for me as a post menopausal woman to see as imminent risks than a younger person would.

Just to contribute my own memorable comments though: My nephew told me a restaurant our family was meeting at and said, "they have great vegetarian pizza for you, Zoe."

Oh yeah and my (highly intelligent) brother when I explained about basal doses being released every 10 minutes or so by my pump asked me if I could feel the needle going in each time. Hell, though, when I heard about an acquaintance who had an insulin pump long before my own diagnosis I formed an image of something looking like a turkey baster somehow attached to her side with a handle for “pumping”.


Last summer I had an argument with someone about whether dehydrated cane juice is sugar. I tried to explain that sugar comes from cane juice, and that dehydrated cane juice is therefore sugar.

Her answer? "Maybe if you're a diabetic."

That probably wouldn't have been too bad if she hadn't said it in that judgmental tone of, "You brought it on yourself, so now you have to avoid things that 'normal' people can eat."

I'm also pretty sure someone asked me if I could have coffee because I have diabetes. *sigh*

My absolute favorite was when someone asked if I really thought I could handle med school with diabetes. What am I supposed to do, go lock myself in my room for the rest of my life?

Dump things parents of children with diabetes say to me at diabetes events.

"Which one of your kids has diabetes?"

Face palm.

Dumb things people -- usually my wife's family from India -- say to me when they find out I have diabetes.

“There is this herb in India that cures diabetes. Look it up on Google.”

Yes. That’s right a cure for diabetes the scientific and medical community has never heard of but can easily be found via a Google search.

When im at Chipotle about to put down a steak burrito… and im bolusing for that bad boy… and I get
" the look". Im just like Hey! I’m a diabetic! Not a f*cking junkie! Lol.
God I love me some Chipolte! :slight_smile:


Oh, yes, one of my favs. Like there is a good kind of diabetes right?!!

Oh my! Seriously!! There really needs to be more education out there. People just don't get it!!

What the WHAT??!! Seriously!! Who says that!! Oh my goodness! I"m so sorry! I would have been peeved!!!

I agree. I'm an adult so I can make choices so I've never understood why I get questioned about whether or not I can eat something. It's never about whether or not I can eat things. It's simply about what choice I am going to make. I may choose not to eat things because like you said, they are impossible to bolus for.

LOL. I love the quote from your nephew. And boy am I glad your brother's image of an insulin pump is WRONG!! Geez Louise...I would never take insulin through a pump if I got poked everytime!

Coffee?!! Seriously!! LOL. You should have said, yeah I can gave coffee but only if it has dehydrated cane juice since that's technically not sugar lol. Oh my!!!

And yes, that really bothers me when people question whether or not I'm capable of doing certain things because of diabetes. Diabetes isn't the center of my world and most of the time I don't think about it. I worked two jobs and put myself through grad school with diabetes.

Yes, I have had that one too from one doctor and a friend: if you just changed your diet can you get off insulin etc. Not funny coming from a doctor. It was a real question from both, not a statement that if I do that I will somehow get off insulin. The last one I recall was: have you heard about the new way to get off insulin... boil okra and drink the water. Fortunately most people don't say anything about D to me. Lol.. even with my little knowledge about D in the past I knew a lot more than any of these people. Another was: do you need some food? Lol.. I guess if I have diabetes I must need food all the time.

I think the one dumb thing I always get from my grandma is "Look up diets for diabetics, you don't eat good." I have food related anxiety and the only thing I can do is just eat to live I don't want to be judged for eating something when I AM actually eating something and not fearing it.

This is a totally common error! I get this one regularly. Sugar-normals think I need to eat when I should be taking insulin and I need to take insulin when I need to eat.

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heres one from a manager at work:

“You know, It would be funny if I hid your supplies. When something goes wrong, could reenact that scene from Steel Magnolias. Itll be fun. You can spaz out on the ground while I force feed you orange juice! Itll be fun!”

In my 16 years with diabetes, I’ve never heard anything so messed up. Hes basically saying that my life is something to be played with for amusment! I brought it up to upper management, but nothing has been done about it…