What do you say to someone who was just diagnosed with diabetes?

I tried asking this question at another diabetes forum, but as luck would have it, I can't log back into my acct. So, I'm going to ask it here, as well. If you see this question over at the other forum, disregard it! Thanks!

OK, now for my question:

Seems like everyone I know got diagnosed with diabetes right after me. (I'm a jinx, I know!) One of my closest friends just got diagnosed with type 1 diabetes last week. Maybe if we weren't so close, I could find the right words, but because we're so close, it's hard. I know how hard it is to have a chronic disease, but I don't want to upset her. Even though she knows what I go through on a daily basis with my diabetes, what can I tell her to lift her mood? She's pretty bummed. Thanks!

I actually recently had one of my students (19 y.o.) display low blood sugar during a test (I handed him a couple glucose tablets.) I don't know whether he has (type 1) diabetes or not, but I told him to get checked and that if he does, in fact have it, though it will mean a lot to learn and major changes, he can, in fact, learn to manage it and go on and do anything he wants with his life.

Good thing you were there and you recognized the signs! I like what you said to him, sounds very positive. But, she's such a close friend, I really want to say something deep and profound, you know? I mean, I told her everything's going to be OK and she can always count on me, but I feel like I can say something more. Hmmmmmmmmmm. Thanks, though!

Be an example of how well diabetics can live.

Thanks. Yeah, I know. She knows what I normally go through. I always try to make it look easy. No one has to know how hard it can be at times. But, now that she's got it, I can't lie to her and make it look easy, anymore. Just wish she wasn't taking it so hard. I know she's strong and she'll be OK -- it'll take time for her to adjust, is all. Thanks, again!

Low blood sugar, in the absence of exogenous insulin or other diabetes meds, is not a sign of diabetes. It could be a sign of a rare endocrine disorder, but assuming it wasn’t super low, it’s probably not out of the ordinary. Some degree of reactive hypoglycemia isn’t that unusual, I think.

Tell your friend that it is do-able - and do-able with fun, adventure, style - whatever is interesting to her. Yes, she'll develop a new "normal" but since type 1 is something that we have the major role in managing, she can take pride in doing it. I don't know many others with type 1, but I do know people with MS (another auto-immune thing) and at least with hard work and some brainpower, type 1 isn't so horridly progressive.

And for the question about a gift I would give her the book Think Like a Pancreas (and get one for yourself as well) because that is what PWD1's do: we think like our pancreas would.

He's right... low blood sugar w/o meds would be completely contrary to undiagnosed diabetes.... I witnessed a young lady get real twitchy and then eventually faint last year.... everyone around her started ranting about her blood sugar. I was kind of in charge at the setting we were in. She was coming to as I handed her my glucose tablets. I asked her boyfriend if she was a diabetic or on any medications... he said no, not that he knew of. She was staring at the glucose tablets with a confused look on her face-- I told her that if she doesn't know what they are, she probably doesn't need them. I took my glucose tabs back. The EMTs showed up and tested her blood sugar--103.

The only thing that makes a diabetics glucose low is the medications they have to take to prevent high glucose.

Just be sure to have a good time with her. Like Mark said-- be an example... take her bungee jumping or skydiving or horseback riding or anything else that would be super memorable and exciting for both of you.... the most important thing for her to realize is that while it is a big deal, it isn't the end of the world.

I think the best thing you can say to your friend right now is: I'm here when you want to talk. I don't think there is any perfect thing to say since every person is different.

After the birth of her first child, my friend felt fat and wanted to lose the weight fast so she went on a crash diet. She was walking with the baby at the mall one day and fainted right there with the baby in the stroller. (Good thing she wasn't holding him!) Anyway, she wasn't a diabetic at the time, but it turns out her sugar was a little low because she was starved. I'm guessing her (diabetic) mother-in-law knew she was on a diet and shoved a snickers bar in her mouth when she fainted. She came to a few minutes later, mad as hell her mother-in-law forced her to eat a snickers bar! LOL

Besides, you can have low blood sugar and be prediabetic. Hypoglycemia can lead to diabetes -- you know, all that insulin getting shot out -- insulin resistance. And then boom! Welcome to diabetesland, here's your complementary blood glucose meter! We'll bill you for the test strips, later! LOL

You can't have low blood sugar and be pre-Type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is always diagnosed under the pretenses of hyperglycemia.

Bungee jumping LOL makes me think how my blood sugar is sometimes, high one minute, low the next! Thanks for the laugh! :-D

Reactive hypoglycemia in the absence of exogenous insulin or medication can be a precursor to Type 2. For example:

Reactive hypoglycemia has been suggested to be more common in overweight and obese people who are insulin-resistant, and it may be a frequent precursor to type 2 diabetes. Therefore, patients who have a family history of type 2 diabetes or insulin-resistance syndrome (ie, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity) may be at higher risk for developing hypoglycemia.


This thread is about Type 1 diabetes, so I assumed we were talking about Type 1.

Niccolo said, "Low blood sugar, in the absence of exogenous insulin or other diabetes meds, is not a sign of diabetes." He didn't qualify it, so I was referring to his comment.

Technically that’s probably accurate but it’s generally unheard of to have any significant hypoglycemia to the point worth discussing it or taking note of it unless you are taking meds… Yes if we want to use some kind of strict definition like “below 70” as hypo then we could say that almost everyone on the planet suffers from hypoglycemia… It really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to stretch the logic that far… I think its a fair statement that medically significant hypoglycemia, in a person with diabetes, is almost exclusively caused by medications…

Why don't you tell your friend about TuD and let her know she can join for herself and ask her own questions. Adding a third person to the mix, i.e. you, is never very satisfactory.

I know, but I've said it several times, she's not ready to join and she's very busy. I respect her wishes. I don't push things. She'll join when she's ready, if she feels the need. For now, I'm here for myself, and if she has questions I can't personally ask, then for her, as well. Thanks! :-)