What The Most Frustrating Diabetes Faux Pas By Non-Diabetics?

While many of us with diabetes are very open to talking about the disease, others are much more private. Some feel frustration at others’ reaction to their disease, their unsolicited advice or their outright ignorance about the disease. We ran an item this morning on Diabetes New Hound entitled:
Diabetes Etiquette for Non-Diabetics

Do you have any faux-pas or helpful hints to add to this list?


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the most frustrating thing that people have said to my wife and I repeatedly upon learning that my 4-year-old son has Type 1 Diabetes:

“Ohh… so does he need to go on a diet then?”


“Oh ok, so can Diet and Exercise help him then?”


No helpful hints from me but the most flustrating thing that (belive it or not ) from my own family is you don’t take good care of youself! This comes from my husband who thinks he knows it all about diabetes. I mean since he’s been married to one for 25 years! He is always telling me I don’t check my BG enough when I check it up to 10 times a day! ( Sorry had to blow there)

My all time favorite…and there are many to choose from:)
“so…I guess you ate a lot of sugar as a kid?!”

Good one! Yep heard that many times!

My mother-in-law has no idea what a carbohydrate is, so she arbitrarily decides that I can’t eat certain foods. Lately it’s been cheese. She’ll offer me cheese, then suddenly yank it away and say, “Oh, I forgot you can’t eat that!” Give me the cheese, woman!

That’s a great list. We should print them on cards & hand them out to people who breach the boundaries. It’s bad manners to do any of these things in any context, diabetes related or not.

Like most of us, I’ve heard the usual. It could be worse at least you still have your feet (gee, thanks), people telling me what I should or shouldn’t eat (thanks, again), unsolicited suggestions on cures (cinnamon, vinegar, you name it. I’ll alert the media that a cure has been uncovered). Being asked what I did to bring it on (being subjected to insensitive know-it-alls raised my BG, so please go away). The horror stories of their aunt who lost her legs & their neighbor who went blind. Comments that they could never take injections accompanied by a shudder (yes, you could if it meant you’d die without it). A stranger who saw me testing & shrieked, “that’s disgusting.” I was too stunned to come back with a snappy retort. Statements that I don’t look like a diabetic (didn’t know we had a particular look). One of my favorites–can you do everything that normal people do? Gee, I dunno. What do normal people do?

The thing that irritates me most is when people say that eating too much sugar causes diabetes.