Why Words Matter To Me - A Lot!

This is my third post for Diabetes Blog Week.

I’ve written before about how words are used by society and the medical community in relationship to type 2 diabetes. I feel strongly that the words that are used are often poorly chosen, hurtful, deceptive and discriminatory. If this were just some fringe part of society using these words it would be one thing. But it isn’t some fringe hate group, it is the pillars of our society, the medical community and government propagating these words. In particular I really think the words “Cure,” “Prevent” and “Reverse” should just be banned, at least in the medical and government community when it comes to type 2 diabetes.

I would ask anyone reading this to help me “correct” everyone they come in contact with. I don’t mean to give them a bolus of insulin. I mean that when you hear someone talk about cure, prevention or reversal of diabetes that you gently remind them that those are not appropriate words. The proper words are “Managing” and “Remission.”

To read more about my rants on these words, check out previous blog posts such as “Words Matter – Why You Can’t Reverse Type 2 Diabetes.”


If we stop talking about prevention we, meaning the entire world, have lost the battle to diabetes. Sorry, not on board. My kids’ and (grandkids someday) health are more important than someone’s feelings and we will continue to attempt to make choices of how we live, eat, an exercise in the context and with the intent to prevent type 2 diabetes. I will also continue encouraging anyone else who will listen to do the same.

You’re suggesting it’s not appropriate to talk about prevention. I believe it’s entirely inappropriate not to discuss and learn how to prevent this condition. I believe it’s terribly selfish and that it implies that because we had a health failure, we aren’t even allowed to discuss how anyone else might avoid the same fate. I believe trying to silence discussions of prevention is akin to wishing your condition on the rest of the planet. We can’t burry our head in the sand anymore-- that’s not working.

I can sort-of see what you’re saying with “cure” and “reverse”. But I feel strongly that “prevention” should be the absolute foundation of almost all health advocacy-- not just diabetes.

I have no problem talking about “prevention” if we could only actually prevent diabetes. But right now we can’t. If you know how we can prevent diabetes I think the world (and me) would embrace you with a big hug and I would “reverse” my position on the use of the work prevention.

We never will be able to if we can’t even talk about it. And currently we can take steps to reduce its liklihood. What you’re proposing would mean discussing those steps would be off limits, thus ensuring its liklihood instead of reducing it.

For the entirety of most of human existence, the vast majority of human species managed to prevent developing diabetes. Only in very recent history have we stopped doing so on a grand scale.

I think that’s a topic that needs to be discussed a lot more. And a lot more honestly. Instead of made off limits.

I do know how to prevent diabetes in most cases. Eating right and being active throughout ones entire life, something about 99%+ of our culture refuse or aren’t able to do, would largely eliminate it. I agree completely that a major cultural reevaluation of what those two things actually mean would be absolutely necessary. Once you have a disease, it is generally too late to reverse it or cure it— but before you have a disease it is quite often not too late to prevent it-- it’s absolutely not to late to prevent it for future generations. This is not revolutionary knowledge— pretty much the whole world knows this except for those who deliberately seek to be convinced otherwise for their own psychological comfort.

We can certainly talk about it as a possibility, but why would anyone go tell people that they can prevent diabetes when we currently can’t do it? That is a harmful lie.

The harmful lie is that we can’t. And every time you say it you’re creating more potential victims.

I agree with a lot of your viewpoints but believe this one is truly dangerous.

Please, please tell me we can prevent diabetes. Huh?