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7 Questions You Should Never Ask Someone With Diabetes

By HERWriter
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Questions to Avoid Asking Someone With Diabetes Kyrylo Ryzhov/PhotoSpin

About 29.1 million Americans have diabetes, according to the CDC. However, a lot of people who don't personally have the condition might not know a lot about diabetes. 

Whether someone has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, here are some things that you should avoid asking them.

1) Are you sure you can eat that?

If the person has type 1 diabetes, their body produces no insulin and they rely on insulin injections or a pump. If the person has type 2 diabetes, eating healthy and exercise are crucial.

Either way, they may know what their bodies needs better than you do, and this statement can be offensive to some.

2) You know diet soda is full of fake sugar and bad for you, right?

Yes, diet soda is full of artificial sweeteners and is not a healthy drink. But for a soda-loving diabetic, diet soda is all they are allowed to have because it isn't made with real sugar. 

3) Why are you drinking diet soda to lose weight?

Again, same topic, different question. Assuming someone with diabetes is drinking diet soda to lose weight can be offensive to them.

4) Did you get diabetes because you didn't eat healthy?

Yes, in some cases type 2 diabetes is brought on by a poor diet, but it can also come from a number of other factors. 

But Type 1 diabetics do not have control over getting their illness because it is a genetic condition, not one that is affected by diet and exercise  

Type 2 diabetes risk factors include multiple things such as race, age, family history, little exercise, and high blood pressure. Women can also increase their chances of type 2 exponentially if they were diagnosed with gestational diabetes during pregnancy. 

5) Did you know you can cure your diabetes by doing X, Y, Z? My my sister/brother/friend did.

Currently, there is no cure for diabetes, type 1 or type 2. Type 2 patients may be able to change their lifestyle. Working out more often and eating healthier can cause some symptoms to go into remission and blood sugar levels to drop, but that doesn't mean the diabetes is gone for good. 

6) Did you really just use a needle to inject yourself?

A friend of mine with diabetes said some people get genuinely offended when they see her give herself an insulin shot in public. While she understands that some may be uncomfortable at the sight, she compares it to breastfeeding. And it's something she needs to do to be healthy.

7) Why are you so picky with what you drink/eat?

Critiquing food or drink orders can come off as insensitive. Just like people with food allergies, lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance, there are some things diabetics can't have and it could be very dangerous if they do. 


Healthline. Type 2 Diabetes Statistics and Facts. Retrieved April 15,2015.  http://www.healthline.com/health/type-2-diabetes/statistics#1

JDRF. Type 1 Diabetes Facts. Retrieved April 15, 2015.  http://jdrf.org/about-jdrf/fact-sheets/type-1-diabetes-facts 

WebMD. Is There a Diabetes Cure? Retrieved April 15, 2015.  http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/is-there-a-diabetes-cure

Reviewed April 16, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith Read more in Diabetes Health Center

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.