How to talk about diabetes: It’s ok to share

Do you hesitate to tell others about diabetes because you don’t know how to talk about it?  You’re not the only one. Very commonly, people avoid disclosing to others about having diabetes. Why?

Well, what if others get the wrong impression of us? That we have diabetes solely because of lifestyle choices (lack of exercise, or too much food) and unfairly see us as a generally lazy person? What if they do not fully understand or worse, blame us for having diabetes?

Is it your fault that you have diabetes?

Although the risk of diabetes has hereditary links, NO ONE is responsible for causing someone else to have diabetes. You are not the reason why your loved one has diabetes, and no one is to be blamed for your diabetes – not even you. You should not put blame on yourself because nobody chooses to have diabetes. Would it help the situation if you start blaming yourself for your past actions? It wouldn’t. What would help, is to transform that blame into constructive actions to help us live a better lifestyle starting right now!

What can you do?

Educating & Telling people can actually be empowering.

“When ‘I’ is replaced with ‘we’, even Illness becomes Wellness.” – Malcolm X.

While we can’t control what others think of us, we do have a choice in sharing our side of the story. When you talk to others about diabetes, you get to share a personal and more accurate take on it. If others have misconceptions about diabetes, you can address it there and then. Hence sharing with others is a good opportunity to inform and to enhance others’ understanding about diabetes.

Here are some interesting facts that you can ease into conversation:

A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is essentially the same as a healthy meal plan for anyone!

Portion size is important! Anyone with diabetes can eat sweets! It’s all about portion control and on special occasions.

Diabetes is not contagious. It can’t be spread to others like a cold.

Do you know that commonly-used phrase, “That’s too sweet – I’m going to have diabetes”? Well, sugar intake doesn’t directly cause diabetes! It can result in weight gain and a higher risk to develop T2 diabetes, but having sweet stuff is not the direct cause of diabetes.

You can also share the educational posts from our Facebook page!

Seek support from loved ones

Talk about diabetes by sharing your thoughts with friends, family, and friends with diabetes. This can help you gain valuable insight about different perspectives on health, and makes you realise that you are not alone in this journey.

We have a Facebook group called “Diabetes SG” if you wish to join a group of friends who are interested to know more about diabetes and/or are in the same journey as you. If you prefer a more open community,  you can also check out the Diabetic Society of Singapore, one of the largest communities for people with diabetes in Singapore.

Joining these communities provide you an avenue to reach out to someone and to exchange perspectives about diabetes. It might even make you feel good about yourself when you share insights with someone else!

Remember: You’re not the only one with diabetes. And it’s totally ok to tell others about it to help them better understand it and understand you.

After all, who is better than us to tell our story?