How to tell people you have diabetes

Telling people you have diabetes can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Breaking this news to those close to you may raise questions, curiosity, concern or even accusations about your eating habits and lifestyle choices. However, it is important that your family, friends, employer and even your partner know about the condition.

Why you should

  • You will have someone who can help you in the event of an emergency.
  • You will have someone who can understand the difficulties you are facing.
  • You will have a support system, when you need one.
  • In certain setting people will understand why you can’t partake in some activities, foods or drinks.
  • You can help create awareness about diabetes.
  • You will have someone to help you track your medication.


Breaking the news

Telling someone you have diabetes may be difficult for some. It can be a lot to handle for both the person with diabetes and the person that they are entrusting with this information.

There is no sure formula on how to go about breaking the news but the below suggestions will be helpful.

  • Teach them about diabetes. Help the person learn about blood sugar levels when they should be checked and how they are to be interpreted.
  • Suggest ways they can help. If you need help keeping track of medication, or you need company to doctor’s appointments, this is the time to tell them.
  • Let them know what warning signs they should be on the lookout for. Shakiness, anxiety, Nausea are just some of the signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), those around you should know what symptoms to watch for.
  • Share resources that can give them a better understanding.
  • Give them time to process the news. They will probably be in shock and not sure how to respond, give them enough time.


What to expect

You may be faced with a lot of negative feedback when you disclose your condition, this is majorly due to misinformation and misconceptions about diabetes.

  • You may get blame and judgement, but it is important that you remember, it is not your fault. The best you can do is inform teach about diabetes.
  • You may get pity. These people are usually well meaning but the pity can have a negative effect. Be sure to let them know how you feel.
  • You will most likely get a lot of questions. You don’t have to answer any question you are not comfortable with. Make it clear what you are open to discussing.
  • You will get support and understanding. This is ultimately what you hope for.

Keep in mind it up to you who you choose to share this information with. Do not feel pressured to discuss your condition if you do not want to.


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