5 responses to unsolicited advice

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Living with diabetes can be challenging enough and getting unsolicited advice can make you feel frustrated, isolated or upset. Managing these conversations can be difficult and you don’t have to do it by yourself.

These are our suggested responses to the most common comments you’ve received. You can speak to your healthcare team about managing conversations that are not listed below or call our Helpline on 1300 342 238.

Comment 1: “Are you sure you should eat that?”

Response: Thanks you for your concern, I can eat all the same foods as you – just less of some. Living with diabetes still means eating a well-balanced diet and my diabetes team and I have it covered.

Comment 2: “What was your last test result?”

Response: It’s a very personal question and I only share my results with my GP and healthcare team. It’s normal to have numbers that are sometimes to low or too high, and having other people comment on them can make me feel disappointed or frustrated.

Comment 3: “Diabetes is easy to manage, at least you don’t have something worse.”

Response: I know you’re trying to make me feel better, however what you’re saying makes it sound like diabetes is no big deal, which it is. Diabetes is a condition that I live with every day and can be very challenging. As I work hard to manage my diabetes, it can be incredibly helpful to know you support me and care.

Comment 4: “Have you tried [insert diet here]”.

Response: There is no such thing as a ‘diabetic diet’ and my meals are tailored to my nutritional needs. I’ve spoken to my healthcare team about my diet and I’m doing my best to make the healthiest choices I can. If I need to adjust my diet I will speak to my dietitian.

Comment 5: “My grandmother/uncle/cat has diabetes and they went blind/had an amputation.”

Response: My diabetes health team is keeping an eye on any complications that could occur as a result of diabetes. I’m managing my diabetes and we know with good management you can live a long, healthy and happy life with diabetes. Stories like this are not reassuring and can make me feel scared or stressed about my diabetes.

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