DBlog Week 2016: Language and Diabetes

Day Three: Language and Diabetes: "There is an old saying that states “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. I'm willing to bet we've all disagreed with this at some point, and especially when it comes to diabetes. Many advocate for the importance of using non-stigmatizing, inclusive and non-judgmental language when speaking about or to people with diabetes. For some, they don't care, others care passionately. Where do you stand when it comes to “person with diabetes” versus “diabetic”, or “checking” blood sugar versus “testing”, or any of the tons of other examples? Let's explore the power of words, but please remember to keep things respectful.”

I could have sworn I'd posted about this before but I can't seem to find it. So here we go again!

As a student health professional I use patient first language religiously. When referring to other people I use it. When referring to myself I really don’t care, but I know other people do so I try and respect that by starting off with person first language. I call myself a diabetic, other people can call me a diabetic. As long as that's not all I am. 

In terms of testing and checking, I’d never thought about my language. I use checking, no idea why. Habit? The fact I like to check things? I think I use test for more formal things like blood tests, HbA1c tests, that kind of thing.

I fundamentally believe I’m more than my condition, but I don’t think calling myself a diabetic takes away from this. I'm Bec. Bec's a diabetic. Bec's a student speech pathologist. Bec's a pianist. Bec's a person. 

I’m pretty boring on this topic, but I know for many people it's a very important issue. So today I pass the microphone to you!

What do you use? Are you part of the majority that prefer not to use labeling/judging language? Or are you like me and don’t spend much time thinking about it? Share your passion (or lack of) about this subject, I'm interested. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/adiabeticsrollercoaster 


  1. It's great that you can respect what others around you are comfortable with. You know I disagree with you haha, but I do admit it seems like a really silly thing to be bothered by in context of other things. It's great that it doesn't bother you!

    1. I do know haha
      And I don't think disagreeing is a bad thing at all :) I respect your view and you mine
      Honestly it's not a silly thing to be bothered by at all. Hence why I use it when referring to other people.

  2. With you on this.i don't care if people call me diabetic. It just a description of a part of my life.

    1. Great you feel like it's no biggie :) I think we can all appreciate that we're all different!

  3. I love that this was a topic for today because like you I don't really care too much about the words used but I love hearing about how other people feel passionately about them...great for educating myself on what I should try to do to not upset others :)

  4. love reading these and seeing what others have to say on the same topic. i've jumped on about 10 blogs so far, and no one seems to be offended by the term diabetic YET. but i know some are. i wasn't even aware until recently.

    1. Huh maybe not as common as I thought!


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