We’re conscious of our chronic condition and the potential complications that come with it — and we shouldn’t be treated otherwise.

Ever since I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2016, I’ve noticed the stigma and shame that others project on those living with the condition.

Sometimes the stigmatizing comments come from your family, even if they mean well. Sometimes, in my case, judgment comes straight from strangers on the internet. Other times, it even happens in doctors’ or specialists’ offices.

Those comments can affect our mental health, who we tell about our diagnosis, and even how we manage our condition.

I wanted to share a few of these misconceptions that I’m so sick of, and explain why they grind my gears.

I know that when someone asks if I’m allowed to eat something that it usually comes from a caring place, but it always annoys me.

If I’m seen eating a piece of chocolate, or I post a burger on Instagram, I sometimes get comments like, “Hey! You can’t eat that.”

The truth is that people with type 2 diabetes are caring for their bodies and blood sugars all the time.

I use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) so that I know exactly where my numbers are. Whatever we’re eating, we’ve usually carefully accounted for it.

This misconception bothers me because no one asks to have type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance is not a character flaw — but society treats it that way.

While poor lifestyle choices, obesity, and other factors can exacerbate insulin resistance, it doesn’t mean anyone should get blamed for their diagnosis.

I hear this one a lot. Because our chronic illness is often defined as something we caused, we can get labeled as “lazy,” or we don’t take care of our health.

The opposite is true. Diabetes is complicated and confusing.

While managing proper blood sugar levels, people with diabetes are also working against potential complications like heart attacks, strokes, hearing loss, or amputations.

Laziness is not a part of our vocabulary. We’re constantly making changes to better our health. If we don’t, we face some significant health consequences.

Technology like insulin pumps or CGMs are hard to get access to when you’re living with type 2 diabetes.

Sometimes, insurance companies might not cover blood sugar supplies like a CGM or may deny you a pump even if you’re on insulin.

While cost and access can be barriers, people with type 2 diabetes can use technology to benefit us.

When I first got my CGM, I was thrilled that I didn’t have to stop whatever I was doing that day to prick my finger for a blood sugar reading. I also loved that I had data about patterns, time in range, and an estimated A1C.

All of these numbers helped me improve toward my goals, but the tech gave me greater insight to why I was doing better — and how to keep going.

Numbers are everything when it comes to diabetes. Having access to all the numbers we need can only benefit us.

This one gets to me every single time. While diabetes can be managed, there’s no single ingredient (no, not even cinnamon), that can cure any kind of diabetes.

Every body is different, but focusing on whole, unprocessed foods, complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats can help you better manage your blood sugar.

People with type 2 diabetes deserve so much better than stigma and shame.

What I’ve learned through my diagnosis and meeting other people with type 2 diabetes is that we’re all managing a complex disease from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep.

From when to take medication and how much, to reading nutrition labels and deciding what exercise might help us keep our blood sugars in range, we make hundreds of decisions a day.

We’re conscious of our chronic condition and the potential complications that come with it — and we shouldn’t be treated otherwise.

It’s up to all of us to learn, have empathy, and understand what we can do to crush those stereotypes, so people with type 2 diabetes don’t keep experiencing them.

Find a community that cares

There’s no reason to go through a type 2 diabetes diagnosis or long-term journey alone. With the free T2D Healthline app, you can join a group and participate in live discussions, get matched with community members for a chance to make new friends, and stay up to date on the latest type 2 diabetes news and research.

The app is available on the App Store and Google Play. Download here.

Healthline

Mila Clarke Buckley is a type 2 diabetes advocate and digital storyteller who started her food blog, The Hangry Woman, after she struggled to find approachable resources to help her manage her chronic condition. She’s the Guide in the T2D Healthline app and would love to meet you there.