Question Time? Type One Diabetic? Or Person With Diabetes?

Something that happened to me made me think today which is why I am doing this blog on a nonsunday – It shouldn’t be too long. I actually am fairly interested in hearing peoples opinions on this so comments/messages to myself would be greatly excepted.

When informing people that I’m have type one diabetes, I have always said; “I am a type one diabetic”. But whilst talking to someone today they said they felt it was interesting that I said it that way and wouldn’t “I’m a person with/suffering from diabetes” sound better (yes they didn’t state type one or type two – I did point this out 😉 ). They then told me they felt that the way I was introducing my diabetes was slightly derogative towards myself. You see now why this has made me think.

I can understand why with some conditions people may not want to introduce themselves as they way I do as it could hint at the fact the diabetes is them and that’s what they’ve always been. Obviously I was just Meghan before I became a diabetic and I still am, but (when it’s not driving me insane) I’m proud of being a diabetic.  Which is probably why I introduce myself in the way I do. I’m sure sometimes I probably say Oh I have type one diabetes. I think I probably do a mixture. But after today’s incident I am just wondering what people’s opinion is on the way it should be introduced.

Should I say;

  • I’m a type one diabetic 
  • I am a person who suffers from diabetes
  • I am a person with diabetes

There are probably even more ways to do it, but which one is the best I wonder. In my opinion I don’t think it makes much difference as I don’t have anything to hide when it comes to having diabetes and I am proud of it and the way I live with it. It is not something you can hide away really even if you want to; the injections/pump at meal times gives it away, so does the finger pricking and then there is the bracelets etc.

But anyway bit of food for thought (Is that the right saying hahaha) for you all and look forward to hearing opinions on the matter. Hope you are all having a good week so far.


  1. March 2, 2013 / 9:23 pm

    Hi there! I’ve had many a conversation about this on Twitter. I’ve had T1 Diabetes ( see I’ve given myself away already 😉 ) for 33 years. I’m Anne, I happen to have diabetes. All through my life I believe that labelling people with the label Diabetic means that people behave in a certain way towards us. They question what we eat (are you supposed to be eating that) and make assumptions about what we can and can’t do. I believe we have a responsibility to change this for the young people with diabetes in particular, who struggle enough with the condition without the label and the way it means people respond to them.
    I’m a nurse too. My colleagues of all disciplines do it too. Every time they call me a diabetic I am resolved to challenge them. I can’t speak for everyone but I can speak up for me and in doing so hopefully at least make people stop and think.
    My motto person first, condition second!
    Anne x

    • March 2, 2013 / 9:27 pm

      Hey 🙂 I agree with you completely it probably does make people view you with the diabetes first! I suppose in my case it’s habit. I to have seen loads of nurses to do and have always questioned it but when it comes to myself I just say it but I’d never introduce myself as a diabetic or having diabetes I wait till someone asks or I have to get my pump out or need to mention it! But I agree person first then the diabetes! Yes my diabetes has helped me make some decisions in my life but I’m Meghan with or without it 🙂 Thank you for commenting and reading the post 🙂 I hope you are having a lovely weekend x

  2. January 17, 2014 / 5:47 pm

    Hello, I’ve been a T1 diabetic for 38 years now, and I don’t really see the point in changing the terminology. When you are in front of a doctor, you are a diabetic (person), and there’s no problem with that. Either you state it or not, people are always persons, Every person is a lot of things, and being a diabetic is just one of them. I think no one should be upset by being called diabetic, unless it is meant as an offence. But then, also “person with diabetes” can be meant as an offence. Best regards.

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