Is it Offensive to be Called a Diabetic?

by Laura Kronen on August 4, 2014

i am a diabetic Let me start off by saying, I am a diabetic. I’ve been a type 1 for over 20 years. I have never found anything offensive about being called a diabetic except the fact that I have diabetes to begin with. That’s offensive to me.

Lately there has been some discussion, or media frenzy, related to the term diabetic.  All of the sudden it is politically incorrect to call someone “a diabetic” and instead we should refer to them as “a person with diabetes.”

Apparently labeling someone as a diabetic can inadvertently describe a person as only his or her disease. Possibly, if that person has no other word to illustrate their existence, that term and condition might act to define the person only as a victim of disease. Calling someone a diabetic might continually re-enforce negative attitudes about diabetes and consequently the person who has it. Yeah, yeah. I get it. But, I do not agree. And, from the looks of the above picture, I don’t think Nick Jonas agrees either. We are D-I-A-B-E-T-I-C!

I am athletic. Should I be called a person who is good at sports. I am a mother. Should I be called a person with children?  I am an author. Should I be called a person who writes books? I’m a brunette, should I be called a person with brown hair?  Really now. I HAVE diabetes.  I’ll always have it. Therefore I can add that adjective to describe that part of me to the pile.  So what?  It’s only a small piece to a big puzzle and it is only YOU who decides what defines you. Personally I am proud of saying I am a diabetic. It shows strength and dedication.  It shows determination and perseverance.  It’s a badge of honor that I wear proudly. It shows the world that it can’t mess with me. If I can handle this, I can handle anything.


Now, don’t get me wrong…if someone referred to me as suffering with diabetes, I might get mad.  Or if someone said I’m sick with diabetes, I might have to stop myself from hurting them. That type of verbiage elicits feelings of pity, hopelessness and guilt – all things I don’t feel, nor do I want people to feel for me.

Yes, diabetes is awful.  We never get a break.  It’s like having a full time job that you hate, AND you have to work 24 hours a day at it, without pay, AND you will never be able to quit.  Wow, diabetes really sucks.  However, I have it. No debate about it.  Whether you are a diabetic, a person with diabetes, living with the sugar, pancreatically challenged, insulin dependent or whatever you choose to call yourself; you have diabetes my friend, just don’t let it get the best of you.

Laura Kronen is the author of this article and of the soon-to-be released book, Too Sweet, The Not-So-Serious Side to Diabetes available September 15th on Amazon and Kindle.

Too Sweet






Tracy August 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Well Said…Diabetic, Tough Mudder, Mom etc etc

Heather Chadwick August 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I totally agree with you. Thank you for putting into words what I’ve been thinking.

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