Diabetes Stigma Article Collection

Read our collection of diaTribe articles to deepen your understanding of diabetes stigma and its impacts.

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Learn about the diabetes stigma basics:

  • Diabetes Stigma is Everywhere, But You Can Do Something About It – Diabetes stigma includes the experiences of exclusion, rejection, prejudice, and blame that some people with diabetes encounter. Learn how to identify this stigma, how it can lead to worse health outcomes, and what you can do to stand up to diabetes stigma.
  • It’s Time to Address Diabetes Stigma – Diabetes stigma is a huge public health problem that has been shown to lead to worse health outcomes. At the ADA 82nd Scientific Sessions, four leading experts in this field discuss the prevalence of stigma, interventions to address this issue, and what work still needs to be done.
  • Understanding Gestational Diabetes Stigma – Too many people experience blame, shame, and judgment following a gestational diabetes diagnosis. Find out about new research looking into the stigma around pregnancy-related diabetes and its negative impacts.
  • Adolescence, Stigma, and Owning Diabetes – Adolescence can be a confusing time, and this is doubly true for teenagers with type 1 diabetes. At a stage when everyone is starting to figure out who they are, the teenager with type 1 must also decide how much they want diabetes to be a part of their identity. Katie Bacon, the mother of a teenager with type 1, spoke with a range of experts and peers who shared their expertise and experiences on this subject.
  • What We Wish You Knew and Why: Open-Source DIY AID, Access, and Stigma – At the ATTD 2022 conference, diabetes advocates delivered presentations on open-source AID, access to insulin and diabetes supplies, and diabetes stigma in the #dedocº Symposium.
  • Is There a Connection Between Diabetes Stigma and Device Use? – New research from diaTribe and market research firm, dQ&A, is looking to explore how diabetes stigma might be impacting people’s willingness to use insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors.

Read up on the work diaTribe is doing to address diabetes stigma

Check out our dSeries Lightning Talks on diabetes stigma:

  • It’s Time to Disrupt Diabetes Stigma – Tackling diabetes stigma and its devastating effects will rely on courageous advocates and creative solutions. It’s time to disrupt the status quo as we search for inspired, creative, solutions.
  • Stigma and the Stories We Share – One of the most powerful ways to change a person’s mind is to have a one-on-one conversation. By focusing on the power of storytelling, diaTribe encourages people to share their experiences as an effective tool to fight against stigma, stereotypes, and the harmful trap of the single story of diabetes.
  • Let’s Talk About Diabetes Stigma – During diaTribe’s d20 Lightning Talks, we heard from five leaders about stigma, how it negatively affects people with diabetes, and what can be done to counter the false narratives that lead to stigma

Read stories from members of the diabetes community who detail their experiences with stigma:

  • How to Tell Someone You Have Diabetes – Alan Uphold, who has type 1 diabetes, shares his experiences with disclosing his diabetes to strangers, friends, and loved ones, and he offers tips for others on how to do the same.
  • Fighting Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stigma – Anthony Wilson, a patient advocate with the Know Diabetes by Heart campaign, discusses his diagnosis journey, the stigma he has experienced, and his advice to others on finding a support network and being open about their conditions.
  • Navigating the ‘Food Police’ – Misguided questions, such as “can you eat that?” from well-meaning friends and family can feel infuriating. Sara Zarr shares how she responds to misconceptions without getting defensive but by fostering open communication.
  • Does This Insulin Make Me Look Fat? – Weight impacts diabetes and diabetes impacts weight. The emotional and physical toll of excess weight is not exclusive to the type 2 diabetes community as diaTribe staff member, Julie Heverly explores.
  • Dealing With Shame Around Diabetes and Food – Feeling judged or shamed for what you eat is an experience shared by many people living with diabetes. Support groups and open conversations can help combat the stigma and misinformation around diabetes and food.
  • Should You Call Someone ‘Diabetic’? – The parent of a teenager with type 1 diabetes shares her thoughts on calling someone “diabetic,” as opposed to “person with diabetes,” and why language matters when discussing diabetes.

The portrayal of diabetes in the media is a key contributor to diabetes stigma. Read about the good, and not-so-good, examples of diabetes representation:

  • What TV and Film Get Right (and Very Wrong) About Diabetes – Unfortunately, people with diabetes are often unfairly represented in the media. An accurate and empowering portrayal of a person with diabetes on screen is one of the most powerful tools available to raise awareness about diabetes and combat diabetes stigma.
  • ‘The Baby-Sitters Club:’ The Truth About Stacey – Stacey McGill in Netflix’s “The Baby-Sitters” Club, adapted from Ann M. Martin’s book series, is a character that many people with diabetes finally have the opportunity to connect with. Read about what the role meant for 16-year-old Shay Rudolph who portrays her, and the impact she hopes to have.