19 Responses

  1. Joe
    Joe July 16, 2014 at 4:12 am | | Reply

    The stigma will never go away until T2′s are not blamed for their diabetes, especially by T1′s.

  2. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter July 16, 2014 at 7:39 am | | Reply

    Neither marketing campaign really grabs me. Both feel as though they are missing something. However, I do believe that we need a strong marketing campaign to combat the stigma, the shame and the blame, the fear-mongering. I liked the idea of Marching on Washington that floated around the advocates conference.

    Change is in the wind. The IDF changed its stance on diabetes this year. Nanotechnology will soon make it cheaper and easier (and perhaps more likely) for adult diabetics to be given the correct dx (T1, T2 or LADA) the first time.

    Where our efforts need to be concentrated is with the people we are required to trust. I don’t care if the checkout girl at my grocery store understands diabetes (often she does). The ignorance I meet standing in line barely bothers me. But when I meet that ignorance at my clinic or hospital, that can endanger my life.

  3. Mike Ratrie
    Mike Ratrie July 16, 2014 at 7:50 am | | Reply

    Wow! Great ideas! I voted SMSD.

    @Joe. Diabetics of all types have more in common than we may think. Yes, at a granular level, each of us requires individualized treatments, but at the most fundamental level, our bodies don’t handle glucose correctly. In this, we should be united and stigma free.

    1. Joe
      Joe July 17, 2014 at 5:46 am | | Reply

      Thank you :-)

  4. Terry
    Terry July 16, 2014 at 8:24 am | | Reply

    When you think about it, effective diabetes management can only endure when the person with diabetes (PWD) has a healthy psychological and emotional attitude toward their treatment plan. The pharmaceutical and medical device industry can provide good diabetes tools but it’s only when an engaged and motivated PWD chooses to use those tools that good medical outcomes are possible. Attitude is everything.

    Once a PWD chooses to move forward establishing and maintaining healthy diabetes habits, that person’s supporters, including their doctor, family, friends, coworkers and the larger society play a critical support role in sustaining the PWD’s positive posture. That’s a tall order and one best provided by a social movement.

    Dr. Susan Guzman’s efforts address this much-needed aspect of successful diabetes management. I wish her well!

    1. Germaine
      Germaine July 16, 2014 at 7:05 pm | | Reply

      You said it very well, Terry. I love Dr. Guzman and appreciate her understanding and quest. She has helped me come to terms with this disease and own it – something I never thought possible!

  5. pegleggreg
    pegleggreg July 16, 2014 at 8:25 am | | Reply

    I encourage you to join the speaking circuit. Especially the summer workshops on substance abuse. there is a huge number of undiagnosed and non compliant diabetics who abuse substances. Diabetes is not addressed in CD treatment. I know. I’m a retired therapist, 35years of giving advice (smile).

  6. Corinna Cornejo
    Corinna Cornejo July 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm | | Reply

    I really dislike the See Me See Diabetes message. I am not the medical condition. The notion is totally cringe-worthy.

    Try saying this slogan with a different disease or medical condition.

    See Me See Cancer.

    See Me See Schizophrenia.

    See Me See Heart Failure.

  7. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter July 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm | | Reply

    How about “It Aint My Fault”? We could flashmob dance to Smokey Johnson’s tune.

  8. Brian (bsc)
    Brian (bsc) July 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm | | Reply

    I have to say, as a T2 I’ve felt the stigma of diabetes repeatedly. It isn’t the naive general public that bothers me, it is when I get this message from healthcare professionals who not only should be better informed, but they should also display empathy. And this pervasive attitude is deeply ingrained and is actively harming us as patients. The much vaunted Diabetes Prevention Program is teaching the more than 80 million Americans with pre-diabetes that if they just didn’t eat so poorly and got off the couch they could “prevent” diabetes. The message is obvious, people with T2 gave it to themselves by making poor choices. Well guess what, I didn’t give myself diabetes, I just had poor genes and poor luck. This isn’t just about making people feel better, this can actually save lives.Thanks for trying to help make a change.

  9. Donna
    Donna July 16, 2014 at 2:54 pm | | Reply

    Yes indeed — what Brian (bsc) said. I’ve had a lot of people, including health care professionals, tell me that if only I would lose weight, I could “probably get rid of that problem”.

    You know, my sister who has weighed much more than I have for much longer has no health problems to speak of. For some reason, I have type 2 diabetes and she doesn’t.

    I’m happy for her, but for me, it is a constant grind to stay on track. And with all my health problems put together, losing weight is much more difficult than it would normally be.

  10. Daisy
    Daisy July 16, 2014 at 4:39 pm | | Reply

    What do you do about people and doctors who insist that diabetics can’t eat sugar? That’s what diabetics are told where I live. I have to explain to people every year when my Girl Scouts are selling cookies that diabetics can eat sugar, and that one of the foundations of diabetes management is counting carbs. They look at me like I’m the stupid one. I’m not blaming anyone, but most people with Type 2 are not being educated or encouraged to go educate themselves.

  11. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter July 16, 2014 at 7:27 pm | | Reply

    First we need to ensure that those who work in health care are educated. Textbooks need to be rewritten. Medical schools and nursing programs need to teach what we know now about diabetes, not what was believed decades ago.

    I would like to see the research behind the “Diabetes Prevention” program. Can it truly be prevented or is it only delayed? How long were the studies done? How many and who were studied? I can see how people would want it to be true, but if it’s not, if it’s bad science, it is setting people up to fail and then blaming them when they do.

    As to the research connecting obesity and diabetes (and they are always careful to say the two are “linked”), chicken and eggs are also linked, but which came first?

    1. Brian (bsc)
      Brian (bsc) July 17, 2014 at 8:53 am | | Reply

      The “scientific proof” of the Diabetes Prevention Program can be explored at the lead academic center ( The “proof” was that fewer patients with pre-diabetes progressed to full blow diabetes at the end of three years. Significant numbers of patients still ended up being diagnosed with diabetes and no demonstration that diabetes was “prevented” was actually a result of the study. A subsequent follow up study also found no difference in CVD outcomes as a result of following a “heart healthy” low fat diet. No attempt was made to evaluate other dietary options or educational training materials. What is most alarming is that the DPP curriculum doesn’t bother teaching students that carbs raise blood sugar leaving 80 million people walking straight into a diabetes diagnosis with the misinformation that carbs don’t affect diabetes and that dietary fat is what is going to given them diabetes.

      1. Mary Dexter
        Mary Dexter July 17, 2014 at 2:00 pm | | Reply

        Thank you, Brian.

  12. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter July 17, 2014 at 10:04 am | | Reply
    This published today: the link between obesity and diabetes. Starvation policies, not gluttony, are driving the rise in both.

  13. Mary Dexter
    Mary Dexter July 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm | | Reply

    Can we meet outside movie theaters showing Fed Up and protest its message that diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar?

  14. Caroline Yeager, M.D.
    Caroline Yeager, M.D. July 18, 2014 at 6:31 am | | Reply

    I remember when I went to medical school. It was a challenge because being a woman was a stigma.

    I found ignoring the fact that I was a woman was the best solution. The goal was becoming a doctor, not fighting an age-old battle.

    You and your attitude and behaviour is the best tool you have to model the way you want others to act.

    For example, at the time, the school decided to appoint a student to the Admissions Committee. As a freshman, I was appointed. In 1968, the full weight of the Civil Rights Act was bearing down on Universities. You break the law, you lose your federal funding. An older white-haired surgeon got up and said, in all seriousness, “I think it’s only right that we admit minorities in the proportion they are in society.” I excitedly jumped up and said, “Great! Then half the class will be women!” He fainted.

    My point is self esteem. That’s what to teach, and the skills to reinforce it, not battle skills.

  15. Kelly Rawlings
    Kelly Rawlings July 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm | | Reply

    Best wishes, Dr. Guzman, in your new endeavor and thank you for working so diligently through your career to emphasize that taking care of the mental side of diabetes is just as important as taking care of the components of health that can be easily measured with a blood test. I’m looking forward to seeing your research work in this area and am pleased that combating diabetes stigma is underway at Are you collaborating with the Australian center?

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