Today’s prompt: What is the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard about health or your condition?
Wow, this one is tough. I mean, there are so many stupid things to choose from! We’ve all read or heard the ignorant references to cures for diabetes and the horrible, awful insulting way people insinuate that we “did this to ourselves”. I could write a book about all the ridiculous, insensitive and just plain wrong things that are said about this disease. There is, however, one glowing example of stupidity that I’d like to highlight. I mentioned it in a recent post but I feel that it is so stellar in its ridiculousness that it deserves an encore.
“Type 2 diabetes often happens to people who feel their father was very critical.”
Wow. I never knew! My father was fond of teasing me about the size of my nose, which I felt was very critical, and because of that I developed diabetes in my 50’s!! Oh my freakin gosh! I had no idea that research money had been spent on such an amazing bit of rubbish! No wonder our country is in such financial distress. Oh, and thanks Dad. :|
Now that I’ve calmed down about this, a couple of weeks later, I can break down this ridiculous sentence and give it closer inspection. I suspect that it’s true that there are PWD who feel that their fathers were critical. I suspect that the children of critical fathers could possibly develop diabetes later in life. I also suspect that there are PWD whose fathers were nothing but loving and supportive. (Let me insert here that my father was loving and supportive, despite the cracks about my nose.) The problem with the above nonsense is that it could be true when looked at with one eye squinched up, but it implies that the feeling of criticism is what causes the disease.
Let’s break it down even further. As children we are very susceptible to criticism. Some people will take that and turn it into low self-esteem. People whose self-esteem isn’t the best might become unhealthy eaters. Someone who is an unhealthy eater may develop T2 later in life. You cannot, however, take feelings of criticism and turn it into T2 diabetes! You just can’t!!
Here’s the unvarnished truth, folks. Doctors aren’t sure what causes diabetes. Researchers are looking into all kinds of possible causes (hopefully not the “I feel criticized route”). They know that insulin resistance is the culprit for T2. They have discovered that poor diet and lack of exercise increases your chance of developing the disease. There seems to be evidence that there may be a faulty gene in there somewhere. What they haven’t discovered is a way to blame this on anyone. Those of us with diabetes cannot blame it on our fathers. It’s not their fault. The bleak reality is that ignorance of how diet and exercise affect our health combined with bum genes has put us where we are. Now, I don’t want anyone to take that sentence and extrapolate it into “we did this to ourselves”. There are plenty of overweight non-exercisers out there who are not diabetic!
Please pay attention. Please attempt to eat as healthy a diet as you can. Please exercise regularly. (This one is SO important!) Please put a sock in anyone who spouts ridiculous, and harmful, drivel about this chronic disease.
This post was written as part of NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days: http://bit.ly/vU0g9J