Last week the BMJ published an article about how we should reframe the way we discuss diabetes related complications.

It’s so important to remember the impact our words can have. As healthcare professionals we need to be even more mindful of that. All too often people with diabetes can feel demotivated in their clinical encounters with health care professionals for not “complying” or they can experience feelings of failure or guilt if they develop complications.

In my experience the person with diabetes is someone who fights on a daily basis to manage their condition. Self-care support or person-centred care should embrace an equal relationship where the individual’s personal expertise and the clinician’s medical knowledge form a true partnership, where they can work together to set goals and strategies to enable someone to fully manage their condition both from a medical and social perspective so they are able to adjust to the daily challenges and complexity that living with diabetes means.

However the traditional model of education can mean that healthcare professionals act more like teachers or gatekeepers of knowledge rather than facilitators and partners.

I feel passionately that it’s time to change perceptions of a chronic illness that affects millions of people around the world, it’s time to start listening to the impact it has on people’s lives and sharing their stories to end the stigma and myths associated with this devastating illness.

This article written by Renza Scibilia and Chris Aldred and published in the British Medical Journal is a wonderful step forward highlighting the need to think carefully about the language we use when discussing diabetes related complications – please read the full version here. Or on the link below.

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