It is one of my pet peeves here at Diabetes Insight, the terms used by health care professionals to minimize the diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes or Pre-Diabetes.
Borderline, Touch of, Mild and my favourite ‘half’ diabetes are words that have been relayed to me by clients, that have been used by their GP &/or practice nurse at diagnosis.
Using these words suggests to many people that their diabetes is nothing to be worried about, and there lies the problem. For many people, they take the words of health care professionals as gospel, and if a doctor or nurse is not concerned about their diagnosis, then why should they? So it falls down peoples list of priorities, and for some it disappears altogether.
Type 2 Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes when diagnosed in the very early stages is usually symptom-less and silent, people feel perfectly well and fine. It is hard then to invest in a condition or a potential health problem that you can neither see nor feel. Therefore motivating people to take care of their health & make lifestyle changes based on something that may or may not happen is difficult and is made more problematic when words like ‘mild’ and ‘borderline’ are used.
I see too many people cross the threshold of my centre who thought their diabetes was only ‘mild’ only years later to run into health problems that they never thought could happen to them, that were totally unavoidable.
Taking the extra 5 or 10 minutes to explain a diagnosis properly to people can make all the difference to how they will effectively self-manage their diabetes in the future. And that can make all the difference between preventing and delaying the complications of Type 2 diabetes.