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Are You Quiet About Your Diabetes?

I’ll be participating in a presentation to diabetes educators this August about how generational differences – age – might influence the way we communicate with diabetes patients. Interestingly, the preparation for this speaking engagement has reconnected me to my own history, and given me some comfort in the way I handled diabetes in the past. You see, for many years after my diagnosis at age 8 with type 1 diabetes I kept it a closely-held secret. As it turns out, this is not so unusual for those in the “baby boomer” generation (and in the preceding “silent” generation). Your age now, or your age at diagnosis, may play a profound role in whether you are open with others about having diabetes.

Being open

I have obviously chosen to be much more open about my life with diabetes now, but there is no single right or wrong answer about how freely we each chose to share this personal information. I eventually decided it was important to let my patients know that I practice what I preach (as a dietitian nutritionist), and as the world got smaller through the internet I could share my successes with thousands more “patients.” Frankly, I’m not certain I would have become this open about my diabetes if I didn’t also have a professional connection to diabetes self-management, but we’ll never know. provides an opportunity for you to share your experiences with others if you want. If you chose to be silent, that’s OK too. But, it is worth spending a little time thinking about whether sharing your own experiences with others might help them, and help you too.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.