It’s very late in Australia and I’m hypo. And I’m angry, so there’s a trifecta that suggests the last thing I should be doing is publishing words. Especially when it’s a post about something I’ve written about a heap of times before.  

And yet, I’m going to write about it AGAIN because for some reason people down the back have not yet got the message that diabetes is not an amusement park ride for their entertainment, and the devices we use to, you know, keep us alive, are not trinkets to play with for kicks. 

Just stop it. 

This is, of course, off the back of yet another article by another person without diabetes who whacked on a CGM and then was horrified because their glucose trace trended upwards when they ate carbs. It obviously returned to an in-range number within a short time because their body works as it is meant to. I don’t know about you, fellow friends with diabetes, but I really am sick of people with working pancreases wearing diabetes devices to demonstrate to us that they don’t really need to be wearing diabetes devices. We get it; your beta cells know what to do. Stop showing off. 

In this article, the writer referred to wearing a Libre for two weeks as ‘an experiment’. Cheers for that. People with diabetes wear these devices because they keep us alive, give us data that is essential for accurately dosing the drugs that keep us alive, and alert us to glucose levels that can plummet or skyrocket, two things that we try to avoid. So we can stay alive for longer. It’s less of an experiment and more an act of survival.

Using this tech to prove to yourself that a high GI piece of fruit or a bottle of Coke makes your glucose levels go high is not an experiment. It is basic science that anyone with year 8 biology, or access to an iPhone and IFL Science could figure out. 

But okay, call it ‘biohacking’ and knock yourself out as you believe that this little investigation is contributing to scientific discourse.

Look, we can just think this sort of stuff is a bit of mindless, meaningless faff, and it would probably be good for my blood pressure if I could do that. But honestly, I think it is far more problematic. 

Last year, we had some influencer talking about how she uses CGM as a weight loss tool. What a mind-bending disaster that was as I tried to hold onto years of retraining my thoughts, and not fall down the rabbit hole of diet culture and lousy body image that has hounded me for pretty much my whole life.  

In this latest article we have gems like this one: However, my daily graph unfolds like a polygraph test: reaching as high as 7.9mmol/L after I’d had dinner.’

Sure, let’s present the food decisions people with diabetes make as lie detector tests. We already are made to feel guilty for looking sideways at a piece of cake, so cheers for adding to that. 

And while we’re here, let’s demonise food and food groups, because the thing we want now is for able bodied people to start judging people with diabetes for eating half a banana, or a chocolate croissant. (Two examples given in the article that resulted in glucose spikes. Because of course they did and many people with diabetes could explain why.)

I really don’t know why people without diabetes keep doing this. I don’t understand what they are trying to achieve. Every single time an article like this gets published, it annoys and infuriates people with diabetes. And nothing new is shared. There is literally nothing in this article that we don’t already know or hasn’t been written by the latest non-PWD who decided to whack a Libre on their bicep. There is no illuminating factoid that suggest wearing a diabetes device is a good idea of people without diabetes. There is nothing that makes me think that people with diabetes will be better off because of this article. 

And, by the way, if you think that non-PWD wearing diabetes devices will bring prices down, that’s not going to happen. Ketone strips have not magically come down in price because every keto bro worth their bone broth keeps a stash in the bathroom cupboard. In fact, the only effect that this increase in demand has caused for folks with diabetes is that it has become more difficult find ketone strips on the pharmacy shelf. 

I’ll say it again: There is absolutely no reason for anyone without diabetes to wear diabetes devices. If you’re doing it because you think it will give you an insight into what it’s like for PWD to wear them, it won’t. Want insights? Ask people with diabetes for their experiences, listen and learn. 

And if you are doing it for some biohacking experiment, just stop it. Please. It’s highly likely that in your excitement to share that the chocolate bar you ate in the afternoon spiked your glucose, the flow on effect will be stigma, blame and judgement hurled at people with diabetes. I get that probably wasn’t the intention, but because the writer lacks the nuances to communicate about diabetes, it is likely it will be the outcome. 

But, if you insist on wearing one, please at least do people with diabetes the courtesy of not writing about it and publishing it in a daily newspaper for clicks. Or perhaps if you do hit publish, and call that article ‘I wore a glucose tracker for two weeks – it’s bad news for my favourite breakfast’ you could acknowledge the good fortune you have of being able to draw a line through ‘wear a diabetes device’ after 14 days and know you don’t have to do that every day for the rest of your life which is what we have do to.