What’s In A Name?


For years I worked at a place that had special names for just about everything.  The terminology used reinforced the vision and mission of the organization.  Funny thing – it worked.  It was during those many years that I learned the power of a name.

Diabetes as a name manages to strike fear into me because I know what can happen if it’s not controlled.  But, as a word and name, it just doesn’t do much to inspire any kind of reaction.  It just kind of is.  Yeah, it sounds like an illness more in line with the flu instead of the potentially tragic disease it really is.  It doesn’t sound like anything you really need to be afraid of; and, it certainly does not sound like the 7th Leading Cause of Death in the US.

When you stick a “Pre-” in front of it, it really loses strength.  Who is afraid of anything that is ‘Pre?’  Think about it.  Preschool.  Prealgebra.  Prekindergarten.  Preteen. The ‘pre’ only indicates ‘before’ the word it’s in front of.  What’s there to be scared of?  Why should you do anything?

So, I am proposing new terminology.  It might not be totally accurate, but it might inspire action.  The new term: Insulin Deficiency Syndrome.  Or, if you like three-letter acronyms: IDS.  No ‘pre.’  Just stages.  IDS Stage One sounds like something you better fight, doesn’t it? Stage One Cancer is something that can be fought and there is a wonderful chance of winning that fight.  Everyone knows it’s a no-holds-barred in-it-to-win-it fight.  Wouldn’t it be the same for IDS Stage One?  That’s what I would call Prediabetes.

And, then there’s Stages Two, Three, Four and Five depending on how far the disease has gone.  It’s kind of simple.  But, more importantly, people would fight – and that is what you do when you are in a war – You fight.

Do a Google search using Insulin Deficiency Syndrome.  What do you find?  Diabetes.  That surprised me.  Why isn’t the term used more often?  I’m not going to speculate.  But, I do know that we have to fight Diabetes every day at every meal and every snack.  We have to fight it through exercise, diet, and meds. Regardless of the name of the disease, we have to fight the War On Diabetes the same way we’d fight cancer.  We have to be in-it-to-win-it.  It’s not a fight for wimps; it’s a marathon that takes strength to finish.

You have the strength to fight the disease.  You can control your Diabetes.  You can fight and win.  I know it.  You need to know it, too.

Anybody know how we can change the name of the disease?

As always, thank you for reading…and humoring me.


I am not a doctor or health professional. I am just a guy who is working everyday to control Type 2 Diabetes. My goal is to offer hope, help and solutions for day-to-day living for the diabetic. The disease can be controlled. It can be managed. And, you can do it!

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