Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV)


Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV)Within the Diabetic Online Community (DOC), there are many abbreviations tossed around. Because why use formal language like “Insulin On Board” or “Continuous Glucose Monitor” when those terms can be boiled down to three or four-letter acronyms?

One of these acronyms, YDMV (which stands for “Your Diabetes May Vary”), has stood out to me lately. Let me state the obvious: We are all different. We have different genetic makeups, different beliefs, and different preferences, to name a few. The point is we, as human beings, ought to bear in mind these differences and respect them (the world would be a much more harmonious place if we did).

Following this logic, all people with diabetes are different. If you have diabetes and are reading this, there are likely multiple differences between me and you. Here are just few diabetes-specific ways that could make us different from each other:

  • Sometimes, I start to feel low at 80 mg/dL. You might not feel low until you are in the 60s, or you might not recognize your lows at all.
  • When I’m low, I feel dizzy, shaky, and sweaty. When I’m high, my mood is terrible and I’m thirsty. You might not have these same set of hypo/hyper symptoms.
  • I might need a large bolus to cover the cheeseburger I just ordered at a restaurant. You might need less insulin, the same amount of insulin, or more than me.
  • I use Humalog. You might take Lantus, Novolog, or some other form of insulin.
  • I like to use my CGM, and generally get excited about new diabetes technology. You might prefer to not use a CGM.

I could go on and on with that list, but these are just a few of the things that may set us apart. The point is, your diabetes may vary from mine. The treatments I use for a low may starkly contrast your methods, but what matters the most—for both of us—is that it works. The fact that we can manage our diabetes to the best of our abilities, using tried-and-true techniques that work for our respective bodies, is wonderful! We should recognize this, and embrace the fact that your diabetes may (and WILL) vary.

As National Diabetes Awareness Month draws to a close, I think it’s important to remember the YDMV concept. Next time you see a person with diabetes (whether you also have it or not) doing something you think is “wrong”, please try not to question them or shame them. They know their body and their diabetes best, so it just might be what’s right for them.

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