How to Help a Loved One with Diabetes
Type two diabetes is different to type one. A person diagnosed with type one doesn’t make any insulin, whereas those with type two are insulin resistant, which can lead to a reduction in insulin production over time.
Type two often has no symptoms, but some report feeling increased thirst, hunger, urination, fatigue, blurry vision, and frequent infections. The good news is, type two is treatable, but there are additional changes you can make to help your loved one with Diabetes.
Encourage healthy eating
Some people with type two manage their illness with insulin therapy or other medications. Some people are not medicated. However, everyone with type two should be making healthy lifestyle choices and changes, which includes healthy eating.
Healthy eating can help with normalising blood sugar and avoiding complications. Make sure you’re supporting and encouraging your loved one to eat healthily and make good choices with food. You could join them in eating healthier, book them in for some nutritional classes and go together. Even just batch cooking some healthy meals they’ll enjoy taking some of the stress off them.
You can attend Diabetes support groups alongside them to meet people going through similar circumstances. It can be challenging for so many reasons, and therefore, they may need to let off some steam and vent to people with similar understanding. Both of you could benefit from gaining new tips and insight, as ell as finding some support.
Offer to attend appointments with your loved one. If they struggle with staying on top of their appointments or medications, offer to pick them up and attend their appointments to help retain crucial information through notes. This can also be a valuable way for you to gain information about the Disease and further help your loved one.
People with type two can experience sharp drops in blood sugar which can cause fatigue, cloudy thinking, and weakness. Learn the symptoms and how to treat them. Be mindful of the symptoms and speak up if you notice a change in their behaviour. Encourage them to check their blood sugar levels and discuss what they’d like you to do in the event of a blood sugar drop.
Regular exercise in important for everyone, not just those with type two. Being active and losing weight can lower blood glucose, which can be crucial to managing type two. The aim is to do around 30 minutes of activity a day. Exercising together can be especially beneficial as it encourages you both to maintain healthy eating, as well as motivate each other. Pick something you both enjoy and use it as a hobby as well.
A diagnosis can be incredibly scary. It’s important to maintain some positivity and be a voice of reason if your loved one is focusing on the negative.