Family Support in Diabetes Management
The news of a positive diabetes diagnosis can be devastating!
It alters lives and implies taking precautionary measures at multiple levels, forever. So much so that it can really bog one down at times – stuck in the circle of diabetes and not being able to move ahead.
With such a changed life, what does a diabetic need the most?
Undoubtedly, the support of the family!
Diabetes in India is so widespread that there is a high probability that a loved one of ours is diabetic. It can often be hereditary, affecting each new generation with the given set of genes. So, it’s important that the family chain of diabetes is broken with proper care, and that the ones suffering from it are well supported. Let’s understand how one can help them.
- Know about Diabetes
Learn about the know-how of when and why the body needs blood sugar. Find out why and when the body experiences highs and lows (in terms of blood sugar), adequate time for blood tests, necessary lifestyle changes and other related issues.
- Individual Treatment Plan
One might have more than one diabetic person in the family. However, even if two people or more are suffering from the same kind of diabetes (say, Type 2), it is strongly recommended that each person follows an individual treatment plan, which is customised to the specific needs.
- Know about Hypoglycaemia
Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) is a serious issue, prevalent among diabetics and requires immediate medical attention. Common symptoms include anxiety, blurred vision, nausea, sweating, fatigue, rapid mood swings and shakiness. Be on alert if any such symptoms show up.
- Tag along while visiting the doctor
If a relative or friend feels nervous about visiting the doctor, ask whether he needs your company for the appointments. Doing this will not only boost his morale but will also help gain insight into the condition.
- Avoid blaming
The majority of the people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are obese. However, obesity is caused by many related factors. Avoid blaming them for their weight gain as blood sugar levels can be tough to regulate despite taking a healthy diet and daily physical activity.
- Be more supportive
Dealing with a chronic condition can take a toll on anyone’s mood and behaviour. Let it be! Understand their mood swings. Talk to them. They might be depressed and disappointed. Show them some light. Acknowledge their accomplishments and encourage them.
- Embrace change
Difficult or unnecessary as it may sound, take up the same fitness and diet routine as has been taken by the family member, who is suffering from diabetes. This will ensure a healthy and balanced lifestyle and will encourage the family member as well.
Highs and lows will be different at all times – blood sugar wise too! Medication reminders, preparation of healthy meals, conversations, etc. mean a lot! Rather than focusing on the spilled milk, be together and set an example of how it’s meant to be dealt with!