How to teach loved ones to help in managing diabetes


One of the most difficult aspects of the manifestation of love for a person with diabetes is that the help that close people offer, following their instincts, is not always consistent with our ideal ideas of help! Of course, they do not have diabetes, which means that they do not always understand what kind of help a person with diabetes expects .

No matter how close relationship you have with the patient   diabetes, it is not difficult to forget what titanic efforts are required by the daily work of managing diabetes.

It is we who are responsible for showing people who love us, what kind of support we would like to receive from them. Take a deep breath and think about what kind of behavior would make you feel like getting support. Remember that we cannot ask our loved ones to stop caring for us, but we can tell them exactly how they could take this care.

5 steps to educate loved ones to show support and discuss diabetes

  1. Make a list of phrases and actions that come from people close to you and that dishearten you, hurt or make you feel stress again. Write down all such phrases and actions on paper, complementing them with details and comments explaining why you are experiencing this or that feeling. This list you show your loved ones, so try to express your thoughts as thoughtfully as possible!
  2. Now think about what, for example, one thing your loved ones could do to support you in managing your diabetes, and you would feel this support!
    • For example :
      • When preparing a dish or preparing a recipe for someone close to you, you would like to know the amount of carbohydrates in order to choose the right amount of insulin. Relatives can specify the ingredients in a special program and calculate calories, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, or simply write down the ingredients on paper and calculate the numbers you need yourself – in any case, this is an incredible help!
      • In case of hypo – or hyperglycemia, you can explain to your loved ones that the best help is simply to say something like “Can I help you with something?” Or “What a pity. Every day, and so you put a lot of effort into fighting diabetes! ”
      • In the relations of parents with teenagers, parents, of course, have the right to know that their children use insulin and are completely safe. To do this, you can develop a daily routine of “checks”. However, instead of asking directly about the level of sugar in the blood, it is possible to agree that every evening a teenager informs his parents about how his day with diabetes was. In such a situation, the most acceptable answer from parents would be “If you want to discuss problems, I’ll be happy to look at the numbers, and we will think together what changes can be made to make the day better.”
  1. At the first opportunity, show your loved one a list of things that you think are not support, and then share ideas on what kind of behavior could be regarded as support. You can start the conversation in the spirit of “Can we talk a little about my diabetes? I know that you are worried about me, but sometimes your anxiety distracts me a little. ”
  2. Set for yourself the rules of behavior in case of a situation when care in relation to you causes you to be annoyed. Agree that instead of an evil tone, the person who loves you will be much nicer to hear “Mom, I know that you love me and care about my health, but your words do not sound at all supportive for me.”
  3. Finally, ask your loved ones to think about how they could otherwise express their frustrated feelings or concerns about your condition. Rather than bore you with my questions, or to report or even completely takes you out of yourself, they might say something like this: “Honey, I love you and concerned about your blood sugar levels. Let’s talk a little about your diabetes when you have free time? ”

Remember that each of us is part of a big team. We all want one thing: for people with diabetes to live a full life! Most of our loved ones are not familiar with what diabetes is. Our duty is to teach them how to take care of a person with diabetes, … agree, to feel love and care is great!

Recommendations to combat the fear of hypoglycemia

Below are a few recommendations that will help you cope with the fear of hypoglycemia:

  • From time to time, remind yourself that worrying about the possible occurrence of hypoglycemia is quite normal, as well as considering episodes of hypoglycemia something annoying and unpleasant! In this respect, saying aloud your attitude to hypoglycemia helps a lot – so you can give free rein to your emotions when frequent episodes of hypoglycemia become especially annoying and restless!
  • Minimum experiences, maximum action! Keep a diary of hypoglycemia and periodically analyze the records made in it. In what situations does hypoglycemia occur? Will making any changes to the regimen, diet, exercise or insulin dose help prevent hypoglycemia in a similar situation in the future? If you don’t trace the relationship between the circumstances and the onset of hypoglycemia, or don’t know what actions can be taken, maybe you should consult a stranger (for example, the same person with diabetes as you do) on the Internet or in person? Learning a variety of relaxation techniques (for example, breathing exercises, mental practices, or yoga) can also help at that very moment.
  • Record fears and experiences. Write down all your negative feelings and rate each of them by points on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is a slight fear / experience, and 5 is a very strong fear / experience. Analyze the recorded sensations about how they affect your condition, and think about what you can do to make these fears and experiences disappear from your life.
  • Seek help from a professional. If the fear of hypoglycemia and the experience completely captured your thoughts, you are constantly worried and build your life (or the life of people around you, for example, children) in such a way as to avoid hypoglycemia, it is time to seek professional help (for example, a specialist in cognitive behavioral psychotherapy). You may need to work out strategies that will reduce your anxiety and find peace. There is no shame in asking for help – in truth, in an ideal world, such help should be available to every person with diabetes! ²
  • Share your experiences with your doctor. Feel free to share your feelings about hypoglycemia with your doctor, ask him specific questions and discuss the horror stories told to you. It is quite possible that minor changes in the method of monitoring blood sugar levels, the type of insulin used, the dosage or method of administering insulin will reduce the likelihood of hypoglycemia, while maintaining the blood sugar level within the target range. New products are constantly appearing on the market. The best way to find out about new products is to consult a doctor.
  • Fighting the temptation to keep your blood sugar levels above your target range? Many diabetics consciously “maintain” blood sugar levels at an elevated level in order to avoid hypoglycemia in inappropriate situations – during an interview, a work presentation, a first meeting³ or a party friends ⁴ . Despite the fact that such behavior can rarely be justified and this is one of the ways to deal with your fears, if you notice that a conscious overstatement of indicators has become a habit, you may have a fear of hypoglycemia and you need help. Consult a professional who will help you develop a plan of action in case of occurrence of hypoglycemia in a responsible situation. As mentioned above, careful preparation is the best way to fight fear.
  • Where to look for additional information? It is possible that raising awareness of the physical causes and characteristics of hypoglycemia, as well as what preventive measures can help avoid the occurrence of severe episodes of hypoglycemia, will dispel your fears and worries. ⁵ On the Internet you will find a lot of reliable information published by national organizations dealing with diabetes, as well as other sources.

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