You have someone in your life who has been diagnosed with diabetes. After the shock of the announcement, you are wondering how to react to help your loved one accept and live his or her diabetes to the fullest? Here is our advice
SUPPORT HIS DIABETIC CHILD
It’s not easy for parents and children alike to accept diabetes and all that this disease can imply on a daily basis. Yet parental support is essential. Above all, learn about diabetes. Understanding the disease, the hygieno-dietary rules to be established, learning how to carry out controls, injections, and emergency procedures are all information to be assimilated and put into practice very quickly. Being a parent of a diabetic child requires being very vigilant, explaining and re-explaining why he can’t eat like his friends, catching up on any excesses… Restricting without depriving, a difficult equation but one that must nevertheless be solved in order to have a healthy child, both physically and psychologically.
SUPPORT YOUR DIABETIC TEENAGER
As they grow older, young patients must learn to become independent in the management of their disease. As parents, you will have to accept to delegate the actions you have been doing for years and learn to trust them. As with any chronic disease, diabetes is a daily challenge and can make teens feel different from others. It’s up to you to understand their frustrations and frustration, while explaining the importance of treatment. Be in constant dialogue to avoid abandoning the follow-up. Be present… but not intrusive!
SUPPORTING YOUR DIABETIC SPOUSE
Be supportive but not imposing: this should be the rule for relationships in a couple where one of the partners is diabetic. Knowing the medication, the number of doses taken and the tolerated deviations is essential, but there is no question of taking on the role of caregiver! Resuming physical activity, changing eating habits… The patient must adopt a new lifestyle and needs to be encouraged to do so… but in a subtle way! You can suggest walks or new recipes, but without making the link with his illness. At the level of the couple, diabetes can affect sexual relations: here again, dialogue comes first!
SUPPORTING A SENIOR CITIZEN WITH DIABETES
With age, diabetes leads to a greater risk of vascular complications, which can be compounded by other pathologies that weaken the patient. To compensate for the gradual loss of autonomy and to help your senior live well with diabetes, you can offer home help that includes having a nurse visit your home to check blood sugar levels and administer treatment, and delivering adapted meals to your home.
“I never thought I could be a diabetic!”
While type 1 diabetes mainly affects younger people, type 2 diabetes usually occurs in people over the age of 40. Because it rarely has symptoms at the onset, it can go unnoticed for many years. On average, it may take 5 to 10 years from the onset of hyperglycemia to diagnosis.
Our modern lifestyle, which is relatively sedentary and based on a rich diet, is dramatically increasing the number of people with type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 179 million people worldwide(1) have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, almost half of all type 2 diabetics.
Type 2 diabetes occurs because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and its action is diminished, resulting in high blood sugar levels (fasting blood glucose over 1.26 g/L).
The causes of type 2 diabetes are multiple but often related to poor lifestyle and a family history of diabetes.
- heredity:The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is higher if a family member already has diabetes.
- Overweight: a person who is significantly overweight (obese) is 20 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
- sedentary lifestyle: it is recommended to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day;
- poor dietary hygiene: eat everything, in reasonable quantities and in a balanced way;
- Tobacco: smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes by 50%;
- Urbanization: there are 2 to 5 times more type 2 diabetics living in cities than in the countryside.
What’s your status?