How to involve your family in understanding your diabetes diagnosis

Diabetes—whether you have Type 1, Type  2, or gestational—requires proper treatment and management, and having the support of your family and friends can help as you learn how to emotionally cope with the disease. A diabetes diagnosis does not mean you have to stop doing some of the things you love with your family and friends—like eating out or playing sports. By working with your team of health care specialists, you can learn how you can manage diabetes and create a communications plan to help your loved ones understand it as well.

Here are a few simple ways to engage your family in understanding diabetes:  

  • Teach your friends and family about the type of diabetes you have. Your family can help you manage the disease if they understand your symptoms, treatment, and daily management. Inform them how to check blood glucose levels, measure and give insulin, understand your nutritional guidelines, and respond to an emergency.  
  • Express how you are feeling to your family. Being diagnosed with diabetes may have caused you to experience a range of emotions as you learn to cope with and manage your diagnosis. Your family can serve as a sounding board and help relieve any stress¹ you may be feeling.
  • Continue to have conversations about sports, music, movies—anything that you enjoy. This will help your family understand that you are still living a normal life and want to be treated accordingly.

Remember that you are not alone in learning how to manage and talk about diabetes. Always use your team of health care specialists² for any concerns or questions you or your family have about the disease so that you can be properly informed.

1. American Diabetes Association, “Managing Stress and Diabetes,” accessed June 2014, http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/parents-and-kids/everyday-life/managing-stress-and-diabetes.html.

2. American Diabetes Association, “Your Health Care Team,” accessed June 2014, http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/whos-on-your-health-care-team/your-health-care-team.html.

Sources

American Diabetes Association, “Living with Diabetes,” accessed June 2014, http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/.

American Diabetes Association, “Treatment & Care,” accessed June 2014, http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/?loc=lwd-slabnav.

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