Managing diabetes is hard. It takes constant work to stay on top of, and even the smallest food choices can throw off one’s blood sugar. It can make life difficult not only for those dealing with diabetes, but also for the family members and friends who are trying to support them. The good news is that those with diabetes are usually able to better manage their disease with the support of loved ones. But do family and friends always know the best ways to offer help? Here are 12 do’s and don’ts for supporting a loved one with diabetes. If you’re looking to help someone with the condition, use these tips to offer the right kind of assistance.
12. Do: Recognize It’s Difficult
The first step toward helping those with diabetes can be acknowledging that managing the disease isn’t easy. It’s difficult and tricky — sometimes blood sugar seems to spike randomly. Let your loved one with diabetes know that you recognize the hard work they are doing in dealing with it.
11. Don’t: Be the Diabetes Police
Nobody wants someone constantly looking over their shoulder. While it’s OK for family members to be concerned about their loved one’s choices, they shouldn’t go so far as being a nag and policing that person’s lifestyle. It’s hard enough living with diabetes; don’t make your loved one feel like they’re also breaking the law.
10. Do: Educate Yourself
One of the biggest ways friends and family can help a loved one with diabetes is to learn more about the disease. Managing diabetes is much more complicated than counting carbs and keeping blood sugar low. The more you know, the greater the likelihood you’ll be able to help your loved one when they need it most.
9. Don’t: Play Doctor
Your loved one knows who their medical practitioners are, and they don’t need outside, uninvited medical advice on managing their diabetes. It’s possible you may be perpetuating myths or outdated information with your suggestions. Leave the recommendations to the pros.
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