How to help your spouse manage diabetes

Balanced meals, use of medicines or insulin injections, control of blood sugar levels … Diabetes forces you to follow a set of relatively restrictive rules to avoid complications. When it is unbalanced, it can also cause discomfort related to hypo or hyperglycemia. A painful situation for not only the person affected but also for his entourage. More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes, but there are also millions of spouses, partners, parents and children who support them.
The spouse, in particular, does not always know what attitude to adopt to motivate the person with diabetes in order to follow his treatments, to avoid any emergencies or to show his support without feeling invasive or too demanding.

1. Learn about diabetes

Understanding what your partner is going through is important in two ways: It makes you more present in your partner’s life, and it helps you both feel confident in case of an emergency. Look for useful information on blood glucose monitoring, meal planning, medicines, exercise..

2. Share meals

The pace and composition of meals leave little room for unforeseen events. To help the person with diabetes, these meals times must still be moments of sharing and conviviality, which forces other members of the family to follow the same rules. But keep in mind that some people with diabetes absolutely can not skip meals, or eat some desserts … so try not to tempt them.

3. Emotional support

Like any chronic disease, diabetes reaches the self-image. The loss of the ideal of health can be difficult to live with and causes anxieties, maintained by the uncertainties and mandatory controls related to blood sugar. Norbert Zerah, psychologist, explains in one of his articles: “Whether in a hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic slope, the diabetic fears an imbalance caused by a lack of sugar or its rise. […] This anxiety is likely to cause other behavioral disorders (depression, irritability …). Luckily, having a partner to support you through rocky times can definitely help to create emotional balance. The key here is to communicate openly and regularly.

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