Diabetes is a disease that affects approximately 29 million Americans, and 90 to 95 percent of those suffering have what is known as type two diabetes. Those who have type two diabetes are insulin resistant (as opposed to those who have type one diabetes who don’t make any insulin at all) which means that their bodies don’t use insulin properly, and may not make enough of it, so they are unable to maintain the correct blood sugar levels to stay healthy.
Although type two diabetes is a life-long disease, and there is no cure, there are ways to manage it so that it doesn’t affect your day-to-day life. If you know someone with type two diabetes, here are some ways to help them stay healthy.
As with many diseases, the key to staying on top of the symptoms is to eat healthily. This holds true for diabetics, but it’s more than simply eating well – eating the right foods can stimulate the insulin production in their bodies, plus it can help reduce their blood sugar levels. These two things combined (or even just one of them) mean that the symptoms of diabetes are far less.
A change in eating habits can be a big challenge to some people, particularly if they are fond of take-out and sweet treats. This is why friends and family can help; those who need to change their diet to stay healthy will need encouragement. It is also best if you eat healthily around them. If they see you tucking into some chocolate chip cookies when they can’t, you could be making things much harder than they need to be.
Not all diabetes sufferers will need to take medication, but if your friend or loved one does, then it’s vital that you help them with it if they need assistance. The most common form of diabetes medicine is insulin, and this is taken via a syringe. It might be that your loved one cannot give themselves that shot (whether through fear or perhaps a disability), so you might need to learn how to do it. Don’t worry; it’s a simple procedure.
Some people with diabetes may choose to self-medicate, and this is never a good idea. A doctor should always be consulted as some drugs (legal and otherwise) can have a hugely detrimental effect, making symptoms worse or causing new issues. If the person you are caring for has begun to self-medicate, there are ways to help them with this as well. Always seek help from professionals if you are worried about this.
Simply being there for your friend after they have been diagnosed can be enough of a help. Being told you have a disease, one that will be with you for life, is never a pleasant experience, and they may need someone to talk to. Whether the symptoms are severe enough to need an amputation and then an exoskeleton for disabled people, or if they are much milder, be there for them when they need you.
There are many different diabetes support groups in the country, and there is sure to be one in your area; if your friend wants to attend one, why not go with them to give them a boost? You will learn something about the disease and can be of more help that way.