Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? Do you have a family member or friend who has been diagnosed with this chronic condition? There are millions of people around the world who have encountered, in one way or another, all that comes with having diabetes.
Many people are unaware that November is Diabetes Awareness month. November 14th has the privilege of being World Diabetes Day, which is recognized globally.
This condition does not just affect the individual with the diagnosis. It affects the entire family. And, for some, that includes friends, too. Working together can make living with diabetes much, much easier. See, diabetes is a lifelong, chronic condition. And, while it does not define your loved one, it does become a very large part of who they are on a daily living level.
So, what are some of the ways you could help someone you know that has been diagnosed with diabetes?
Don’t be a pest. Nobody wants someone to monitor their every move, every bite they take, and every pill they swallow. A person with diabetes is aware of what should be done. Instead, be a friend or ally.
Encourage healthy eating. Perhaps you could try some new recipes or suggest a cooking class. Show interest in learning about the dietary needs of diabetics and even partaking in a healthier eating journey together.
Language matters. This may sound silly initially, but there’s a movement to eliminate the word ‘diabetic’ and replace it with a person with diabetes. To many with diabetes, the term diabetic can be viewed as offensive.
Offer to be a support. Getting a diabetes diagnosis can be frustrating and unwelcome, but knowing that someone is there to offer support, attend medical appointments, meet with dieticians, and so forth can be very uplifting.
Know the signs. Being able to offer support to someone with diabetes means being able to know the signs when something is not right. Low blood sugar can be very dangerous – especially if not quickly acted upon. Educate yourself on what to look for, such as confusion, fatigue, and weakness, and then learn what you can do when these signs appear.
Make exercise fun. A lot of people are not thrilled about exercising. But, what about exercising with your best friend or spouse? Regular exercise greatly impacts diabetes and overall health in a positive manner. By encouraging exercise together it will seem less like work and more like having fun.
Be a beacon of happiness. Our health can bring down our mood – especially when we don’t feel well or we have had to make changes to the way we live life. Those with diabetes will have off-days, too. When they are busy focusing on the negative or have a pessimistic attitude, it is up to you to be the one to shine the light on the positive. Help your friend or loved one find the silver lining in any situation.
There are many ways in which you can help someone with diabetes. Most of all, though, just being there and showing you care can leave a lasting impression.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month. And, it is important because even if you have not personally been diagnosed with diabetes, there’s a good chance you know someone who has.
Sadly, there are still many misconceptions about the Diabetes community. Many people believe a person with Diabetes cannot live a healthy lifestyle. Carl Babers of Diabetes 365 says “ people with living with Diabetes tend to live healthier lifestyles, compared to people without Diabetes. Studies show that the Diabetes community tends to watch their diets more closely and even exercise more regularly compared to those who do not have Diabetes. In this day and age, there is no need to view a person who has Diabetes as an unhealthy, or obese individual.”
Many Diabetes nonprofits are doing a wonderful job of educating the public on important Diabetes issues. Insulin makers are continuing to raise the price on a life-saving drug. This has even come to the attention of politicians, as Bernie Sanders has vowed to fight for fair pricing on insulin.
Life insurance and health insurance providers are even making positive strides in making coverage obtainable, and affordable for the Diabetes community. Life insurance with Diabetes has never been less expensive, as rates are at an all-time low, for a majority of the applicants. Technology companies are investing millions and are creating devices that make diabetes easier to manage.
It is hard to ask people for help sometimes – even when you could use it. So, let’s work together to bring awareness to this chronic condition and teach ways to make a difference in the life of people with diabetes around the world.