Millions of Americans have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Chances are good that you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with the condition. In fact, while nearly 18 million Americans have already been diagnosed with the condition, nearly 6 million Americans are unaware that they do not have diabetes. (source: http://www.diabetes.org/about-diabetes.jsp)
The good news is that there is help for individuals with diabetes – and that help can begin with you. While managing diabetes does require daily attention that can seem overwhelming at first, it is not an insurmountable problem that will be difficult to manage as long as diabetics have the right support and solutions required to keep them healthy.
Here are 3 simple things you can do to support your loved one with diabetes as he or she manages their condition:
Show you care
One of the biggest things you can do to support your loved one who has diabetes is to show that you care in simple ways. Send them a note expressing your support. Volunteer to cook dinner for them. Give them a gift certificate to a diabetes store, such as TypeFree where they can get affordable supplies and tools to make managing diabetes easier. Or, send a diabetes-friendly gift basket from a diabetes-friendly store like TypeFree. By showing your loved one that there is support out there, your diabetic loved one can feel solidarity from you – and have an easier time managing the condition from both an emotional and a practical perspective. Plus, it’s great to know that there are entire Web sites and online stores (again, like TypeFree) that are dedicated to helping diabetics manage their diabetes!
Exercise with them
One of the most important things for diabetics to pay attention to is their weight. Many diabetics are obese, which is a condition that not only leads to diabetes, but that also makes diabetes management more difficult. Obesity also leads to a host of other medical problems, including kidney problems and heart disease. Therefore, it is important that diabetics reduce their weight as much as possible through diet and exercise to help prevent some of the negative effects of the condition. Develop an exercise plan with them to help them lose weight – and get in shape yourself in the process!
Learn about nutrition with them
Nutrition is important for everyone. Yet, for diabetics, nutrition is an especially large concern. Diabetes is characterized by the body’s inability to metabolize foods properly, especially sugars and carbohydrates. Therefore, diabetics need to adopt a sugar-free or reduced-sugar diet in order to make diabetes management much easier – and to reduce the stress of sugar on their bodies. Work with you diabetic friend to develop meal plans and recipes that are low in sugar and healthier for the diabetic. In the process, you’re sure to reap the benefits of a low sugar diet as well!
Managing diabetes can be emotionally and physically demanding. But, with your support, you can help your diabetic loved one to manage their diabetes more easily and successfully so that they can be healthy and happy for years to come.