If someone you love is diabetic, you should understand the importance of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Keeping blood glucose in check is the most vital aspect of living a life of health and happiness. Studies indicate that a person can cut his risk of complication by at least half by following a few simple steps to manage the disease. The prognosis really is largely determined to the diabetic himself and his family. If he is disciplined, consistent, and persistent, he can succeed. If not, he may be headed down a path to complications and an early and untimely death. Every family deserves to have the person around as long as possible.
If you are the spouse, child, or sibling of a diabetic, you have surely asked yourself what you can do to prevent complications in the person you love. What can you do to assist your loved one to manage his disease without ruining your relationship? Should you be passive or assertive in helping your loved one?
Healthy Blood Sugar Levels and Your Loved Ones
Your approach to helping your diabetic loved one really depends on your relationship and what he or she needs at any particular moment. Managing diabetes and preventing complications in the long term involves much more than maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. A great deal of patience, empathy, understanding, and persistence is required.
You should first learn all you can about diabetes. Take the time to understand the type of diabetes your loved one has, and what he or she must do to stay healthy. Talk to a diabetes educator, read books, and check out websites like WebMD and diabetes.org to educate yourself about the condition. You should become an expert in all things diabetes.
Every member of the family should not only know general treatment information, but also the details. Items to learn include facts about healthy blood sugar levels, the signs and symptoms of complications such as ketacidosis, confusion, lethargy, poor circulation, kidney disease, and neuropathy, and details about lifestyle factors that improve prognosis. The role of a family should be that of an advocate. The saying about two heads being better than one applies in this case. If possible, a diabetic should never go to a doctor’s appointment alone.
Healthy Blood Sugar Levels Fact to Keep In Mind
Here are a few facts to keep in mind. You can never force your loved one to maintain healthy blood sugar levels unless he is a small child unable to care for himself. It is best to be supportive, loving, and patient. Most diabetics go through difficult times in which they may lose focus. It is during such times that loved ones must be compassionate and accommodating. Remember that one bad day will not inevitably lead to a serious complication. As long as most days are good, the odds of a long term positive outcomes are as well. Taking it one day at time is the only approach to take.
It is very important to watch your loved ones for complications such as increased susceptibility to infections, foot infections, heart disease, kidney disease, vision changes, and stroke. All diabetics should regularly see their doctor for tests, and have their feet examined at least annually. It is also a good idea for a spouse or other family member to assess the diabetic’s feet every month if the risk for infection is high. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is not the only thing that you can help you loved one with. You should also keep your eye out for signs of stroke, kidney disease, and heart disease. Know that if your loved one suddenly experiences changes in mental status, is unable to speak or move one side of his body, he may be having a stroke. If fatigue, or urination becomes a problem, kidney disease may be developing. Shortness of breath, chest or arm pain, and general feelings of anxiety and impending doom could be signs of a cardiac event. If you see any of these symptoms in your loved one, you should seek emergency medical treatment immediately.
Heathy Life Style Leads to Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Perhaps, the best way of helping your diabetic loved one is being an example of healthy living. If you change your own diet and lifestyle for the better, it will be that much easier for everyone in your family to follow suit. Whoever is in charge of purchasing groceries and cooking in a household should take the lead in improving the entire family’s diet. Every family member should be aware of the consequences of not making the appropriate adjustments to promote health. The more that friends and family members buy into living a diabetic friendly lifestyle, the easier it will be for the person with diabetes to maintain healthy blood sugar levels over the long term.
Managing diabetes is much more like a marathon than a sprint. It will require sustained effort of not only the diabetic, but also of the entire family. It entails a commitment to active and healthy living, to regular monitoring of glucose levels, and to the prevention and early detection of chronic complications. The good news is that a diabetic and his family have it in their power to determine their own future. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and preventing complications is a choice it is not a matter of fate.