Caring For a Partner With Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood sugars (blood glucose) are too high. The majority of food products you consume are turned into glucose, which provides a source of energy for your body. Your body produces insulin, which is a hormone that helps glucose get into the cells. When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not use or make insulin well, which causes the glucose to stay in your blood, as opposed to going into the cells. Having too much glucose in your blood can cause a range of serious problems, including kidney damage, heart disease, nerve damage and in some situations, the loss of a limb. Caring for a partner who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes requires both you and your partner being armed with knowledge about the disease and information about how to manage it.

Communication is Key

It is common for someone with diabetes to hide their feelings and symptoms until there are serious complications. Successfully helping your partner with diabetes requires open communications. It is important to talk openly with your partner about any concerns as well as ways to manage the disease. If it is difficult for you or your partner to talk with each other about diabetes care, consider going to doctor appointments with them. Make sure you both understand the treatments being recommended by the doctor and that you know the symptoms of potential problems that may occur as a result of the diabetes.

Meal Plans

Although it is essential that someone with type 2 diabetes 2 eat a healthy diet, it is also important that you not over-analyze everything that your partner eats. What you can do, is help them learn how to balance when, what and how much they eat and ensure that there are plenty of healthy selections to choose from. It is often helpful to start small; try to make one or two small changes at first, such as eating brown rice instead of white rice or drinking water instead of soda.

Physical Activity

It is important that your partner finds ways for physical activity, but this doesn’t mean you have to sign them up at a local gym. There are a range of ways the two of you can add more physical activity into your daily routines. Start small and keep in mind that even a small increase in physical activity, such as going for a walk after dinner, will make a big difference. Before starting an activity plan, make sure your partner talks with their doctor to learn what their physical capabilities are and for suggestions for a home exercise plan.

Blood Sugar Checks and Medicine

Routinely checking their blood sugar is one of the most important things your partner will need to do once they have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You can help by encouraging your partner to regularly track their blood sugar levels, which will help to identify patterns and help their doctor know how the treatment is working. If your partner is prescribed medications as part of their treatment plan, it is important to make sure they are taking the medications when and how they are prescribed.

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Caring for a partner who has type 2 diabetes can be stressful and overwhelming. It is important for you to also create your own care plan, including how to manage your stress and how to keep up with your health. Diabetes is heavily affected by foods and the balance of protein and carbohydrates, so maintaining a proper diet will be beneficial for both of you. For example, preparing healthy meals will help to maintain your partners glucose levels as well as help you maintain your stress.


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