How to Care for Your Loved Ones with Type 2 Diabetes

 

Type 2 diabetes is a condition wherein glucose, a type of sugar, builds up in your blood due to the body’s inefficiency to metabolize it and the pancreas not making enough insulin as it should. This type of diabetes is easy to avoid because some of its causes are related to habits. However, it takes a lifetime to deal with once a person develops it—meaning it has no cure.1

Type 2 diabetes can be managed through healthy lifestyle choices and proper support. So, how do you care for a loved one with type 2 diabetes? In this post, you’ll learn the essentials of diabetes care and management when looking after a loved one suffering from the disease.

Ways to Care for a Loved One with Type 2 Diabetes2,3,4,5,6,7

These health measures should be part of your checklist to help someone prevent and manage type 2 disease.

1. Learn more about the disease

Helping a loved one with type 2 diabetes starts with educating yourself about the disease, including its nature, signs and symptoms, causes, risk factors, medication, and treatment. 

It’s also crucial to know the various types of diabetes, as type 1 and type 2 differ in how insulin works in their body. Understanding these vital pieces of information can help you become effective in managing the various aspects of the condition.

 

2. Make a commitment

Your role as a caregiver is important. This is true regardless if the person you’re caring for already has an established daily routine or is still trying to adjust to the condition. With your constant care and support, the person with diabetes will find it easier to stick to a daily management plan and, ultimately, improve their health status. 

It would be best to take classes together to learn more about how to live with diabetes, which can guide both of you in your journey to a healthier future.

 

3. Prepare healthy meals

One of the causes of type 2 diabetes is obesity since being overweight is associated with insulin resistance. This condition is responsible for increasing the blood’s glucose levels, making it necessary for you to provide a balanced diet for your loved one.

Keep these things in mind to make your daily meals suitable for a diabetes-friendly diet:

 

 

4. Check blood pressure and cholesterol levels often

Diabetes and heart disease are linked to one another, the reason being high blood glucose levels can damage the blood vessels that nourish the heart. As such, you not only have to monitor blood sugar but also blood pressure and cholesterol.
A person with diabetes has to maintain blood pressure below 140/907. But to be sure, always check with a doctor if this number is suited to your loved one.

Watch out for high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the bad cholesterol that can cause a stroke or heart attack. Ideally, LDL cholesterol levels for people with diabetes are less than 100 mg per dL8.

 

5. Be up to date on the vaccines

People with type 2 diabetes may have a weaker immune system than those who are not suffering from the disease. This makes immunization vital in preventing complications resulting from diabetes, allowing your loved one to live longer and healthier.

People with diabetes should get at least one shot of vaccination against influenza, pneumonia, hepatitis B, and tetanus. Be sure to get the doctor’s recommendation on what other vaccines are necessary.

 

6. Schedule medical exams regularly

People with the condition need to undergo diabetes checks at least twice a year. The doctor will check for blood sugar, blood pressure, weight, and other medical conditions related to diabetes, like those for the eyes, gums, teeth, and feet. 

Several tests may be necessary—consult the doctor about prescription, diabetes treatment, and the actions you can take to deliver optimum care for your loved one.

 

7. Limit alcohol intake

Alcoholic beverages may contain sugar, which can raise blood glucose levels, especially if taken in excessive amounts. Plus, alcohol has calories that add up to one’s daily calorie count. If your loved one is over the age of 65, limit alcohol intake to one drink per day. Include a light meal to balance the blood sugar level. 

 

8. Test for blood sugar

Performing a daily blood sugar test is imperative for people with diabetes, as it’s the best way to know if there’s a rise or drop in the amount of glucose in the blood. Sugar levels may fluctuate before and after meals, so it may be necessary to check blood sugar several times within the day. A normal range after eating is a maximum of 140 mg/dL9.  

Beat Diabetes with Your Loved Ones

Helping your loved ones deal with diabetes is a huge responsibility, but it shouldn’t be a burden. With proper education and continuous monitoring, you can make a lot of difference by keeping it at a manageable level and helping prevent complications.

It would also help to start an open and honest conversation with your loved ones to empower them in managing their health risks. Nobody else can better understand diabetes than someone who is living with the disease, so listen and find out what your Sweetheart needs from a loving caregiver. Let them know they are not alone in this fight.

Of course, it would be best if your loved one is patient and disciplined to follow a holistic health plan, including taking our ASCVD Risk Calculator: Framingham Score Test to check to see if they’re already at risk of cardiovascular disease.

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References:

1https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193 

2https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20045803

3https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/4-steps

4https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/taking-care-your-diabetes-every-day

5https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/diabetes

6 https://www.everydayhealth.com/diabetes/type2/caregiving/how-to-care-for-a-type-2-diabetic.aspx

7 https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/managing-diabetes/4-steps 

8 https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/27/suppl_1/s68 

9 https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/qa/what-are-normal-blood-sugar-levels

 

 

Disclaimer: The information provided is for information purposes only and is not meant to be substituted for the advice given by a registered medical practitioner. This information should not be used for diagnosing health problems or for self-medication. Boehringer Ingelheim shall not be responsible for any damages or losses arising out of access to or use of information provided.