Diabetes is a life-long disease which affects one’s health, wellbeing, and overall lifestyle. Type 1, in particular, demands countless finger pricks and insulin shots to keep blood glucose levels in control.
But, besides insulin and proper diet, these people need their friends’ and family’s support and understanding. Here are the things you should remember if someone you know has type 1 diabetes.
Don’t judge them for having diabetes, as type 1 is a result of improper function of the pancreas. They didn’t choose to have this disease, so help them by suggesting to start biking or quit sugar.
Even though most cases are inborn, type 1 diabetes can often appear out of the blue. So, it changes people’s life completely without them asking for it.
They give themselves a few insulin shots a day, and some will use an insulin pump for the rest of their lives. It’s because they have to keep their blood glucose levels under control to prevent them from getting hypoglycemia or fall into a coma.
Although they look like any other person on the outside, their inside is different. Since their pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, they could fall into a coma and die. So, these people live in this reality every single day.
Insulin pumps resemble their pancreas by providing them with insulin on a set schedule. However, this device is not a cure, so these people have to watch their blood glucose levels and monitor their carbohydrate intake.
Type 1 diabetes is not related to excessive sugar consumption. So, it’s normal if they get sick of being asked if they got the disease by indulging in too many sweets.
Regardless of the type of monitoring systems or devices they use, an incorrect dosage of insulin can kill them.
Since most type 1 diabetes patients are diagnosed as infants, children, or adolescents, their parents might become too protective, knowing the disease of their child is incurable and life-threatening.
Even though type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2, it affects people’s lives hugely.
They might have lost some close person with the same disease, so have this in mind.
People with type 1 diabetes can have a hypoglycemic attack and you could think they are drunk. This is because the symptoms of hypoglycemia are similar to that of a drunk person, confusion, blurred vision, shakiness, and lack of coordination. This is a life-threatening situation so make sure you get help ASAP.
As type 1 diabetes never leaves, these people might have harder times during holidays when everyone around them enjoys foods they are not allowed to eat.
People with type 1 diabetes are their own nurse, mathematician, and dietician every day in order to lead a normal life.
Don’t avoid asking them for a slice of your birthday cake as they know how to handle their blood glucose level better than you do.
Around 71 percent of type 1 diabetics feel as they are seen as a failure of personal responsibility or a burden on the healthcare system.
They are used to being surrounded by people who can’t make a difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. So, you can help them by learning more about their disease, showing them you understand their condition.
Most people with type 1 diabetes had to take control of their health care from a young age. Their disease made them to be their own best nurse and health advocate. Also, some of them might have seen a close person dies from the disease.
There are diabetes assist dogs which are trained to alert people with diabetes of upcoming low blood sugar levels. So, don’t be surprised if your close one with diabetes is always accompanied by his dog. It might be one of these diabetes assist dogs. Also, it’s a great gift for anyone with this disease.
One of the most common psychiatric disorder among people with diabetes is depression. It can even affect their blood glucose management. Therefore, show them your support and if necessary, help them seek a professional help.
Type 1 diabetes neither affects their intelligence nor makes them handicapped. Therefore, don’t treat them as such and don’t stare at their insulin pens and pumps. It’s enough just to be natural and walk into their shoes, seeing their world without judging them.
By knowing more about your loved one’s disease, you help them feel accepted and appreciated. Don’t let them feel alone and misunderstood!