Diabetes – it’s better to share it

Building a healthy support system when living with diabetes.

Having diabetes isn’t easy. For those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, it’s a lifelong occupation and there’s a lot to think about and take into consideration. Being diagnosed with diabetes can mean following your doctor’s advice, watching your diet, staying active, testing your glucose levels and taking medications. Depending on your type of diabetes, several hours of your day could be spent thinking about your diabetes. It may seem like you never get a break or a vacation from the thoughts.

Without a doubt, living with diabetes can be a daily challenge. Communicating to others what’s hard or frustrating about diabetes can be difficult, too. Some experiences or topics of diabetes may be difficult to talk about.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), there is a strong correlation between poor medication adherence and poor glycemic control. This is due in part to a lack of a well-defined support system. Support systems include people or places where you can find openness and encouragement surrounding your diabetic health.

One way to best optimize your health over the long term is to learn how to develop this support team. People on your support team lift you up, keep you motivated and encourage you to stay on track.

You can find diabetes support from:

  • Diabetes peers – those living with or at risk of diabetes
  • Support groups – designed to support you through group discussion about diabetes
  • Nationally recognized diabetic agencies – such as the American Diabetes Association
  • Educational support groups – learn more about nutrition and healthy living
  • Professional social media – connect online and share healthy life tips
  • Family, friends and co-workers
  • Primary health care providers, specialists, social workers, registered dieticians

Diabetes is a common disease, yet every individual requires unique care. Along with a good support system the CDC recommends:

  • Follow your health care team’s advice
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Incorporate 10 to 20 minutes of physical activity each day

For more information on diabetic health and diabetic self-management programs visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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