Importance of diabetic communications with your health care provider

Effectively communicate with others about your diabetes using “I messages.”

Diabetes is a complicated disease. You have to manage what you eat, your exercise plan, taking medications and often the complications that come with the disease. One important skill in managing diabetes is a person’s ability to communicate with the people around them. Good communication is essential for someone who has diabetes. A person needs to seek information about the condition, keep others informed about their health and help those around them understand how to help.

Using “I messages” to convey information to others is an effective way to help people in your life understand your needs, as indicated by Stanford University, Living a Healthy Life, 4th edition. Using “I messages” allows you to express your concerns and feelings without blaming the other person. Michigan State University Extension advises three parts to explaining your position:

  1. You begin by saying “I feel…” and state your feeling.
  2. Then you state “when…” which explains the action or situation that has caused those feelings.
  3. Third, you need to explain why you feel that way. As an example one could say, “I feel afraid when my blood sugar is not controlled because I worry I will have serious complications.”

Communication can be one of the most difficult tasks when managing diabetes. Putting feelings into words can be difficult and it takes practice. To begin, try writing down your statement on a piece of paper. This helps you practice how to phrase your thoughts instead of trying to formulate it in your head. Once you have practiced on paper several times, it will be easier to state it from your thoughts.

Communicating to the people around you will help to more effectively manage your diabetes. It is important to tell you family members how you are feeling so they can assist you. It is just as important to tell your health care provider what you are experiencing so they too can treat you in the most effective manner. You need to be honest with your health care provider about what you have been eating, whether you have been taking your medications, have you been exercising, and if you have been experiencing any side effects or symptoms that concern you. By doing this you will more effectively manage your diabetes and get the help you need with this complicated disease.

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