13 Ways to Support Those Living with Type 2 Diabetes
Our latest blog post is for anyone with a loved one who has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes!
This person may be struggling with their weight, confused about what their diagnosis means, afraid they might eat the wrong thing, and experiencing unpleasant symptoms that make it difficult to get through the day. But above all, they are doing their best to manage their health in the only way they know how.
It’s important to be an advocate for the diabetic community, not only to support those close to you, but to support others out there who need it. Luckily, there are several ways you can go about doing this. We encourage you to pick two or three of the ideas below and help the diabetic community in any way you can!
Ways You Can Support the Diabetic Community
1. Start a Conversation
Whether you know someone who has been dealing with diabetes for years, or they just recently got news of their diagnosis, don’t be afraid to have a candid conversation with them about it. This person will likely appreciate your thoughtfulness and be more than happy to open up about their experience.
In doing so, you end up helping a loved one while also learning more about what it’s like to live with type 2 diabetes firsthand. If this is a topic you’ve never discussed with them, start by asking when they were diagnosed — if you don’t already know. Or, simply ask them how they are doing.
2. Research the Signs and Symptoms of Type 2
Knowing the signs and symptoms of type 2 can help you identify if someone is experiencing issues with their condition, and what to do in case of an emergency. This knowledge may also come in handy if you ever notice someone complaining about these specific symptoms, and you can suggest they ask their doctor about getting tested for diabetes.
Signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can look like:
- Increased thirst and/or hunger
- Dry mouth
- The need to urinate more frequently
- Unintended weight loss or weight gain
- Slow-healing sores or wounds
- Fatigue, low energy levels
- Blurred vision
- Frequent infections
- Numbing or tingling sensations in the hands or feets
- Dark skin around the armpits and neck area
- Dizziness (can be a sign of low blood sugar)
- Shakiness (can be a sign of low blood sugar)
- Headaches (can be a sign of low blood sugar)
3. Ask to Tag Along to an Appointment
Family members may feel more comfortable about visiting the doctor if you went with them for moral support. Having a second person there at the appointment can ensure no important information gets missed. You can also ask any questions you may have about what you can do to keep your loved one healthy. This is one of the best ways you can personally show them support in their journey to reversing their type 2 diabetes.
4. Keep Up with Latest Research
Discuss the latest findings on type 2 with your loved ones so that they can bring up the information to their own doctor. It’s a great way for that person to learn more about their diagnosis, while not having to go through it alone.
Several thought leaders in the diabetic community are helping thousands of people in the fight against type 2. Dr. Jason Fung is an excellent resource for learning more about the importance of intermittent fasting to prevent and reverse type 2 diabetes. He’s also an advocate for low-carb diets and has written several books on the topic. Additionally, feel free to share Dr. Roy Taylor’s study on calorie-restrictive dieting and how it burns fat from inside the organs and allows the body’s insulin reactions to return to normal. It’s an incredible finding that may inspire your loved one to see the possibilities in turning their health around. Dr. Peter Attia is another doctor with a popular podcast and interesting articles surrounding diabetes and the diabetic community as a whole. There’s a whole world of information out there, share it with your loved one!
5. Remind Loved Ones to Check Blood Glucose
Regularly checking your blood sugar can be a bit difficult if you’re not already in the habit of doing it. Keep this in mind if your loved one isn’t staying on top of this.
However, diabetics should be testing their glucose at least once per day, sometimes more depending on their doctor’s recommendation. Gently remind your loved one to take their test and keep track of the numbers with them. Eventually, they will get into the habit of checking it regularly.
6. Encourage Those Around You to Get Tested
Don’t be afraid to speak up if you notice someone is experiencing the tell-tale symptoms of type 2 diabetes. These symptoms may be nothing, but they will never know the cause of them unless they go to their doctor.
Let your loved one know the importance of keeping their diabetes controlled, and share the signs and symptoms you have learned about so far. There is a chance they may have prediabetes, which can be easier to manage and ultimately reverse. As mentioned, you can also offer to go to their first appointment with them so that they feel more comfortable about getting tested for prediabetes.
7. Start Exercising Together
It’s crucial for those with diabetes to exercise in order to keep their weight at a healthy level, lower their glucose levels and insulin resistance, and keep secondary conditions such as heart disease in check.
If they’re not a fan of exercising, try making it fun so that they are willing to do it more often. Go on a walk somewhere scenic, or even somewhere new. Sign up for a gym membership or group classes and take them together. Best of all, while you’re supporting your loved one, you will also get the benefits of regular exercise too!
8. Make Lasting Nutrition Changes
In addition to exercising, make it a point to eat healthier together. Share with them the importance of eating a high-protein diet and understanding certain types of foods, like carbohydrates and sugar and how to navigate the good and bad. Take a diabetes-friendly cooking class and learn how to make some new meals while enjoying each other's company.
But if they’re already a pretty good cook in the kitchen, give them a diabetes cookbook to draw inspiration from. By teaching them how to have a new relationship with food, they will be more willing to adopt new habits to manage their diabetes on their own.
9. Advise Loved Ones to Try Intermittent Fasting
Exercise and a healthy diet are the foundation of managing type 2, but taking the first step in reversing the condition starts with intermittent fasting!
Explore this concept together and learn as much as you can about how to get started with intermittent fasting and its many benefits. By participating in a fast at the same time, you can lean on each for support when those cravings kick in and you’re tempted to break the fast. Doing it together means you’re more likely to stick to it.
10. Teach Your Kids the Importance of Eating Healthy
Teach your kids early on in life the importance of eating healthy. Show them the basic functions of the body in a fun and creative way that gets their attention. Let them ask questions and share their thoughts about their own health as well. The more they talk about it, the more they will share with you.
In the long run, they are more likely to grow up with an appreciation for eating healthy and taking care of themselves. They’re also more likely to pick up other good habits, like proper hygiene and exercising, if taught young.
11. Join a Local Foundation or Support Group
A quick Google search will show you all of the foundations or groups in your area that focus on the diabetic community. Get involved to show your support and help others in your area by participating in local events and volunteering at charities.
Ask your loved one with diabetes to do these things with you to build their community. They may come out of it with more support than ever, all thanks to you!
12. Sign Up to Become ADA Diabetes Advocate
To really make a difference, become an ADA Diabetes Advocate! Use their platform to share your voice on behalf of those living with diabetes. Discover the latest government updates that affect the diabetic community, local events, and resources about how to help diabetics thrive.
13. Give the Gift of Swee2ooth
Help your loved one get off on the right foot when it comes to reversing their type 2. Buy them one of our Super Blends in their favorite flavor and show them how sweet the fight against diabetes can taste!
Each Super Blend is formulated with the exact amount of macronutrients and vitamins and minerals to keep blood sugar levels stable, intense cravings at bay, while providing everything they need to stay healthy. Whether they are looking to start fasting with protein powder or make a yummy snack, they will surely appreciate you looking out for their health. Swee2ooth is also great for nondiabetics or wanting to stay on top of type 2 prevention.