Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Diabetes Information for Caregivers

The incidence of is growing at an alarming rate. This is sometimes referred to as a "lifestyle disease" because the way you live can put you at risk for developing the disease. It has become more and more likely that someone you know could have type 2 diabetes. is important just in case you need to help someone with the disease.

Physical Effects of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body either doesn't produce enough insulin, or it doesn't use insulin effectively. A diabetic's blood sugar levels must be carefully monitored to prevent both high blood sugar () and low blood sugar (). Both conditions can result in troubling symptoms and may escalate to more serious problems. If a diabetic's blood sugar swings excessively in one direction or the other (either too low or too high), he or she may be unable to help him or herself. Knowing what to do in case of emergency is important.

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to further including , , or , , vision problems, poor circulation, and kidney disease.

Diet

A can help with blood sugar control. Ask the person with diabetes for information on their eating plan and schedule, and what foods 'trigger' their blood sugar to spike. This information is useful just in case you find yourself dealing with a situation of that needs to be addressed.

Likewise, knowing appropriate is also useful. Should the person with diabetes eat too little in a meal but continue taking their regular dose of medication or insulin, their blood sugar may drop too low.

You may want to talk to a dietitian yourself to learn about what types of foods the diabetic should eat more often and those they should try to avoid. A "diabetic diet plan" is actually a good, healthy eating plan for everyone, whether they have diabetes or not! Encourage the person with diabetes to follow the proper eating plan and help them to , if required.

This may sound overly nosy; after all, no one wants to be treated like a child! Offer respectfully and let them know that you want to learn how to help, just in case it's needed. Back off if they seem sensitive and give them time and the chance to approach you instead.

Exercise

is a critial part of any type 2 plan, since it helps to regulate blood sugar as well as lower cholesterol and improve blood pressure. Again, respectfully ask about their exercise plan and offer support if they want it. Monitor blood sugar levels if recommended by their doctor - exercising too much, especially if they've skipped a meal or haven't stuck to their eating schedule, can result in low blood sugar. Exercising too little may result in higher blood sugar.

Testing or Monitoring

In the event that someone with diabetes cannot help themselves, it can be useful to know how to use the components of a . This includes knowing how to use the glucometer, lancet and test strip to get a blood glucose reading.

Insulin and Medication

Some type 2 diabetics take pills to help them manage their blood sugar as well as various other conditions common to diabetics. Insulin shots may also be necessary. Ask for a demonstration of how to administer medication, in case the situation arises where the person is unable to administer it themselves. Keep instructions and dosages handy so that you can refer to them as necessary.

Diabetes information for caregivers is something that every caregiver will need to put together with the assistance of the person with diabetes, who has individualized diet, exercise, and treatment plans. Family and friends who are put in the caregiver role can sometimes feel overwhelmed. Don't be afraid to ask for help from healthcare providers if you need it.

 

 

The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.