Family First: Helping Loved Ones Understand Diabetes

When managing type 2 diabetes, making small simple choices every day is the key to keeping on track.  The easiest way to do this is eliminating temptations and barriers to these healthy choices!  Make sure your family understands type 2 diabetes including the causes and the long-term impacts to ensure they have your back when your willpower is running low.  Here are 5 ways to navigate type 2 diabetes with your family.

Talk!

Family members often do not realize just how much their support means, so it is important to let them know!  If a loved one does something that really inspired you to make better decisions, tell them.  This way, they will be more likely to repeat the helpful behavior in the future.

Type 2 diabetes runs in families for two reasons:  genetics and lifestyle influences.  Having type 2 diabetes puts the rest of your family at greater risk, so take the opportunity to discuss entire family’s  health.

Provide Resources

If your family is unfamiliar with diabetes, help them understand! Knowledge is power, and there are lots of free resources for family members of those with type 2 diabetes. This CDC article talks about what to do as a family member of someone with diabetes, and this AAMFT article outlines how diabetes can affect relationships.

Work Together

Habits are easy to change when the whole household is on board! With everyone on the same page, you can work as a team and make a plan to eat healthier and step up your physical activity, together.

Ask for Support

If members of your family insist on having treats that don’t align with your health goals, ask them to only eat those items while away from the home.  This will help you to avoid feelings of resentment and greatly reduce the risk of falling back in to old habits.

Feeling tempted? Keep ingredients for simple healthy desserts like “nice cream” on hand!

Set Yourself Up for Success

A few basic ground rules can go a long way to help the whole family live healthier. Keep plenty of healthy snack options on hand and make them easy to access.  Put fresh fruit or non-starchy vegetables like celery or grape tomatoes on the counter, only buy whole grains, and make water your go-to beverage.

A supportive family can have an incredible impact on your health!  Remember, you’re not alone and your Wellsmith Care Team is always ready to provide guidance and support. How has your family supported you on this journey? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!

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