Friends and family of diabetic patients can be a source of support or a hindrance for the diabetic patient. Friends and family may sabotage the care of the diabetic patient by tempting the patient with food that would not be conducive to maintaining safe blood sugar levels. This sabotage is not done with evil intentions. Most likely, it is done out of a lack of education about the illness.
Diabetic patients must not only educate themselves, but also those around them. Physicians and the Internet can provide information about diabetes which can be shared with friends and family. Friends and family who are aware of the symptoms and treatment of diabetes and the possible complications of the illness can be the best support system for the diabetic patient.
Friends and family should be aware of how to act in the case of a diabetic crisis. Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood sugar level dips dangerously low. It can cause dizziness, hunger, shakiness, and even seizures. If the diabetic patient is conscious, they should consume a half cup of fruit juice, five or six pieces of hard candy, or glucose tablets.
Glucose tablets are usually available at drug stores and should be kept on hand in case of hypoglycemia. Family and friends of diabetic patients should refrain from giving them food or drink during a hypoglycemic crisis if the patient is passed out. Instead, they should call emergency medical services.
Family can also take steps to decrease their risk for developing the disease since there is a hereditary component to diabetes. When a loved one develops diabetes, it can be a motivator for the family to follow a healthier lifestyle. Healthy diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can help someone avoid developing diabetes. Creating these healthy routines can help both the family and the diabetic patient.