Five Things Your Family Should Know About Diabetes

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If you have diabetes, you know that managing diabetes can be hard. Talking with your family about your diabetes and some of the struggles you face can help you deal with the stress, emotions, and other challenges in your life. The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is offering some tips about how to talk to your family about your diabetes care they can provide support in helping you manage your diabetes.

When managing diabetes, it is common to feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry. Your loved ones may not be aware of things they can do to best support you.

Here are some ideas for your loved ones to help you reach your goals in managing your diabetes.

  1. Diabetes is serious, so encourage your family to learn about it. Make sure they know the damage that diabetes can cause to your heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves can be prevented or delayed with proper disease management.
  2. Lifestyle changes are necessary when managing your diabetes. To live well, you need to be physically active, make healthy food choices, and keep your blood glucose (sugar), cholesterol, and blood pressure under control. Sometimes these changes can be easier if your family is involved. Plan group activities and meals to encourage family members to be involved.
  3. Your loved ones can help you make a plan and reach your goals. Work with your loved ones to make a plan to help you reach your goals and manage your diabetes. Think about what you’re able to do, and decide what your goals are.
  4. Routine care is important to disease management. See your health care team for an A1C test at least twice a year, and inform your family of when your appointments are so they can help you stay on track. Every year, make sure to have a dilated eye exam, comprehensive foot exam, dental exam, urine and blood test for kidney problems, a blood test for cholesterol, and your flu shot.
  5. Familiarize yourself (and your family) with the available resources to help you manage your diabetes. The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) website,, has hundreds of resources.

Managing diabetes can be hard, but it’s worth it. By involving your family in your health management, it can be a little easier. For more information or resources about diabetes management, check out our diabetes page