Chapter 15

Getting Support, Giving Support


check Receiving support from family and friends

check Knowing how to be supportive

Diabetes touches almost everyone in the United States today. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a relative, neighbor, or friend with type 2 diabetes. You may have diabetes yourself, or you may be caring for someone with diabetes. Either way, diabetes affects all of us in profound ways, especially families.

Diabetes is a family disease for several reasons. Type 2 diabetes runs in families, so you’re more likely to have diabetes if your mother, father, or sibling has it. Obesity also runs in families, so you’re more likely to be overweight if you have a sibling or parent with extra pounds. Having an overweight spouse may also increase your chances of being overweight. You’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes if you’re overweight or obese.

As important as the genetic factors are, the entire family feels it when just one person has diabetes. Diabetes doesn’t happen in a bubble — and you can’t take a pill to cure it. Instead, you must make daily changes to your lifestyle and health to manage type 2 diabetes. Family members, including spouses, are keenly aware of the changes that come with type 2 diabetes, whether they’re fluctuations ...

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