Healthy Living

Diabetes and Relationships: How Should Partners Support Patients?

Diabetes and Relationships: How Should Partners Support Patients?

Relationships can be challenging to manage and maintain and chronic illnesses are stressful. Put the two together, and it can put a huge burden on a relationship. 

Remember those wedding vows? In sickness and in health? How far should patients and their partners go to commit to these vows?

Diabetes can put a strain on your relationship, if you let it.

Having diabetes and a relationship, you get provoked with all the “sugar-shaming” and nagging going on in your marriage or partnership. You feel your partner doesn’t support you by going to diabetes education classes with you, and your partner doesn’t realize it’s okay for you to have an infrequent treat. You can feel misunderstood and diabetes does take a physical, mental and financial toll on a relationship.

You, on the other hand, if you are the caretaker, get tired of trying to fix the proper meals, nag your partner about taking their medication, and urging exercise and diet. You feel like you are in a downward spiral and your relationship is going nowhere. You are confused and have a bad feeling about our relationship partner.

Diabetes isn't just from obesity

You can get diabetes because of a compromised immune system, genetic precondition, cell-resistance to insulin, environment factors, and obesity. Your pancreas is not able to produce a sufficient amount of insulin, and this results in sugar or glucose accumulating in dangerous levels in the bloodstream.

Type 2 diabetes comes from excess fatty tissues that make the cells more resistant to insulin. High blood pressure is also a link to type 2 diabetes. If you have someone in your immediate or a close family, you will be predisposed to diabetes.

Obesity can be a factor in diabetes, but there are those who have type 2 diabetes and are not overweight. Gestational diabetes, or diabetes when you are pregnant, occurs when the pancreas fails to keep up with the hormones that produce insulin-resistant cells.

Insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes is also known as type 1 diabetes. You can be born with the condition, or it may come on suddenly at any age. Type 1 is a long-lasting condition where the pancreas creates no or very little insulin. Viruses as well as genetics may add to type 1 diabetes. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes. Treatment is used to manage blood glucose with diet and insulin to avoid complications.

Watch for increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, irritability and mood swings, fatigue and weakness, and blurred vision. 

Read on to learn more about the effects diabetes can have on a relationship, and what patients and partners should do.