Are You Embarrassed by Your Blood Sugar Control Skills? Here’s What to Do
Bizarre reactions to low blood sugar are very common and can be a huge shock to friends, family and partners. It can also cause serious health issues.
To improve your blood sugar control try to check it more often. This includes before and after exercise and two hours after meals. Also, eat protein with carbohydrates and try to reduce how much you sit around.
1. Don’t be ashamed
Many people with diabetes feel shame when they are checking their blood sugar. This can be especially true if the numbers are out of range. In fact, when a person with diabetes sees an out of range reading on their meter they may think they are letting their family or boss down, and they often wish they could avoid the whole situation altogether. This shame can lead to hiding their blood sugar results or lying about them. (1)
One way to combat this is to create a non-judgmental and safe space for blood sugar checks. This can be as simple as stepping away from the workplace or pricking your finger when you are in a calm and comfortable environment. It is also helpful to work on disassociating your self-worth from the number that appears on your meter.
2. Don’t blame yourself
Even if your teen has been working very hard to maintain perfect blood sugar levels, it’s important for them to know that their health is not their fault. When parents scold them for having a high or low blood sugar, it can make them feel as though they are in trouble and that they have done something wrong. Instead, it is best to create a safe space for them to openly discuss their struggles with diabetes. This can include discussing their frustration with having to constantly count carbs or bolus for pizza. (1).
Having a healthy attitude toward their blood sugars will help them to manage their disease effectively.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s okay to ask for help. It’s also important to know how to do it in a way that does not come across as a lecture or nagging. Whenever possible, try to create a nonjudgmental space for your friend to share how they are feeling about their diabetes. It’s a sensitive topic and they need to know that you are there for them, not judging them.
If you notice that their blood sugar is low or that they haven’t eaten in a while, be sure to let them know. Be careful not to say “You’re always eating too much pizza.” Instead, you can simply say, “Have you been able to eat something recently?” and then ask them what their blood sugars are.
This will give them the space to analyze their blood sugar levels and determine whether they need to bolus more for their meal or make other adjustments. This will allow them to feel empowered rather than ashamed or unable to handle their diabetes. (1). This can help recenter their thoughts that they are not in control of their diabetes, but it’s still an incredibly challenging condition to manage every day.