Diabetes Changes the Lifestyle, Diet and Social Life of the People Who Suffer from It


Type 2 diabetes is a physical disease that affects the emotional and well being of the people who have it. People who have it must adjust their lifestyles to accommodate blood glucose testing, changes in eating habits, and the inclusion of medication the rest of their lives. Failure to do so can result in premature death. Diabetes left untreated can lead to kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. While the symptoms, treatment and prognosis changes depending upon the type of diabetes you have, the mental anguish is just about the same. People with diabetes often feel alone battling the world, or they often feel outside of the world looking in.

At the family level, simple mealtimes can be a challenge when a special meal has to be prepared for the person who has diabetes. This creates an extra burden on the family cook who may have to produce two different meals, one for the kids and one for the person with diabetes. Shopping requires diligence and a good understanding of calories, fats, product ingredients, and proper nutrition. Even shopping for fruits and vegetables requires keeping the diabetic in mind.

Diabetics should avoid or at least limit fruit juices in their diets as they have higher concentrations of carbohydrates. They should eat fresh fruit instead. Similarly starchy vegetables such as potatoes should be avoided or at least limited. Diabetics must limit their intake on vegetables that are high in sugar such as carrots. Beets, peas, and beans should be eaten in moderation.

This too falls over into the fruits such as bananas, mangos, strawberries and custard apples, which are not good choices for a diabetic. Process foods and luncheon meats are high in sodium content, so are canned soups. Sodium, fat and sugar are foods that are bad for diabetics.

Of course the obvious cakes and cookies and most of the desserts the rest of the family will enjoy are a no no for diabetes. Again, diabetics must have diabetic desserts that help keep the blood sugar down.

Fried foods are not healthy for diabetics who should be choosing baked, boiled, and broiled or grilled as a healthier option.

Even though, eating at home may be a problem for the family, the diabetic’s social life can be limited as well. Eating is an important part of life. Diabetics have to be careful of what they eat and so when going out with the family, not only the choice of meal is of utmost importance, the choice of restaurant is as well. Fast food restaurants should be avoided if a diabetic is to stay on their diet.

The family may be able to work around this obstacle for family meal outings. However, it may not hold true for a group outing. Although friends may try to accommodate the diabetics needs. Some groups are so big or so informal that this may not always be practical. For example, if more than 50 percent of a group vote to go to a certain restaurant that is not appropriate to the needs of the diabetic, the diabetic may have no choice but to decline the invitation or go to the restaurant and see if there are some choices available such as a big salad or eat little and go home afterwards to have a meal.

While dancing is often a great social activity and one that a diabetic would be encouraged to do since exercise is so important, often time the dancing established include beer and liquor purchases. The diabetic has to decline drinking.

Diabetic individuals may feel too self conscious to go to the places and watch others drink, or they may feel they would be tempted to drink as a result of going on this particular social outing. Again, the result might be that they decline the offer.

Though most good friends would understand; some diabetic people have come across others who are not that understanding. These people will try to force them to eat or drink or call them “boring” just because they don’t. For this reason and many more, diabetics often feel alone and isolated from the life they once had. Many diabetic individuals decline going out with their friends or seriously limit the ones they do go to.

The choice is a good one for the diabetic to maintain their health, but it does not come without ramifications. Sometimes diabetic individuals find that they just do not get the invites anymore.