Is Your Newly Diagnosed Loved One in Diabetes Denial?

Here’s how to help a family member accept a new diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and start embracing self-care.

Susan Amoruso
Reviewed by
Philip Levy, MD

Help your loved one start small. Drink more water, watch less TV, get more exercise, eat more fiber, control portions—the list of lifestyle changes for people with type 2 diabetes can make anyone’s head spin. “In the standard diabetes education class, you can count up to 155 behavior changes that are recommended,” says Guzman. “But you don’t need to do all 155 things to have well-managed diabetes.” So help your loved one pick just one or two of those changes. Once those new behaviors stick, tackle the next couple. Each mini-success will keep your loved one motivated to do more.

Make changes together.
Don’t just tell your loved one that they have to eat right or exercise—do it yourself, too! Start the tradition of “Diabetes-Friendly Fridays” and work together to experiment with new healthful recipes for dinner. Or sign up for a charity walk together.

April 2013