Two women having a conversation about being tired

Do You Talk to Your Friends About Type 2 Diabetes?

There are many reasons to tell your friends or family about your experiences living with type 2 diabetes. And while it's not required that you do, especially if you're a private person, sharing has benefits. Here are a few helpful hints for how to talk to your friends about type 2 diabetes.

Boosting feelings of safety and understanding

If you're active with your friends and spend a lot of time together, it can be beneficial to update them on what's going on in your life and how you manage your diabetes. If your friends understand, this could alleviate questions about what you can or can't eat. Openly sharing certain aspects of your diabetes management plan can equip your friends in the case of an emergency. Tell them about the signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia and how to help keep you safe. Your friends will know what's going on and can help.

Mitigating potentially hurtful comments

I get it. You may feel uncomfortable sharing your detailed medical history, but it may be a good idea if you're close friends. Even those you hang out with on more of a regular social basis might need to know if you're feeling pressured into drinking or eating the wrong things. Simple phrases like, "Oh come on, you don't know what you're missing," or "Live a little" can be hurtful to hear. But they may need to understand why you won't consume alcohol or eat the dessert.

Realizing the signs of type 2 diabetes

A friend told me she'd nod off and fall asleep at work. That's the same thing I used to do before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes; of course, I'm not a doctor and would never claim to know her medical charts. But I did politely mention that I had the same issues, and after I got on medication for my diabetes, the nodding off and fatigue I felt controlled substantially.

My friend and I connected when she shared her dilemma and that I experienced the same thing. Her nodding off could indicate several potential health issues, but it could've been because she was simply tired. What I did was try to say it in a casual way that didn't sound like bad news or that I knew the cause. I let her know I had been doing the same thing, and it turned out to be type 2 diabetes. She didn't take offense at all. There's nothing wrong with sharing your shared experiences. You do want to make sure you avoid preaching or acting like you know the answers.

There’s comfort in sharing

Sometimes, we all feel alone. While type 2 diabetes is relatively prevalent, you can still feel alone surrounded by others who do not have this disease. I get it. You might feel like no one else knows your struggles. That is why sharing with someone else can sometimes be a comfort to you.

Ultimately, it's your choice whether to share or not. Everyone is different. I tend to overshare, and that's fine. Others feel better keeping their private lives to themselves.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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