Everyone has them–friends, family members, or colleagues who try to offer diabetes care advice. It may be your girlfriend who always points out the healthiest options on the menu when you are out for lunch. Or maybe it’s your brother who calls regularly to check in on your medication regimen. No matter who it is, after a while, their well-intentioned comments and concerns can start to become annoying.

Eventually, your loved ones begin to sound more like the diabetes police, and you may become frustrated with hearing all the laws you’ve broken. Keep in mind that while your loved ones may seem annoying or pestering, they just want what is best for you and your health. It’s important to have a good support system when you have diabetes; your friends and family may be wanting to help you on your journey with diabetes and but may not know how. If comments and suggestions from the diabetes police start to become too much, here are a couple of things you can do to keep them in check:

Share your feelings.

If you grit your teeth and bear it every time your sister calls you out for not checking your blood sugar, she may not know this bothers you. Your diabetes accomplices may think you appreciate their help. It is important to let them know that their remarks are not being very helpful to you. One of the best ways to do this is to sit them down and tell them calmly that while you appreciate their concern, constantly reminding you to check your blood sugar or eat your veggies is not the best way for them to help you with your diabetes. 

Educate them about diabetes. 

Diabetes is a complex condition to understand and your friends may nag you about your diet because that could be all they know about managing diabetes. Not to mention, there is a lot of misinformation on the Internet about diabetes overall and the best treatment plans–you cannot be 100 percent sure about what your friends may have learned from Dr. Google. One of the best ways to get your loved ones off your back–while still keeping them in the loop–is by educating them about your conditions and about the treatment options you are pursuing. This will also help them better understand some of your actions. 

Have them put themselves in your shoes. 

Everyone needs a quick reality check now and then. Your loved ones may think they are helping, but there’s a fine line between concern and nagging. Kindly ask your friends how they would feel if you offered them unsolicited diet advice at every meal or constantly checked to see if they had checked their blood sugars. This may be enough for them to realize what they are doing is not so helpful. 

Let them know how they can help. 

Everyone needs a support system, just like everyone needs the occasional bit of help. Redirect that annoying nagging into something helpful. Whether it’s having a workout partner or someone to shop for healthy groceries with, there is always something your friends can do, and they will likely be grateful to know what that something is. Another way your friends can help is by working with you on your diabetes treatment plan. The Iowa Diabetes Portal allows users to invite third-parties to access their profiles. This means that, with permission, your friends and family members are able to access your sugar log, past lab results, and medication information. The goal of this new tool is to grant health care providers, as well as your own personal care team, more access to your diabetes care plan, giving you the support you need. Giving your loved ones access to your Iowa Diabetes Portal account may also help alleviate some of that constant hovering and checking up on your progress.
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Disclaimer Statement: This is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. For individual medical advice, contact your healthcare practitioner.