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Type 1 Diabetes And Relationships

Personal And Relationship Challenges Of Adults With Type 1 Diabetes

Personal And Relationship Challenges Of Adults With Type 1 Diabetes

Go to: Abstract Little is known about the psychosocial challenges of adults living with type 1 diabetes or its impact on partner relationships. This qualitative study was undertaken to gain better understanding of these issues. Four focus groups were held, two with adult type 1 diabetic patients (n = 16) and two with partners (n = 14). Two broad questions were posed: “What are the emotional and interpersonal challenges you have experienced because you have (your partner has) type 1 diabetes?” and “How does the fact that you have (your partner has) type 1 diabetes affect your relationship with your partner, positively and/or negatively?” Sessions were recorded and transcribed, and analyzed by a team of four researchers, using constant comparative methods to identify core domains and concepts. Four main domains were identified: 1) impact of diabetes on the relationship, including level of partner involvement, emotional impact of diabetes on the relationship, and concerns about child-rearing; 2) understanding the impact of hypoglycemia; 3) stress of potential complications; and 4) benefits of technology. Themes suggest that, although partner involvement varies (very little to significant), there exists significant anxiety about hypoglycemia and future complications and sources of conflict that may increase relationship stress. Partner support is highly valued, and technology has a positive influence. Adults with type 1 diabetes face unique emotional and interpersonal challenges. Future research should focus on gaining a better understanding of how they cope and the effect of psychosocial stressors and coping on adherence, quality of life, and glycemic control. Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Relationships

Diabetes And Your Relationships

I was diagnosed with insulin dependent diabetes one month before starting high school. Upon my diagnosis, I thought about all the things I knew about diabetes, which basically amounted to what I had read about one of the characters from the book series “The Baby Sitter’s Club.” I knew my life would be different- giving injections, pricking my fingers, and having a really strict diet. One thing I didn’t expect, however, was the role diabetes would play in my interactions and relationships with others. During my graduate studies in human communication, I studied the different variables affecting our associations with others. I was drawn towards researching the effects of chronic illnesses (such as diabetes) on relationships. Chronic illness can change every aspect of a person’s life, including social experiences and personal identity. I, of course, began to think about myself and how living with diabetes might have changed me and my relationships. I have always been incredibly open about my diabetes, and find myself frequently explaining facts about diabetes, but I’ve never given diabetes the driver’s seat in my life. If anything, I probably underestimate the part it plays. I have never had anyone reject me as a friend, dump me as a romantic partner, or treat me like slacker coworker because of my diabetes, so I never considered the role that diabetes might play in my relationships. But living with diabetes does require some adaptation and planning. I thought about how having diabetes affects me, and then about how it might influence the people I love. For example, although I felt great about my relationship with my mother and the way my adolescent life with diabetes had gone, when I asked my mother about it, she admitted that she didn’t. She was so afraid Continue reading >>

10 Things We Women With Diabetes Want You To Know

10 Things We Women With Diabetes Want You To Know

While we're on the topic of women with diabetes this week, who hasn't yet heard of the Girl's Guide to Diabetes? It's a must-visit for all us super-sweet females, run by type 1 sisters Sysy and Ana Morales. Sysy is a great DOC friend, frequent commenter here at the 'Mine, a wife, mother of twin toddlers, diabetes advocate, and a freelance writer. We are delighted to feature her take here today on a girls' view of good diabetes support: A Guest Post by Sysy Morales By having twins as a type 1 diabetic two months before my husband and I even celebrated our first wedding anniversary, I was able to discover early on that I had a guy who would be respectful and loving no matter how tough life got. I am very lucky. This doesn't mean I didn't have to constantly communicate with him about my diabetes, however. I couldn't just expect him to be insightful about my feelings regarding aspects of my diabetes without any explanation.... Why, the man has never even had a headache! Aside from thinking over my own relationship, I've been getting a lot of emails from guys wanting information about "dating a diabetic girl." If you happen to be one of these men, or you're already in a relationship with a woman with diabetes, this post is for you! Ladies, definitely post any additions or different opinions you have in the comments section. We're all unique and I would expect some of this to vary. For the guy in a relationship with a girl who has diabetes, here are 10 things we want you to know: 1. Recognize that your girl might be very emotional about her illness. Sometimes she needs you to listen to her rant. Let her. Most likely she doesn't need you to solve a problem. The thing I loved most about my husband while we dated was his willingness to listen. Now, if you have to force yourself Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Marriage

Diabetes And Your Marriage

Making Things Work It’s hard to have a chronic illness like diabetes. You have to watch your weight, make healthy food choices, exercise, take insulin or oral medicines in many cases, and see several health-care providers on a regular basis. But there’s more to it than that: You must carry out these tasks while also being worried that you may develop complications such as eye or kidney problems or while feeling depressed or overwhelmed. Having the support of others can help ease the feelings of fear or frustration that often go along with having diabetes. Research has clearly shown that people who have social support tend to do better managing their diabetes. Social support can mean different things to different people. You may feel supported when a family member offers to take you to a doctor visit. You may feel supported when a friend listens and lets you cry about how frustrated you feel. Or you may feel supported when your sister walks with you each morning so that you can stick with your exercise program. When people with diabetes feel they have people who care about them, people they can talk to about their deepest feelings, they are more likely to stick to their self-care regimen, to have better blood glucose control, and to feel positive about their ability to cope with diabetes. When you are married or in a committed relationship, the most important source of support is usually your spouse or partner. However, the marital relationship can also be the greatest source of conflict and stress. This article explores how a couple’s relationship may affect diabetes, how diabetes may affect the relationship, and how couples can work together to have both a healthy relationship and good diabetes control. One affects the other The quality of your relationship with Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Relationships

Diabetes And Relationships

Diabetes will invariably have some effect on the relationships you have. In some cases the effects may be trivial but for some diabetes can be a lurking source of friction. How we deal with the pressures of diabetes can make a real difference to the relationships we have with others, be they friends, family, work colleagues or one off acquaintances. One key which can sometimes help is to tell people about your diabetes . We take a look at how different relationships can be effected. Being diagnosed with diabetes can be a traumatic moment and coming to terms with it can be a long process. Even years after being diagnosed you may find yourself asking why did this happen to me?. Accepting your diagnosis is no easy task but it can be of benefit, directly or otherwise, for your interpersonal relationships. Having a daily routine is something of a cornerstone of good diabetes management but inevitably there will be times when the best routine for your diabetes will conflict with the situation you may find yourself in. If youre planning to visit a restaurant, for example, it may be important to you to know at what time youll be getting there. It can help to explain to people you are with what things you need to take into account to manage your diabetes and why. Even someone close to you may need a reminder or clarification at times. Its good to be mindful too of whether you may be making too much an issue of your diabetes. Diabetes can make food choices something of a prickly issue at times. It could be a family get together, a work lunch, visiting a restaurant or even a simple trip to the supermarket. Different people are affected in different ways. Some diabetics expect people to pay attention and consider their diabetes whereas others will do anything to avoid having the d Continue reading >>

Dating - When To Introduce Type 1 To The Relationship

Dating - When To Introduce Type 1 To The Relationship

Dating When to Introduce Type 1 to the Relationship Dating someone new is always stressful, and even more so when you have Type 1 diabetes.True of both T1Ds and non-T1Ds, how much information to reveal at what time in the relationship is a tricky balance not unlike T1D management itself! Think back to when you were first diagnosed. Chances are, you knew very little about Type 1 diabetes, or at least a lot less than you do now. It was overwhelming and scary considering the abundance of information being thrown at you all at once. All of these new terms, facts and routines can be (almost) as overwhelming to those close to you. This is important to consider when deciding which information to reveal to the person that you are interested in, and when! We want to be ourselves. We dont want to hide our Type 1, but we also dont want our loved ones to feel burdened, pressured or overloaded with details. It is extremely important to trust your own instincts and pick the moments that feel right to you but just in case, here is a handy date-by-date guide to help ease your significant other into T1D life. There is no reason not to reveal the fact that you have Type 1 diabetes on the first date, especially if it happens organically, (i.e.: your date starts discussing their own diet or nutrition practices). Look out for windows of opportunity during the conversation to mention it casually. If you appear at ease when you tell them, it is likely that your date will feel at ease about it as well. It is probably best not to get too heavy when first learning about a person, and this applies to many other personal discussions aside from T1D! Youve made it to the second date! This means that there was enough of a spark that the two of you want to continue getting to know each other on a dee Continue reading >>

How Type 1 Diabetes Affects My Relationship

How Type 1 Diabetes Affects My Relationship

My 6 year wedding anniversary is next Sunday, June 11th. In the spirit of my upcoming anniversary, I decided to write about how Type 1 has affected my relationship over the years. Living with Type 1 Diabetes isn’t easy! But, when you add another person into the mix, it can be tricky. My husband has put up with a lot over the years, so I applaud him for that! Before We Met… After me and my ex-boyfriend broke up (we were together for 3 years) I decided to stay single for a while. Even the thought of trying to explain Type 1 to another person was very unappealing! My ex understood everything about Type 1, and he was usually really good about it. It just didn’t seem worth it at the time to try and explain my disease all over again. Diabetes did affect my past relationship somewhat, so I was really hesitant to get seriously involved with anyone else. “Diabetes? My Grandma has that.” I met my husband, Chris, when I was 22. I had no intention of dating anyone at the time. But, it’s funny how things work out! I ended up getting his phone number off of my friend, and I asked him out. On our first date, we really seemed to hit it off. I really liked him, so I decided to give the relationship a chance. After going on a few dates, and not mentioning Diabetes at all, I knew I had to bring it up. I had no clue what to say, and I was worried about what he would think. So, one night I called him on the phone and I decided it was the right time to tell him. I can’t remember how I brought it up but I said, “I have Type 1 Diabetes, and I am on an insulin pump.” Right after that he said, “My Grandma has Diabetes too.” Umm…it took all of my willpower not to freak out. LOL I tried to keep my cool, but all I wanted to do was hang up the phone! I just said, “Oh…okay Continue reading >>

Relationships | College Diabetes Network

Relationships | College Diabetes Network

We know that having diabetes can be a tough thing to bring up and navigate in any relationship whether romantic or platonic. But we also know that its important you do it. Because you spend a lot of time with your friends, its vital for your physical and emotional health that they at least have a basic understanding of what you live with on a daily basis. Did you know that the term Type 3 refers to the friends and loved ones of a Person With Diabetes (PWD)? Check out some of the information and resources below to help you figure out what to say to your Type 3s and when. Think about it as expanding your support system. This printable document will walk you through the points that you should be going over when you tell your friends about your diabetes. Its useful for anyone whos a big part of your life significant others, roommates, neighbors, and best friends included! Romantic relationships can sometimes be tricky to navigate with diabetes. Whether youre going on a first date, or have been with someone for a while, it can be difficult to determine what part (if any) you want them to play in your diabetes care. Here are some resources to help you figure out what you need in a relationship, courtesy of other PWDs. Keep in mind that everyone is different. That means that whatever you need from your partner is unique to you and thats okay. There is no normal. Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Relationships: My Man, His Insulin Pen, And I

Diabetes And Relationships: My Man, His Insulin Pen, And I

I remember our first date. He showed up at my place clutching a bag of pretzels and a 2 liter bottle of Coke Light. “Coke Light?” I thought to myself – now here’s a man after my own heart! We settled on the sofa to watch one of two movies – his favourite (Old School) and my favourite (Kill Bill), munching and sipping away at the sugar-free drink. There was chemistry, that’s for sure. I remember focusing more on the proximity of his body to mine than on the scenes playing off on the box in front of us! Between movies we decided to head across the road for a pizza and a glass of wine. And it was during this break in our movie date that he made the disclosure, “I have Type 1 diabetes.” I can’t really say that my world stopped or that my dreams caved in. Growing up one of my good friends lived with Type 1 and, while I can’t say that I knew much about it, I had the basic information and knew that it was definitely no death sentence. Also, he was so casual about it, explaining as he administered his insulin shot at the table why he had to take insulin, how it brought down his blood glucose levels and giving me the background. My heart ached for the three-year-old version of himself that received this diagnosis. But at this point, my 25-year old date was cool, calm, and collected about his ‘condition’. We went back to my place, watched the second movie and he kissed me goodbye at the door on his way home. My knees were wobbly. Fast forward a couple of dates and I had my first real diabetes-related worry. Wrapped in the throes of early romance my man was perfect – in every imaginable way. (He still is, but eight years later it’s a different kind of adoration – you know what I mean!). We were hanging out somewhere when I all of a sudden realised tha Continue reading >>

7 Stories On Love, Sex, And Type 1 Diabetes

7 Stories On Love, Sex, And Type 1 Diabetes

We’ve assembled our favorite romance-themed stories over the years. People with Type 1 diabetes can have unique love lives. Blood sugar management provides an early opportunity to test how supportive potential partners can be. And if a relationship survives that stress test, it’s up to the person with diabetes and his/her partner to learn how to communicate through all the daily highs and lows. For everyone affected by Type 1 diabetes who has a romantic streak, we’ve assembled our favorite stories on love, sex, dating, and blood sugar management: A Love Letter During a Blood Sugar Swing A man describes the difficulties of communicating with his love during highs and lows. 7 Tips to a Better Type 1 Sex Life Ideas for how to keep your blood sugar numbers level when horizontal. 3 Diabetes Dating Sites – A Review We’ve braved these sites so you don’t necessarily have to. Let’s Talk About Sexual Dysfunction and Type 1 Sexual dysfunction from diabetes often can be reversed if caught in time. 3 Tips for Navigating T1D in Marriage A diabetes psychologist shares his secrets. What it’s Like to Date Someone Else with Type 1 Weighing the pros and cons of having a partner who also lacks a working pancreas. Discovering Love and T1D at a Ballgame When the first bloom of love and the first bloom of diabetes coincide. Thanks for reading this Insulin Nation article. Want more Type 1 news? Subscribe here. Have Type 2 diabetes or know someone who does? Try Type2Nation. Continue reading >>

3 Ways Diabetes Can Destroy Your Relationship (and What To Do About It)

3 Ways Diabetes Can Destroy Your Relationship (and What To Do About It)

Whether you’re single and dating, in a serious relationship, or have several years of marriage under your belt, diabetes is a significant part of your life and can inevitably have an impact on those relationships, for better or for worse. We’ve talked about diabetes impacting your sex life specifically, but here are three ways diabetes can bring turmoil to your relationship as a whole and what to do about it. 1. Hide Your Diabetes If you’re out in the dating world, and you’re purposefully hiding your diabetes from the people you’re dating because you’re afraid of their reaction to the sight of you pricking your finger, wearing an insulin pump, or giving yourself an injection, you are hiding a huge part of who you are. If the person you’re dating isn’t comfortable with your diabetes, or isn’t willing to learn about it gradually with your help, then this relationship is doomed for disaster. Also, you’ll inevitably wind up neglecting your diabetes, like skipping insulin doses or going hours without checking your blood sugar because you don’t want them to witness the event. Solution: The way you present your diabetes to a new person in your life is a big part of how they will react to it. If you present your diabetes as something you’re embarrassed by, they will see it as something that is weird and worth being embarrassed by. If you present your diabetes as something you boldly face every day that you’re proud of yourself for, they will see your response to diabetes as something that is impressive and worth admiring. In the end, if someone isn’t attracted to you because of your life with diabetes, then they are definitely not a person who can become a supportive partner in the long-term. You deserve a partner who will embrace every part of who y Continue reading >>

The Effects Of Diabetes On Relationships

The Effects Of Diabetes On Relationships

Will you leave your SO (significant other) because of diabetes? Committed relationships are hard enough. When you add a chronic illness into the mix of everyday problems, it can place undue stress on a relationship. Do you leave your spouse or partner with diabetes when the going gets tough, or do you stick it out and work together to solve problems that come up, “in sickness and in health?” These are questions you may be asking yourself if you have been going through a tough time in your relationship or marriage due to diabetes. If your partner is in a state of denial and they are refusing to participate in self-care activities or listen to their doctor, this can be quite frustrating. You may be getting burnt out from always trying to fix the right amount of carbohydrates, only to catch your other half in the back room hiding with a box of candy. Feeling like you are the “diabetes police” and always nagging drains the joy out of your relationship. The spouse of a diabetic can feel a loss of control over the future, and be afraid that they will lose their life partner. Conversely, if you are the diabetic in the match, you tend to get quite aggravated with all of the nagging and “sugar-shaming” that can be going on. Maybe your partner didn’t support you by attending diabetes education classes, and now she doesn’t seem to know that it’s ok for you to have an occasional treat. Maybe she doesn’t realize that you are having the extra carbohydrates, but you have a walk planned for after the meal. Sometimes you feel misunderstood. It’s true that diabetes can take a physical, mental and financial toll on a relationship. Remember that your overbearing and controlling partner is acting from a place of genuine caring and concern for you. Now let’s look at t Continue reading >>

Dating A Person With Type 1 Diabetes

Dating A Person With Type 1 Diabetes

Dating a person with type 1 diabetes brings some very unique challenges to any relationship. Of course, simply being the diabetic and dating can be difficult for some, but this article is for those non-diabetics who find themselves attracted to someone who just happens to also live with this disease. I use the word “dating” purposefully, to mark a relationship that is new or in its first few years rather than a relationship that has progressed to “living together” or marriage. The word “dating” implies that you, as the non-diabetic, are in the early stages of learning about your partner’s diabetes. While there are many experiences, stories, and perspectives, a woman named Heidi shares her experience in a 2-year relationship with a man who lived with type 1 diabetes. Her experience is one of many. Be sure to read our “Non-Diabetics Guide to Helping Loved Ones with Diabetes,” too. Ginger: When you first began dating, did you know about his type 1 diabetes from the start or was it introduced at some point? Heidi: I knew from the very first date. We were up too late talking like teenagers and he realized his blood was low. He excused himself to get a glass of milk and a snack. I had known him as a friend for an entire year prior. I did not know. I don’t think he would have told me right away, but the circumstances brought it to light early on. Ginger: When you learned about his diabetes, how did you feel? Did it change anything about how you perceived him in a negative or positive way? Heidi: I felt embarrassed that I did not know or recognize the signs that his blood sugar was low. I asked him if I should have noticed. The knowledge did not change how I felt emotionally. It did make me want to be educated. Ginger: Was he open to talking about and teachi Continue reading >>

Sex, Diabetes And Relationships

Sex, Diabetes And Relationships

Diabetes can affect all types of relationships Diabetes doesn't just affect you. It can impact each of your close relationships, including your relationship with your partner, family and friends, and can even affect your sexual relationships. Have you often thought about how those around you help or hinder your diabetes care? Diabetes can of course cause worry and anxiety for the person with diabetes; but the irony is it can often cause even more in those around the person with diabetes than for the diabetic themselves. This is perhaps because while the person with diabetes is occupied engaging in their diabetes self-care, those alongside them may be feeling there is little they can actually do to help - and therefore have no way to rid themselves of this anxiety. This anxiety can express itself in a variety of quite contrasting ways. The two most common are: feeling isolated and/or unsupported by those close to you or the opposite; feeling blamed or hassled by your family. But have you considered that it may be anxiety that is causing them to react in these potentially unhelpful ways. Do you recognise your situation in any of the following scenarios? Perhaps they criticise you for being overweight , or berate you for not keeping good blood glucose control, which can feel very blaming. Or possibly the opposite is true and your loved ones completely ignore your diabetes, leaving you feeling alone and isolated without the help you would like to support yourself. Perhaps they seem to tell everyone you meet that He/Shes diabetic, they cant eat that drawing everyones attention to the ways in which you are different, when all you want to do is blend in like everyone else. You may feel that those close to you are observing you at every turn checking what you are eating and ho Continue reading >>

The Romantic Toll Of Diabetes

The Romantic Toll Of Diabetes

Most people with diabetes worry about the effect the disease has on their bodies. But what about the effect it has on their relationships? More than 20 million people in the United States have diabetes, and the damage it causes to their bodies, including impeded blood flow to arteries and reduced stamina, often impacts patients’ sex lives. Yet many never discuss their unique romantic concerns with doctors. A new book from the American Diabetes Association attempts to remedy that. “Sex and Diabetes” takes a frank and sensible look at the intimate lives of people with the disease. By some estimates, from 50 percent to 80 percent of men with diabetes suffer from erectile dysfunction. A strong erection requires healthy veins and unobstructed blood flow, something many people with diabetes lack. Less is known about the sexual effects in women, although experts say women with diabetes often lose their libidos or suffer from vaginal dryness, which can lead to painful intercourse. Co-author Janis Roszler, a nutritionist, tells the story of one woman who felt guilty about having diabetes and believed her husband no longer loved her. “I brought diabetes into our life,’’ she cried to Ms. Roszler. “It’s changed how we eat; it’s changed how we go out. He should be with someone else.” The fear that diabetes is interfering with a relationship isn’t uncommon, says Ms. Roszler. One of the first strategies for managing diabetes is to change the way a person eats. But our relationships are intimately tied to food consumption — candlelight dinners signal courtship, while large family dinners woo teens to the table. It’s no wonder people with diabetes worry their relationships will change as their diets do. The book begins with a quiz to help readers determine if d Continue reading >>

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