How Learning to Manage Type 2 Diabetes Made One Couple’s Marriage Stronger

Why Support Is Crucial for Managing Type 2 Diabetes Well

Research supports this collaborative approach for type 2 diabetes management.

systematic review published in September 2017 in the journal Behavioral Sciences suggested that individuals who felt supported by a family member made healthier diet choices, managed medication better, improved their blood glucose levels more, and saw greater strides in psychological well-being compared with those who did not feel supported.

“If you’re in an environment where you are being supported and encouraged, you are going to feel better about yourself, so you’re going to be more likely to work on making those changes,” says Susan Besser, MD, a family medicine physician with Mercy Personal Physicians at Overlea in Baltimore.

Interestingly, family members who are motivated by their loved ones’ experience with diabetes may be more inclined to eat healthier, too, a study published in June 2016 in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice found.

Often, when more than one person makes healthy choices, the benefits go beyond that of physical well-being. That was precisely the case for the Garcilazos.

“Walking together improved our marriage and having her support was key to helping me live a more healthy lifestyle,” Al Garcilazo says.

His wife agrees. “Before [Al’s diagnosis], I had an exercise program that I did, but I always felt bad because it didn’t involve him,” Nancy Garcilazo explains.

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