Diabetes management tips: Friends can be a big part of managing your diabetes

Did you know that more than 65 million people in the United States provide care for a chronically ill, disabled, or aged family member or friend during any given year?1 And for the 29 million Americans living with diabetes, it’s incredibly important to have the support of such family or friends who can help provide that care when needed.2

Kathleen Karelitz of Statesville, North Carolina, knows what an important role a friend can play in providing support in diabetes care. Kathleen was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 57, and though she had several relatives living with the condition, they didn’t often open up about it. So Kathleen turned to a close friend for help in adjusting her lifestyle to manage her diabetes.

“My best friend for the past 16 years, Margo, lives next door and has been instrumental in getting me to eat healthier,” Kathleen says. “We now have dinner together most nights to hold ourselves accountable. It’s more fun to cook and go to the market to get fresh foods when you have someone to do it with.”

Diabetes can affect many aspects of daily life, and a comprehensive approach to managing the condition includes healthy eating, physical activity, tracking of blood sugar levels, and in many cases, medication. This can seem like a daunting prospect to tackle on one’s own, but patients don’t have to be alone in managing their disease. And while health care providers play an important role in disease management, they are not the only ones who can help. Family and friends can be a great source of support in diabetes management, particularly when it comes to keeping up with changes to one’s day-to-day lifestyle. If you have a friend or family member with diabetes, these tips can help you support them:

Embrace healthy eating: Soon after her diagnosis, Kathleen began working with her health care provider to re-evaluate her diet. She has since learned to avoid processed foods, sweets, and going out for meals. As in Kathleen’s case, sometimes it can be difficult to cook healthy meals at home or avoid going out to eat. You can help your loved one in this respect by eating healthy foods together and paying attention to portion size. Diets that are appropriate for someone with diabetes are healthy for most, since such diets are lower in fat and carbohydrates. 

Encourage physical activity: Getting the appropriate amount of exercise is an important part of managing diabetes too, and Kathleen’s diagnosis helped motivate her to establish an exercise routine. Kathleen, a long-time dog lover, has bred dogs for most of her life and trained them for competition in retriever field events. These days, she and Margo, who also has a background in dog training and breeding, take their dogs on daily walks as a way to get exercise—which has proven to be a fun and social way of ensuring she stays active. You can help your loved one to get moving by joining him or her! Arrange to do active things together, like taking a walk or bike ride, or even trying something new, like pilates or tai chi. If exercising together isn’t an option, help your loved one find the time to make exercise a priority. Remember to make sure your loved one talks to his or her diabetes care team before starting or changing an exercise program.

Educate yourself: Learning about diabetes was one of the most important steps Kathleen took in beginning to manage her disease. If someone you love has diabetes, learn as much as you can about the disease and how it can be managed. Knowing more about high blood sugar and low blood sugar can help you help your loved one. It’s also important that they speak with a health care provider to discuss treatment options that may help manage their diabetes. In addition to making lifestyle changes, Kathleen manages her diabetes with a treatment regimen that includes NovoLog® Mix 70/30 (70% insulin aspart protamine suspension and 30% insulin aspart injection, [rDNA origin]), an insulin analog with an earlier onset and an intermediate duration of action compared with human insulin premix, which works to help manage her blood sugar at mealtime and between meals. NovoLog® Mix 70/30 is used to help control high blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. The treatment also comes in a pre-filled insulin pen, FlexPen®, which she can carry with her. Visit www.novologmix70-30.com to learn more about diabetes and how NovoLog® Mix 70/30 may be able to help manage your loved ones’ diabetes.

With Margo’s support, Kathleen now has a positive outlook on her disease and is taking steps to manage it. She no longer looks at her diabetes diagnosis as a bad thing. “It was the push that I needed to improve things and make my health a focus,” says Kathleen.

About NovoLog® Mix 70/30

Please see Important Safety Information below.

Indications and Usage

What is NovoLog® Mix 70/30 (70% insulin aspart protamine suspension and 30% insulin aspart injection, [rDNA origin])?

  • NovoLog® Mix 70/30 is a man-made insulin used to control high blood sugar in adults with diabetes mellitus.
  • It is not known if NovoLog® Mix 70/30 is safe or effective in children.

Important Safety Information

Do not share your NovoLog® Mix 70/30 FlexPen® with other people, even if the needle has been changed. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.

Who should not use NovoLog® Mix 70/30?

  • Do not use NovoLog® Mix 70/30 if your blood sugar is too low (hypoglycemia) or you are allergic to any of its ingredients.

What should I tell my health care provider before taking NovoLog® Mix 70/30?

  • About all of your medical conditions, including liver, kidney, or heart problems.
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or plan to do either.
  • About all prescription and nonprescription medicines you take, including supplements, as your dose may need to change.

How should I take NovoLog® Mix 70/30?

  • NovoLog® Mix 70/30 starts acting fast. If you have type 1 diabetes, inject within 15 minutes before you eat a meal. If you have type 2 diabetes, inject within 15 minutes before or after starting your meal.
  • Inject NovoLog® Mix 70/30 under the skin of your stomach area, upper arms, buttocks, or thighs, but never into a vein or muscle.
  • Do not mix NovoLog® Mix 70/30 with other insulin products or use in an insulin pump.
  • Do not change your dose or type of insulin unless you are told to by your health care provider.
  • Do not reuse or share your needles or syringes with other people. You may give other people a serious infection, or get a serious infection from them.
  • Check your blood sugar levels as directed by your health care provider.

What should I consider while using NovoLog® Mix 70/30?

  • Alcohol, including beer and wine, may affect your blood sugar.
  • Be careful when driving a car or operating machinery. You may have difficulty concentrating or reacting if you have low blood sugar. Talk to your health care provider if you often have low blood sugar or no warning signs of low blood sugar.

What are the possible side effects of NovoLog® Mix 70/30?

  • Low blood sugar, including when too much is taken. Some symptoms include sweating, shakiness, confusion, and headache. Severe low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness, seizures, and death.
  • Serious allergic reactions may occur. Get medical help right away, if you develop a rash over your whole body, have trouble breathing, a fast heartbeat, or sweating.
  • Other side effects include low potassium in your blood, injection site reactions (like redness, swelling, and itching), skin thickening or pits at the injection site, weight gain, swelling of your hands and feet, if taken with thiazolidinediones (TZDs) possible heart failure, and vision changes.

Please click here for full Prescribing Information or visit novologmix70-30.com.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

  1. Caregiver Action Network Staff. Caregiving Statistics. Caregiver Action Network. http://www.caregiveraction.org/statistics/. Accessed February 13, 2015.
  2. CDC. National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/statsreport14/national-diabetes-report-web.pdf. Accessed October 2014.

© 2015 Novo Nordisk   All rights reserved.   0215-00025476-1      April 2015


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