Families Share in Burden of Hypoglycemia: Study

As anyone with diabetes in their family knows, the burden of living with this disease isn’t limited to just the person who has it. From overseeing a child’s insulin injections to worrying about a spouse’s blood glucose levels, family members of people with diabetes can be deeply and constantly affected — and the scope of this is made clear in a new study.

Published in the journal Diabetes Therapy[1], the study surveyed 4,300 family members of people with diabetes, both type 1[2] and type 2[3]. This group included parents, spouses and partners from several different countries, each of whom completed a 47-item online questionnaire. Participants were also invited to give written statements in one section of the survey.


To get cutting-edge diabetes news, strategies for blood glucose management, nutrition tips, healthy recipes, and more delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter[4]!

The survey showed that 64% of family members felt worried or anxious about their family member experiencing hypoglycemia (low blood glucose)[5], and 74% said they spent time helping their family member manage hypoglycemic events at the expense of other activities. This included family members of people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

But while 76% of respondents answered that they believed having conversations about avoiding or managing hypoglycemia would be helpful, only 34% said they actually had these conversations on a regular basis. They indicated many different reasons for this lack of communications, including not wanting to talk about it (43%), living too far from the family member (37%), and lack of confidence or knowledge (33%).

The researchers concluded that while hypoglycemia often poses a substantial burden to family members of people with diabetes, “conversations about hypoglycemia, facilitated by a health-care professional, may reduce this burden and hypoglycemia risk” — and more health-care providers could be having these conversations with family members at appointments.

Want to learn more about hypoglycemia? Read “Understanding Hypoglycemia,”[6] “Exorcising the Specter of Overnight Hypoglycemia,”[7] “Hypoglycemia — What Your Inner Circle Needs to Know”[8] and “Take a Bite Out of Hypoglycemia.”[9]

Quinn Phillips[10]Quinn Phillips

A freelance health writer and editor based in Wisconsin, Phillips has a degree in government from Harvard University. He writes on a variety of topics, but is especially interested in the intersection of health and public policy.

  1. Diabetes Therapy: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13300-019-00687-y
  2. type 1: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/type-1-diabetes/
  3. type 2: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/type-2-diabetes/
  4. sign up for our free newsletter: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/newsletter/
  5. hypoglycemia (low blood glucose): https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/diabetes-resources/definitions/hypoglycemia/
  6. “Understanding Hypoglycemia,”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/understanding-hypoglycemia/
  7. “Exorcising the Specter of Overnight Hypoglycemia,”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/exorcising-the-specter-of-nighttime-hypoglycemia/
  8. “Hypoglycemia — What Your Inner Circle Needs to Know”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/hypoglycemia-inner-circle-needs-know/
  9. “Take a Bite Out of Hypoglycemia.”: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/managing-diabetes/blood-glucose-management/take-a-bite-out-of-hypoglycemia/
  10. [Image]: //cdn.diabetesselfmanagement.com/2018/12/QP_headshot.jpg

Source URL: https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/blog/families-share-in-burden-of-hypoglycemia-study/

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.