Caring for Diabetes Patients Often a Struggle

Managing diet and exercise plans, finding reliable information can be a challenge

MONDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Many caregivers of diabetic patients struggle with dietary and exercise guideline compliance and find the medical management of the condition difficult, according to a study by The Hormone Foundation in collaboration with the National Alliance for Caregiving.

The study was based on an online survey of 1,002 unpaid caregivers of people with diabetes who needed assistance with daily life activities. The survey sought to establish what was cause for concern for the caregivers and where they went for information on diabetes care.

The survey showed that 54 percent of caregivers found the dietary requirements of the diabetic a challenge, and 49 percent said they found medical management difficult. Physicians were the first port of call for information, followed by the Internet, which was frustrating because of the difficulty in selecting accurate information.

"This survey identified many important needs among caregivers of adults with diabetes, but this is only the first step," said Alvin M. Matsumoto, M.D., chair of The Hormone Foundation Committee responsible for the survey, in a statement, adding that the Foundation is in the process of creating a diabetes caregiver support Web site. "The new Web site will serve as a comprehensive one-stop shop including resources and information about diabetes; diet and exercise; optimizing blood sugar control; managing complications and coexisting illnesses; and handling patient and caregiver stress and mental health."

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