For Friends of People with T1D

If your friend is diagnosed with diabetes, it may be scary. You may not know much about diabetes or how to help your friend. There are some tips for being a good friend below:

  • Remember that diabetes does not change who your friend is. They are the same person that they were before their diagnosis. Now, they just must take extra care of themselves.
  • Sometimes, your friend may need to stop for a few minutes to take some insulin, check their sugar, or eat a snack. Be there for them.
  • Diabetes is not contagious and there is no cure for type one diabetes.
  • Your friend also needs to carry supplies with them. These supplies, like their snacks, are for their diabetes only.
  • You can learn about hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar, and what the warning signs are. Your friend may shake, sweat, be dizzy or lightheaded, act silly, be tired, get hungry, or feel weak when they have low blood sugar. If their sugar gets too low, they may faint. To treat a low blood sugar, your friend should eat some fast acting carbohydrates or sugar.
  • If you have any questions, you should ask your friend about them. They can tell you to search online if they do not feel comfortable talking about something, but they probably will want to explain information to you so that you can help them if they need you.
  • Do not feel uncomfortable talking to your friends about their diabetes and do not treat them any differently than you did before their diagnosis.


Information and images from are from or inspired by Living the Sweet Life with Diabetes: The Art of balancing insulin, diet, and exercise by Dr. Santosh Gupta, MD, MRCP (UK), CDE.  You can access the book here: .

The Penpals United website does not contain medical advice.  Any contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material, are intended for informational and educational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice.  Such contents are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.