More people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are using diabetes technologies, such as insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. For example, about 30 – 40% of people with T1D use insulin pumps and CGM technology to help manage their diabetes. We know that these technologies have improved the lives of people with diabetes. Until now, however, there is not a lot of research on how this kind of technology affects couples’ relationships. This is important because diabetes affects not only the person with the disease, but also the family members and partners who support them.
Couples with diabetes
Researchers recently studied 134 couples where one partner used technology to manage their T1D. They found that diabetes technology is usually good for a couple’s relationship. For example, it can help with communication and make daily life with T1D easier. Also, they found that these technologies can help reduce concerns about low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). However, diabetes technology can also cause relationship stress and tension for some. For example, alarms and alerts on the devices may interrupt sleep or other daily activities.
Technology can help relationships
In general, couples view diabetes technology as good for their relationship. For some couples, diabetes technology improves communication and helps reduce relationship difficulties. However, for other couples, diabetes technology causes relationship stress. It is also important to note that most of the participants in this study were white. More research is needed on the impact of diabetes technologies in minority populations.