Home Emotional Effects How to reduce the pain of diabetes: tips and resources

How to reduce the pain of diabetes: tips and resources

by E.J. Saunders
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People with diabetes can become overwhelmed with the daily tasks of managing their condition, which can lead to burnout. Here are some suggestions on how to alleviate some of that pain.

For people with diabetes, the distress associated with the condition can impact self-care and quality of life. Diabetes distress refers to a wide range of emotions and concerns individuals have when managing diabetes over the long term and is a common experience in diabetes. Getting a diagnosis not only requires learning about diabetes, but also developing skills to manage the condition over the long term.

about 40% of adults Patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes report significant distress at some point. It is also important to note that such distress is not the same as clinical depression. It covers a wide range of emotions and consequences, from worrying about your next appointment to pretending you don't have diabetes.

Renza Sibilia, a blogger, activist and author who has type 1 diabetes, said her life has had its ups and downs. Speaking with Sibilia in a video from her native Australia, it's hard to understand how this energetic persona, sitting in a brightly-coordinated library, could have a bad day. However, she said: But it can be frustrating to feel like I have to keep on top of things, and I resent the fact that I have to “cure diabetes.” ”

*Editor's note: Sibilia shares her journey with type 1 diabetes on her blog. Diabetic She has been a passionate advocate for people in the diabetes community since 2011. She also writes about her diabetes experience on diaTribe from time to time.

How can I tell if I have symptoms of diabetes?

It is normal to feel sick after being diagnosed with diabetes or at any time after your diagnosis. Understanding this is the first step to better managing your emotional responses to diabetes.

Dr. William Polonsky, Chairman Behavioral Diabetes Research Institute Experts dealing with the emotional aspects of diabetes pointed to filling out one of the recognized questionnaires about diabetes distress (Paid – Problem Areas in Diabetes Scaleand DDS – Diabetic Stress Scale) helps people understand if they are in pain and look for solutions. That being said, surveys only answer how you feel at the specific moment you answer them, and diabetes distress can change from moment to moment.

Emotional reactions to diabetes vary depending on individual characteristics such as age, gender, and social and cultural background. life stages; and experiences.by ADA Mental Health Workbook for Healthcare Providers“Responses may also vary depending on the type of diabetes diagnosed, the condition, its course, and a person's beliefs about how well it can be managed.”

pain between type 1 adult Type 2 diabetes is different. For example, a person diagnosed with Type 1 may be shocked or relieved by the diagnosis. When it comes to management, you may have a strong fear of hypoglycemia or worry about being mistakenly identified as having type 2 diabetes. People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may react with anger, self-blame, denial, or apathy, and may have concerns about day-to-day management.

of diabetes pain The website is provided free of charge evaluation If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you can print your results and share them with your healthcare provider.

A more severe form of diabetes distress is diabetes burnout. Diabetes burnout occurs when frustration builds and a person disengages from diabetes care, such as not monitoring blood sugar levels, unhealthy or uncontrolled eating, and other risky behaviors.

Jennifer Halliday, Associate Researcher Australian Diabetes Behavioral Research Center, We explained that there are three key components to diabetes burnout.

  1. Feeling too physically or mentally exhausted to manage your diabetes
  2. Feeling isolated, distancing yourself from diabetes and avoiding regular check-ups
  3. Feeling unable to control diabetes and feeling hopeless

Many people with diabetes and their caregivers can focus on physical and biological outcomes such as weight, range, and A1C. But there's a difference between looking like you're doing well with “good numbers” and feeling good mentally.

“Just because your A1C is at an optimal level doesn't mean diabetes is less painful,” says Halliday. “Diabetes distress is an emotional response to living with diabetes. If untreated, mild diabetes distress can lead to severe distress, depression, or diabetes burnout.”

what will you do

Dr. Halliday encourages health care professionals and people with diabetes to consider comprehensive treatment.

“It's about looking at the whole person in their individual context and understanding that there are often social and psychological factors in managing diabetes outcomes,” she said. “Doctors need to work with patients to determine what their specific challenges are.”

A holistic care program may also include meditation and mindfulness training. the study Recently, we revealed “Improvements in glycemic index and mental health index in type 2 diabetic patients after mindfulness training.”

Tips on how to cope with diabetes distress:

  • Work with your health care provider to create a plan that focuses on the aspects you are most concerned about.
  • Connect with people who understand you, such as specific family members, friends, or support groups.
  • talk to you medical worker; medical institution About your feelings. If you are not satisfied with your provider, ask for a referral to someone else.
  • Enlist a loved one to help you manage your diabetes. Remind them of plans, help them monitor their blood sugar levels, or get them involved in exercise.
  • be kind to yourself Instead of being hard on yourself to achieve your goals. Let go of expectations and tackle one task at a time.
  • Rest. If you want to reduce the amount of time and effort you spend managing your diabetes, talk to your doctor about how to make changes to your diabetes management. Rest safely.
  • Reevaluate your goals. If you haven't achieved your goals yet, set smaller goals to feel a sense of accomplishment. Make your goals specific and measurable.

A more recent term, diabetes resilience, is a more positive description of the suffering of diabetes. The term diabetes distress focuses on how a person feels negatively about their disease, whereas resilience focuses on positive behaviors and how people can thrive despite challenges. It focuses on crab. For example, a more creative person may be excited about finding new solutions to obstacles.

Recent study Humor has been shown to be a useful coping strategy and tool by promoting connection and encouraging diabetes management. From humorous interactions with friends and healthcare providers to enjoying a funny TV show, experiencing humor for just 30 minutes a day has been shown to increase positive changes in health markers.

What do you enjoy doing? How can you integrate those skills and work into managing diabetes? Learn how to leverage your strengths to make your journey easier.

critical support

Polonsky said there is a lack of awareness among many health care providers and the general public about the prevalence of diabetes distress. If you're having trouble finding a professional who has experience dealing with the pain of diabetes, it may be helpful to find one you feel comfortable talking to.

Sibilia, Halliday, and Polonsky all emphasize the importance of having a strong support network and finding a healthcare provider who focuses on diabetes care with whom you can communicate. Lack of communication due to language issues can lead to additional stress and decreased commitment to care. It's important to find a translator or provider with whom you can communicate effectively.

Sibilia said she has a good psychologist who helps her identify when she's approaching burnout and reconsiders her behavior and thinking. But she added that colleagues are just as important as other self-management tools.

“Other people with diabetes helped me understand my diabetes,” Sibilia said. “I connect with people who have walked that path before. In light of COVID-19, it’s even more important to connect.” Sibilia, who lives in Melbourne, Australia, has endured a long lockdown. said it's important to call friends or visit neighbors to talk about all kinds of topics, diabetes-related or not.

peer support This can take many forms, including one-on-one coaching, support groups, and online forums. You can use social media and online communities to find peer support. These programs help people with diabetes self-manage, provide ad-hoc care, social and emotional support, access to appropriate resources to navigate the health care system, and provide ongoing support that reflects the long-term nature of the condition. Help support.

the study It has been found that people who participate more in online communities tend to have lower blood sugar levels. Visiting or writing a personal blog about diabetes can also provide a platform for discussing personal experiences.

ADA Information Center Provides information about how to connect to local resources. In Australia, National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS) We have established a helpline for advice on self-management and other consultations.


Since its publication in 1999, Polanski's books have “Diabetes burnout syndrome: What to do when you can’t take it anymore” A must-have for many who want to learn about the woes of diabetes. An updated version is expected to be published next year.

Sibilia's blog is a great read because she writes it as if she were listening to a close friend talk watered down emotions about his life. I almost wish Sibilia would cover topics other than diabetes so I could hear her relatable and vivid thoughts on the subject.

Books and blogs can help you know you're not alone, but Sibilia said the best thing to do is connect with other people with diabetes. “You can pick up on how others are dealing with challenges and share what works for you,” she said. “No matter what you're going through, someone else has been through it and can tell you how they coped.”

People like Sibilia, Halliday, and Polonsky have had a significant impact on educating healthcare professionals and people with diabetes about the pain of diabetes, but there is still a long way to go. Their most powerful message is that they want people with diabetes to know there is hope. Find someone to talk to about your worries and experiences.

You are not alone. There are many ways to improve your journey.

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