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Avoid Feeling Distress

July 18, 2018

Someone living with diabetes must not only balance everything everyone else does; he or she also manages testing blood sugar, counting carbohydrates, adjusting insulin doses and taking medications. All of it can feel overwhelming. Experts call it diabetes distress. It is a range of feelings — from anxiety to powerlessness — that come with the burden of managing diabetes.

This condition doesn’t occur in everyone, and it doesn’t occur all the time. But it is common enough that your doctor may screen you for it, since it can negatively affect your blood sugar management. Consider the following tips based on the emotions you may be feeling.

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed, meet with your doctor or diabetes educator to go over your management plan. Together you can prioritize your treatment by focusing on one or two goals and then moving on from there.

  • If you’re feeling hopeless, look to times when your efforts have had a positive impact on your health.

  • If you need comfort, turn to a partner. You don’t have to go through treatment alone. Ask your spouse, family member, or friend to help take over management of your blood sugar testing, carbohydrate counting and other tasks.

  • If you’re feeling depressed, seek out support. If you experience changes in appetite and sleep patterns, have no interest in activities you once enjoyed, experience social isolation, and feel persistently sad, hopeless or down, for two or more weeks, consult with a mental health professional.