Simple Tips For Dealing With Diabetes Distress - Sugar.Fit
Metabolic Health

10 Tips For Managing Diabetes Distress

Diabetes is a difficult to manage and a highly demanding health condition. The regular and ongoing demands of this chronic condition coupled with complications, emergencies, health problems, and making long-term life changes takes a toll on a person's mental and emotional wellbeing and causing diabetes distress.

What Is Diabetes Distress?

Diabetes distress is a range of undesirable emotions that people with diabetes have in response to living with and managing the condition. Diabetes distress not only affects the person but sometimes their families as well.

As such, feeling frustrated with the burden of managing diabetes is one of the most common diabetes distress symptoms. Apart from this, feeling discouraged or defeated and worrying about the complication progressing or getting severely low are also signs of diabetic distress. It is essential to take care of diabetes distress symptoms as they start appearing so that the condition does not progress further and become worse.

Diabetes Distress Symptoms

The Two most common causes of diabetes distress include:

1. Stress & Frustration about Living with Diabetes

Most diabetics experience diabetes-related distress due to the amount of hands-on management required by the condition. This includes ongoing obligations of physical activity, diet, medicine, and blood glucose monitoring. Crucial though less frequently acknowledged stresses center around worries of the future, fear of complications, difficulties dealing with potentially intrusive family members and friends, concerns about keeping up with treatment options, new medicines, and other associated recommendations.

2. Unending Self-Management Demands

People with diabetes can feel overwhelmed because of the endless self-management demands of the condition. This can further lead to fatigue, high distress levels, anger, frustration, feelings of depression. Some symptoms indicating this are -

  • Feeling isolated
  • Frequently choosing unhealthy food options 
  • Feeling annoyed about diabetes and irritated with the demands to manage it regularly
  • Skipping blood sugar checks and appointments
  • Concerned about not taking good care of diabetes but not doing anything about it

Also know about the relation between exercise & diabetes.

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Tips for Coping with Diabetes Distress     

1. Identify and Acknowledge your Feelings

Almost everyone with diabetes feels stressed and frustrated from time to time. But when these feelings become overwhelming and last for more than a week, it signals that you need help to feel better. So, acknowledge your feelings and work on improvising them. 

2. Be Honest about the condition and your Emotions

Inform your close ones and friends about your feelings and emotions regarding your condition. Try to be as honest as possible about the issues you are facing. 

3. Get help and allow others who wish to support you

If someone offers their assistance or support intending to help you, be your diabuddy or even just making time to listen to you, allow them to do so.

4. Accept the present for what it is

It is alright to accept things you cannot change. Do not refuse to accept that you have diabetes. Instead, accept it and learn how to manage the condition as soon as possible. This will help you progress on your journey. 

5. Talk to others dealing with diabetes

Talk to the other diabetics and try to understand the problems they are experiencing. Ask them how they deal with their diabetes-related distress and what has worked for them effectively. This way, you can feel less overwhelmed and isolated.

6. Make a List

Create a list of things you must do to take care of your condition and work on each activity separately.

7. Take it Slow

If you have taken up any physical activity, know that it will not give you desired results overnight. So, have patience and start slow.

8. Take a breather

Take a break between your work or allow some time to do the things you love. This can be calling a friend over, working on a creative project, or playing games with your children.

9. Share your concerns with your Diabetes Team

Your Coach and doctor will want to know about your feelings so that they can help you with your concerns and suggest different ways to manage diabetic distress.

Also read about the different types of diabetes.

Bottomline

Remember that it’s important to pay attention to your feelings. If you notice that you’re feeling frustrated, tired, and unable to make decisions about your diabetes care, take action. Talk to healthcare expert or your family and get the support you need.

FAQs

How Common Is Diabetes Distress?

According to 50 studies conducted worldwide, 1 in 4 individuals with type 1 diabetes and 1 in 5 individuals with type 2 diabetes have symptoms of diabetes distress regarding complications and management.

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