Diabetes getting you down? You are not alone

Living with diabetes can be tough. The ongoing and endless list of things you need to think about and do can be stressful. Constantly checking your blood glucose, knowing what you should and shouldn’t eat, remembering to inject insulin or take your medications, fitting in some exercise, attending medical appointments.... it goes on and on. There is also that constant reminder of the risk of developing complications from diabetes such as damage to the eyes, nerves, and kidneys which for many can be very confronting and scary. This overwhelming sense of burden or defeat that affects so many with diabetes has a name: diabetes distress.

Diabetes distress is very common. An estimated one in four type 1 and one in five type 2 patients experience significant levels of diabetes distress at any given time. Furthermore, people with diabetes distress tend to have higher blood glucose and more diabetes-related complications.

It doesn’t matter whether you are experiencing diabetes distress; looking after your emotional health is important. Good strategies include:

  • learning to relax and working to reduce or better manage stressors
  • keeping moving with some regular exercise
  • enjoying a balanced diet
  • maintaining a regular sleep schedule
  • seeking support from family and friends
  • getting professional help

In addition to this, learning about diabetes can help with overcoming frustration and gain skills and confidence in managing day to day life.

The ComDiab Program, which is freely available in the community, provides nurse led education on a range of topics including: understanding what diabetes is and how it affects the body, making healthy food choices, being physically active and preventing complications. A relaxed and understanding environment such as this can be a great support and can help people to cope and live a long and healthy life with diabetes.

Find out more about free Community Diabetes Education – ComDiab in your community here.

The NDSS and Diabetes NSW also has a range of resources available to help people with diabetes to look after their emotional well-being.

If you have diabetes becoming registered with NDSS provides access to free services and information administered by Diabetes NSW