Managing Diabetes Distress And Burnout, Better.

Bringing in enough care, clarity and control to days that feel like too much.

Managing Diabetes Distress And Burnout, Better.
Diabetes Care | Mar. 30, 2023

There are days that just seem off-kilter and even regular professional and personal responsibilities feel like too much. We have all been you have a number of internet browser tabs open on your PC, but aren’t really getting the answers you need and/or having to deal with too much information is becoming irksome and tiresome. Managing a chronic condition, like diabetes, can feel much like this at times, more so since it entails a number of everyday tasks that you can’t really put off. Dealing with life’s daily stresses along with ones related to your health can be very overwhelming and distressing. It is said that ‘diabetes distress’ affects nearly 1 in 4 people with type 2 diabetes and nearly 1 in 5 with type 1 diabetes. From keeping tabs on your glucose levels to constantly worrying about food and activity choices, the burden of daily self-management and continuous responsibility can lead to emotional stress, anxiety and burnout. However, leaning on loved ones and health tech can help alleviate some of the burden.

Diabetes distress, often manifesting in behaviors and emotions like avoidance of healthy measures, feelings of isolation and frustration, makes it even harder to look after yourself better – often turning into a negative health cycle. It can feel overwhelming, confusing and, well lonely. Additionally, it is said that stress releases certain hormones that create insulin resistance and can cause blood glucose levels to rise and/or fluctuate. So, while mental fatigue and burnout can happen to any of us; sometimes when already dealing with a chronic physical health condition, looking after your mental health climbs even higher on the priority list, to help better deal with the many inter-connections between emotional and physical stressors.

Here are three key measures that can help you better cope with and manage diabetes distress…

Acknowledging: the key to moving forward mindfully.

The key to finding a solution to problems, for health and life in general, is accepting that there may be an issue and acknowledging how you are feeling. While it’s normal to deal with a daily spectrum of negative and positive emotions when having to look after our health, if you find yourself overwhelmed and stressed for extended periods of time, it could be a sign of diabetes distress. The first step to feeling better is recognizing the signs and paying closer attention to your emotional and physical cues, to find the help you need. It is also said that people with diabetes are approximately 2 or 3 times more likely to have depression. If you feel like you are displaying symptoms of depression, make sure you speak to a healthcare professional at the earliest.

Diabetes Management Decoded.

Enlisting: count on the right support… and data.

Share (details and the burden) to get the right care. It can be isolating when dealing with a health condition and all the restrictions or actions it may entail. Talk to your loved ones about how you are feeling and what kind of support you may need from them. Also speak candidly with your doctor about aspects affecting your physical and mental health, to get a more tailor-made management and treatment plan for your needs and lifestyle, including medication and support groups. While you are surrounded by the people you can count on, for day-to-day diabetes management, getting help from handy gadgets, is another aspect of care as well. Look into health tech, like continuous glucose monitors, that work as supportive aids that help make decision-making a little easier and empower you to take action. Tools like these take away some of the work for you –  by monitoring your glucose in real-time painlessly, and help your physician better manage your diabetes by providing detailed insights and data about glucose patterns – leaving you better placed to even out the highs and lows of the physical and emotional kind!

Pacing: tune in to the critical, tune out the optional.

Create a space and pace for better well-being. Pace your activities and health goals, for more sustainable and manageable diabetes and overall health care, by prioritizing your goals. Tech can also help you keep track of key health markers like your glucose levels in ways that are easier and more seamless for your life, without adding numerous steps to an already busy day. Most importantly… give yourself a break! It isn’t easy to juggle a chronic condition, and all that it demands from you, along with the everyday responsibilities and demands on your time. It can take a toll on your mental health and state of being… so be kinder to yourself. Set some time aside for recreational and other activities that give you joy, and remind you that you are so much more than your illness.

Managing physical health concerns like diabetes along with its effects on mental health matters, and vice versa, sometimes requires a helping hand (or a few) to bring back care, clarity and control to life. Apart from a strong support system of loved ones and doctors, tech can serve to simplify when you are feeling burdened in every way. Innovations like continuous glucose monitors help reduce some of the mental load by helping get/understand relevant information, as well as by providing a glimpse into your body’s inner workings with data, thereby empowering you to plan for better physical health outcomes… paving a path away from distress and towards a ‘de-stress’!


Disclaimer: The information mentioned in this document is only suggestive /for patient education and shall not be considered as a substitute for doctor’s advice or recommendations from Abbott. Please consult your doctor for more information.