With so many physical factors to consider, it can be easy to forget that type 2 diabetes is also a condition which affects your emotional and mental health.
The DAWN2™ study helped to improve our understanding and awareness of the unmet needs of people with diabetes and their families. The study shows that diabetes can represent a major psychosocial and emotional burden. In fact, approximately 45% of people with type 2 diabetes from the study indicated that they experienced emotional distress due to diabetes – so if you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone.
Watch the video of how Dolores, who has type 2 diabetes, learned to reduce her stress levels in order to improve her health.
An important factor to bear in mind is that although facing your type 2 diabetes head-on can be stressful and overwhelming, trying to ignore it will only serve to make both the physical and emotional problems worse. Support from your healthcare team, a friend, a family member, or anyone else can be extremely valuable.
It’s also important to make sure you take care of your mental health; this is vital to help you be able to manage your diabetes and everyday life generally. If you are experiencing low mood or anxiety, you should see your doctor who will be able to help. This is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign that you are actively taking control of your own health.
Stress in itself can cause blood sugar to rise, due to the body tapping into its stored glucose supplies and releasing sugar into the bloodstream – ‘preparing for battle’, i.e. making more sugar available to have the energy to fight whatever is causing you to feel stressed. This is an example of how emotional and physical health are finely balanced in type 2 diabetes, so it’s crucial to take care of both.
You can find multiple resources to support you in self-managing your diabetes, and in having productive conversations with your healthcare team.