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Sanofi Canada

2905 Place Louis-R.-Renaud
Laval, Quebec, H7V 0A3

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Content :

Conquering Diabetes Distress

Diabetes Distress:
Trying to manage the numerous steps associated with diabetes management can lead to feelings of frustration, fatigue and discouragement, which can negatively affect your diabetes management. These types of feelings are called diabetes distress and dealing with them is very important.


Here are some tips on how to do that:

Feeling overwhelmed or burned out is perfectly normal. Almost everyone with diabetes feels this way at some point or another, and some people more than others. But if you feel like this for more than a few months, consider speaking to a health professional about your feelings. Don't ignore your feelings or think they'll just go away.

Talk to your doctor about diabetes distress. This should not be a "hush-hush" topic and you shouldn't feel shy or awkward bringing it up. On the contrary, discuss your emotional state with your doctor at each appointment - the good and the not so good. They will be able to provide you with suggestions on how to deal with it.

Open the lines of communication with your family, friends and other people with diabetes. Talking about your feelings with people who care about you will help. Talking to those around you will help them to better understand what you're going through and will allow them to give you the support you need. And sometimes, just talking about our problems can make us feel lighter and give us another perspective on things. Talking is the best therapy, so don't keep your feelings bottled up inside!

One step at a time. Feelings of distress might cause you to kick your diabetes management into overdrive. Ease yourself into an exercise plan and healthy eating lifestyle by taking it one step at a time. Make a list of things you'd like to change about your management and tackle them one at a time. Each time you check one off your list, the sense of accomplishment will lighten the load and do wonders for your sense of accomplishment!

Pace yourself. Now that you're ready to tackle things one step at a time, don't rush yourself. Life changes don't happen overnight. For example, if you decide to take your exercise routine to the next level, pushing yourself too hard may be harmful to you in the long run. Gradual change is the way to go. Remember, the tortoise always beats the hare!

Don't do it alone. People with diabetes say that most of their distress is caused when their diet and exercise goals are not achieved. Research has shown that people are more likely to achieve their goals when other people are involved. So, why not get your spouse involved in thinking up healthy meals? Or get your best friend to go walking with you after dinner each night? You'll be more likely to stick with it if someone else is encouraging and counting on you.

It's your behaviour that counts. It's all about approach and behaviour when it comes to influencing your weight or blood glucose control. For example, to achieve a healthy weight, you can choose healthier, lower-calorie foods and exercise more often. Indirectly, these behaviours should have an effect on both your glucose levels and your weight. So, when you're setting goals for yourself, make sure they are in relation to things that you can directly control. For instance, your goal could be to exercise for 30 minutes three times a week. Whatever you choose, make sure it's an attainable goal and one you'll be able to build on progressively.

You're the one who matters most. When you have diabetes, you have a team of health professionals who will be involved in your care, but the most important person on that team is YOU. You're the one responsible for managing your diabetes day-to-day. You might feel overwhelmed by this when what you really should feel is empowered. You can take control! Research has shown that people who educate themselves about their diabetes and are engaged in their care do much better.