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Why Stress Management is Important When You Have Diabetes
You may be counting carbs, eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables, getting quality protein at meals and snacks and exercising regularly…but your blood sugar levels are still above normal. You might be surprised to learn that, even when you’re doing all the right things for your physical health, your mental health can have an impact on your diabetes.
Getting a diagnosis of a long-term illness of any kind is stressful. Diabetes in particular is one that requires daily vigilance, and all that daily management can gradually take a mental toll. There’s even a term for it: diabetes distress. According to the CDC, around one-third to half of all people with diabetes experience feelings of being overwhelmed, frustrated or tired of the constant monitoring.
There are many different ways in which stress can wreak havoc on a diabetes management plan:
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just eliminate all of life’s stressors? While we can’t wave a magic wand and make all our troubles disappear, we can change how we respond to stress. Think of it this way: if you’re wound tight like a drum, any stressor (like a tap of a drumstick) will have a big effect. If you’re loose like a pillow, you are better equipped to absorb those stressors.
Here are some ways to loosen up:
If you’re looking for more ways to help manage your stress levels – and in turn, manage your blood sugar levels – talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you identify what’s causing your stress and offer solutions or suggestions that can help, including a referral to a mental health specialist. Whatever you need for stress management and to get you back on track is a step in the right direction.
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