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Dealing with diabetes burnout

Last Modified: March 22, 2023

Diseases & Disorders, Family Medicine

diabetes burnout

This post was written by Carly Tino, lifestyle change specialist, Diabetes Care Services, Parkview Health.

Diabetes burnout is a term used to describe the feeling of being overwhelmed, frustrated and exhausted that those living with diabetes may encounter as they try to manage their condition. It’s not an official medical diagnosis, but rather a common phenomenon that many people with the disease experience at some point in their lives.

What it looks like

Living with diabetes is a full-time job. It requires constant attention and vigilance, from monitoring blood sugar levels and taking medications to managing your diet and exercise. It can be a never-ending cycle of highs and lows, both physically and emotionally, which can take a toll on a person’s mental health and lead to burnout.

This diabetes distress can manifest in several ways. For instance, one person might believe they aren’t in control of their disorder, even when doing everything right. Others might think they’re constantly failing or not doing enough to manage their condition. Someone else may feel diabetes is taking over their life, leaving them with little time or energy for anything else.

Ways to beat the burnout

The consequences of diabetes burnout can be severe and lead to poor diabetes management, resulting in high blood sugar levels, complications and hospitalization. It can also lead to anxiety, depression and a decreased quality of life.

So, what can you do if you experience diabetes burnout? Here are a few tips to help you manage:

  • Acknowledge your feelings: It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Recognize that diabetes management is hard work and that sometimes struggles are normal.
  • Talk to your healthcare team: Your healthcare or diabetes care team can provide support and guidance on how to best manage your condition. They can also help you adjust your treatment plan if needed.
  • Take a break: It’s important to take time for yourself to recharge and relax. Whether reading a book, going for a walk or spending time with loved ones, make sure you carve out time to do things that make you happy.
  • Seek support: Joining a diabetes support group or talking to others who have diabetes can help you feel less alone and provide you with practical advice and emotional support.
  • Set small goals: Break down your diabetes management goals into small, achievable steps. This can help you feel more in control and motivated.
Where to turn for help

Diabetes burnout is a common experience for people living with the condition. It can be challenging, but with the proper support and mindset, it’s possible to overcome the exhaustion and regain control of your diabetes management. Remember, you are not alone, and there is help available.

If you or a loved one are struggling with diabetes burnout, please reach out to a lifestyle change specialist for personalized wellness coaching. They can help you create a plan that encompasses your goals, schedule and any obstacles you may be facing.

For additional questions or concerns about managing diabetes, please call Parkview Diabetes Care Services at 260-373-4280 to speak with a diabetes educator, registered dietitian or lifestyle change specialist.

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