Diabetes Problem Solving, Common Questions & Answers

Question 1

“I have had type 2 diabetes for the past 3 years and am struggling with my weight. I know what to do, but putting it into action is so hard, especially when I am also dealing with depression. Because I’ve lost some weight I start to think “I deserve a treat, everyone else can have one”. This then turns into a real binge & then I hate myself and feel like there is no point going on with it now. I just get so down and it seems all too hard…..”

Response

This is a common problem. Many people struggle with their weight and when you have type 2 diabetes it can be even harder. However it is entirely possible to lose weight and you have done really well in the weight loss you have achieved so far. Depression can make weight management harder and they are connected.

What you want to aim for is long term weight management in a healthy way. Even a 5% weight loss can have a big impact on your health.

It might be possible for you to include some built in treats, so you do not feel like you are missing out – this works for some people. Others say once they start a certain food they can not stop. Losing “black and white” thinking and learning to think in more “shades of gray” can help. Many people take an “all or nothing” approach, which leads to a cycle of starting and stopping with their weight management and to then lowered wellbeing. Learning “grey thinking” and how to be gentle on yourself can help. By doing this, you lessen the guilt which helps to stop the cycle of depression and binge eating.”

Question 2

“My partner has type 1 diabetes and suffers with anxiety about hypos. This means he keeps his blood glucose levels high, to avoid a hypo. I am really worried about the impact this is having on him and our chances of having children. He has never spoken or met anyone else with type 1 diabetes before. I have tried to talk to him about this problem, but he just says it is his diabetes and how could I understand what it is like to have a hypo? He works in a high pressure job and I am so worried that this problem is leading to me also suffering with anxiety. I have been sick a lot and have not been able to sleep lately. Please help.”

Response

“Anxiety about hypos is a common problem. The symptoms of a hypo can be very distressing and difficult to manage. It is hard to explain to someone who has not had a hypo, what it really feels like. Keeping the blood glucose levels higher on the odd occasion is not a problem, but you are right in that an extended period of high levels could lead to diabetes complications and it is important to manage this problem.

Watching someone you care about struggling is very stressful but as he is an adult you can not force him to make changes, or seek help. It might be really helpful for him to talk to someone else with diabetes as a starting point, so he can see he is not the only person to feel this way.

Developing strategies for managing his diabetes at work to avoid a hypo, whilst still maintaining healthy blood glucose levels is important. There are a range of things he can do, such as looking at his current management regime and seeking a review of this. Learning anxiety management techniques such as relaxation and breathing cycles, can really help. If he is open to this, you can refer him to our website and closed Facebook groups so he can chat with other people with diabetes. You can also access this support for yourself.”

Do you have questions you would like answered on the blog? Drop us a line and we will share in an upcoming blog post

Helen

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