Burnout is common among people with diabetes, especially those who have had the disease for years, even decades. Diabetes management can be exhausting, confusing, and frustrating, particularly when you think you are doing everything right but your blood sugars still fail to cooperate. [From an original story by Rachel Garlinghouse]. We’ve all heard the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” In terms of diabetes, this means recognizing that the same old routine isn’t always going to combat diabetes, a disease that never ceases to throw us a curve ball.
When you find yourself in a negative and harmful rut, it’s time to re-evaluate your mangement plan and make positive changes that will propel your disease into a calmer and more predictable season, one that will no doubt yield more energy and less frustration. To get started, ask yourself questions in the following five areas.
Make a list of the medications and dosages that you’re taking. How long have you been on these medications and taken the same dosages? Are there newer medications on the market or alternative treatments that might help your management? What medications might you no longer need? Which ones might require an increased dose? These are all good questions to discuss with your doctor.
Are you exercising? How often? How long? Is there another type of exercise you should be doing? Do you enjoy the exercise you’ve chosen? If not, what are the alternatives? If you are not exercising, what is hindering you from doing so? Again, bring your questions to the attention of your doctor and see what he or she suggests.
What do you eat that gives you energy and helps you maintain healthy blood sugars? What are you eating that hinders your diabetes management? Are you eating often enough? Too often? How are your portion sizes? What food groups are you neglecting? Are you staying hydrated throughout the day? If you haven’t already, establish a relationship with a registered dietitian who will help you navigate changes in your diet.
Are you sleeping too much? Not enough? What about your quality of sleep? How comfortable is your bed? Is your bedroom noisy? Too light? Too dark? Are you taking medications that might be interrupting your sleep? How are your blood sugars when you sleep? Ask your doctor to refer you to a sleep specialist for advice and answers.
How do you feel when you are with your doctor? Nervous? Relieved? Fearful? Discouraged? Encouraged? Think about the people on your diabetes care team and decide where changes need to be made. The caregivers who guide you through your diabetes journey should be knowledgeable, personable, experienced, honest, and encouraging. If you are not getting your needs met, begin searching for a new doctor.
By addressing these five areas and taking your disease by the reins, you will no doubt be on your way to a happier and healthier tomorrow.