Diabetes and Your Emotional Health

Having diabetes may cause some related stress. It might come from having to take medicine or to test your blood sugar. It may also come from having to exercise, eat healthy, and deal with health care expenses related to diabetes care. Without action, this distress can lead to depression.

If you have at least 3 of these symptoms, or just a few but have been feeling bad for 2 weeks or more, talk with your health care provider:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Change in appetite
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Loss of energy
  • Feeling sad, blue, or down in the dumps
  • Nervousness
  • Guilt
  • Morning sadness
  • Suicidal thoughts

How to help lower stress in your life

Everyone has different ways of dealing with stress. Here are some ways to help you cope:

  • Start a new exercise program or play a sport.
  • Start a new hobby or learn a new craft.
  • Stay busy. Volunteer at a hospital or a charity.

Stress can affect blood sugar levels in 2 ways in people with diabetes

  1. Stress hormones may raise blood sugar levels.
  2. People under stress may not take good care of themselves. They may not check their blood sugar levels or eat healthy. They may exercise less or not at all or they may drink more alcohol.

Getting support can help. Here are some tips

  • Find a support group.
  • Make friends in support groups. It may help you learn new ways to cope with stress.
  • Find people with diabetes who are dealing with similar things.
  • Ask your health care provider about seeing a therapist or counselor.


Ask your health care provider about positive things you can do to help you feel better when you are feeling stress.

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