Diabetes and anxiety. A topic of great importance that we deal with our friend Missacarina today! One of the most influential people with diabetes in the community writes today on gluQUO’s blog!
My name is Antía, I am twenty-seven years old and in the last fifteen the type I diabetes has accompanied me day and night. When we are diagnosed with a chronic illness like this our body goes into shock and it is not for less. Our life takes a turn of 360 º and the worst of it is that it will be like this forever. Not everyone reacts the same way but the most common feelings we can experience are denial, anger, frustration…
If we fail to accept and adapt to our “new circumstance” our physical and mental health will be greatly resented.
When i “debuted” in 2003 all the health Web resources we have today were not yet booming . Therefore, the only support I could get was that of the diabetic association in my locality that was practically dormant. I did not know anyone with Dt1, I received no psychological or emotional support, I had no one to understand me so I took the chestnuts from the fire myself and, actually, was not completely wrong at first.
Little by little I adapted to the world of carbohydrates, sugar free and strict schedules. Currently, treatments for DT1 are much more flexible, we have a much broader diet. Insulins are more effective and we have technology that makes life easier as insulin pumps. Also, continuous glucose meters or applications that allow us to carry out better daily control of our blood glucoses. That is the case of gluQUO.
Diabetes and anxiety
Despite all these advances, diabetes is a disease that does not rest, we live with it 24/7. Hence, this involves having a lot of information, having great self-confidence and being able to make decisions of great importance. If you add to all this the frenetic pace of today’s society is to expect that people with diabetes have twice the chance of suffering stress or anxiety. Sometimes, diabetes and anxiety are linked.
Anxiety is an emotion that we have all experienced throughout our lives in one way or another. It Is a response from our body to a possible threat. In small doses It is healthy to have it. The problem appears when it becomes a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). That is, the excessive worry, distress and alertness of the body do not disappear or recur very often.
But What does it feel like when you have anxiety?
Some of the possible symptoms are as follows:
Physicists: sweating, tachycardia, shortness of breath, chest pressure, tremors, fatigue, feeling dizzy, muscular stiffness...
Psychological: estlessness, fear, feeling of imminent threat, desire to flee, depersonalization, fear of losing control, death…
Behaviours: alertness and hypervigilance, blockages, impulsiveness…
Intellectual or cognitive: difficulty to pay attention, concentration, memory, restlessness, excessive worry, negative expectations, overvaluation of negative details…
Social: difficulties in expressing their own opinions, irritability, excessive fear of conflict…
And How does it affect people with diabetes?
The presence of generalized anxiety or diabetes-related anxiety, also known as emotional diabetes, is directly related to a worsening in the control of our blood glucose. We Must Talk about two main axes of action:
• The subject itself: the sway of emotions suffered by a person with anxiety interferes directly in the carelessness in terms of schedules, diet jumps, difficulty making decisions…
• Physical processes: When we suffer anxiety our organism segregates counterinsular hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline, growth hormone or glucagon. That is to say, impede the proper functioning of insulin. In other words, these Hormones block the entry of insulin into tissues and favor the creation of glucose through fats and proteins. All this translates into long periods of hyperglycemia.
All the symptoms previously exposed as well as the consequences in our blood glucose can make us feel lonely, isolated, misunderstood, frustrated… The worst feeling a person can feel with anxiety is uncertainty. Because anxiety affects our stability glycaemic our uncertainty will be greater so we will be more and more anxious.
How to take control?
Before making any decision we must ask for professional help to guide us and help to manage the situation.
This is what I did and it was essential to begin to understand what was happening to me and try to take the reins of the situation.
Here are some tips that can help empower you:
Create routines in your day to day: the less the uncertainty the more relaxed you will be.
View positive situations: If you think you’ll be able to finish it.
Try to focus on the present: Perform deep breathing exercises or meditation in moments of calm. Another option is to practice mindfulness. This is the search for full attention, only matters here and now. Practicing your catastrophic thoughts will pass into the background and the anxiety fades.
Stem Face to anxiety: customize it. Give it a name or a form. We Usually have less fear of something we know. Talk and rebátele Those senseless arguments that make you paralices.
Practice Sport whenever you can: you’ll segregate hormones like endorphins, serotonin, dopamine… All of them will make you feel pleasure, less pain, happiness and well-being
My Tips for diabetes and anxiety
Throughout my process of knowledge and fight against anxiety I have tried to implement, to a greater or lesser extent, all these tips. Some have helped me a lot but what has helped me the most has been:
• Empathy: Meeting other people in the same situation has helped me and continues to help. A good way is to participate in activities proposed by associations of people with diabetes or social networks. I opted for this last option. At first, I began to follow accounts related to diabetes from my personal RRSS, little by little, I began to know more people with whom he interacted. We helped each other and felt that I could also contribute my bit and that is how Missacarina was born.
• Do things that passionate about you: retake that hobby that you left behind for lack of time, explore New horizons and you’ll be surprised. The effect will be similar to practicing sport as you segregate the same hormones.
In my case, my escape route has been the animals. Consequently, i have established with them a connection that makes me really happy and makes me forget the rest of the world.
And is that, friends, we are much more than carbohydrates, ratios, insulin bolus or sensitivity factors…
Live with diabetes and not for her. It Costs, but you can.