What are your thoughts on diabetes burnout?


Burnout comes and goes. Sometimes life is stressful, and dealing with diabetes while the rest of life is stressful can be overwhelming. The burnout is more pronounced when I’m dissatisfied with the way other parts of my life are going.

I just keep swimming, and the burnout seems to fade as I address whatever caused it to surface. Burnout is real. You feel it, you deal with it, and then you move on. Then sometime later, you do it all again.


Sounds good, music is very healing for me too😊


i couldnt agree more. these communities have been life changing for me.

i have been married for over 25 years, and thankfully my husband is very empathetic and supportive; however, my parents still, after 30+ years of my living with T1D, still do not understand the nature of this disease. and whats worse is that my own mother is a healthcare professional.


Totally agree!


I am less then 4 months into this and I have what can be called burn out days already. I get too lazy to make food and just keep chasing the low away with a glucose tablet or some crackers. Then drink more coffee.

The gym, body building is really my best defense against burn out. Un fortunately I read too many web pages on T1 that told me that body building would now be more difficult plus that scary stuff about hypos and I got bummed out. I finally went back and discovered that insulin is very anabolic. I gained muscle better then ever. One good gym session keeps my BG lower and more level for 2 days.

Gym results are positive reinforcement. Thinking about scary long term problems, negative reinforcement, doesn’t always motivate me cause that thought of just one lazy day won’t matter tells me its OK.


I wouldn’t ever miss it, it’s important to be clear about that. But I have thought about this when the occasional “we think we have a cure!” story comes up, the ones that are serious enough as to raise the question what it would really be like. The thing is, all this D stuff has occupied a huge amount of mindshare over 35 years, to the extent that it occupies a large space in my concept of who I am. I wouldn’t miss it, but if I’m totally realistic about it I think it would be kind of disorienting. Sadly, I don’t think I’ll ever have to worry about it. I’m sure I’d get over it though.


I 100% agree about lifting heavy. Yes, it takes some learning to deal with the intense spike and then the (for me) persistent, mild lows after a session, but overall it does remarkable things for BG consistency. I’m currently using Wendler’s 5-3-1 BBB program four days a week, and it’s outstanding. I have a hard time adding a lot of muscle and mass at my age (mid 40s), but I’m still able to add strength slowly and keep pretty fit. I add some mild conditioning (which I’ve found far more difficult to deal with from a BG perspective), concentrating on rowing, walking, and cycling 3-5 days a week.

Incidentally, it helps me combat not only my BG but also the burnout. I just feel better when I’m regularly working out. Got the flu (again) this week, and missed my session yesterday morning…it’s killing me.


Hello Terry,

GLUCO-NORMALS… LOL that is tremendous, can I please use that???


Of course you may! I didn’t coin it, picked it up from somewhere. :wink:


That is funny DaisyMae, my mom was trying to kill me with food and kindness her whole life. Being an “Italian mother” everything revolved around food. Got dx’d at 13 yrs old and about a year into it she shows up with tin of SaraLee cinnamon buns. I say “I cant eat that” and she says “but you used to like them so much, just have one”… This went on for years, she has been gone for over 10 years but I have a friend that has taken up the mantle of trying to kill me with food. Just went out with him last week and he’s trying to get me to drink lemoncello, I say no and he says “come on, you know I have been trying to kill you for years?” Good laugh…


Hello Mila:

Burn out is real easy to understand; them, us, anybody within spitting distance of this disease. It is horrific that someone in the health care field would be that broken, that insensitive to the malevolence of diabetes which many endure.

I live it and can understand easily how someone treating any of the versions of diabetes could mentally get turned into a charcoal brickette by their patients illness.

Its hard for me, and I live it… having to watch, try and make a difference probably more so,


I’ve had the burnout feeling big time this week. First I had to return my Guardian transmitter, which was new, because it wasn’t working, which left me in high anxiety and checking hourly without sensor on. Then this morning I picked up a cup of coffee and a small breakfast wrap. Get to work and NEWsensor read 131, perfect! Check actual blood sugar to do my pre breakfast calibration on my 670g and my blood sugar 261. Insert lots of 4 letter words…


What many do to fight the effects of their diabetes go far beyond just treating diabetes. Regular exercise (for me it’s daily walking and weekly swimming) has positive effect on your overall health, as well as your mental sense of well being. Eating a nutritious but healthy diet, when combined with the above mentioned exercise, is the best way to counteract the #1 health scourge of North America: over weight and obesity. With diabetes you get used to regular checkups and contact with your doctor, something that was missing from the lives of many prior to diagnosis. I would sincerely hope that a cure for diabetes, particularly type 2, would not mean going back to bad old habits but maintaining a focus on healthy living.


It is complex for you type 1’s. I was only using mealtime insulin once a day for my one huge meal a day and it was kind of daunting. Coming home from a surgery recently, being too out of it to even function, had me wondering how you type 1’s manage during and after a major surgery or illness. It would have been sheer heck to have had to use long acting insulin and mealtime insulin without eating much and being so weak from surgery. I just wanted to hide away in a dark hole somewhere. I get anxiety every time I use my insulin that it will kick in before I can eat all of my food. I really feel for you guys and I can definitely see how burnout can happen.


I’ve never experienced burnout. I never understood what it was. I never asked about it until I read about it on another forum where I asked other juvenile onset/type 1’s to explain to me what happened to them because I didn’t understand. A lot of members of that forum were upset with me. I don’t know why. I have always taken my insulin. I haven’t felt sad or depressed because I’m the only juvenile onset/type one diabetic on both side of my family in six generations. I doesn’t bother me, it’s a part of me. I was five when diagnosed.

I got both the Joslin and Lily 50 year medals. I was thrilled when I learned about them. I’m looking forward to getting my 75th.

None of my primary care physicians ever talked to me about my diabetic care. My endo discusses things with me. She knows that I know my body better than anyone else. We make my diabetic care decisions together. I haven’t talked to her about burnout. Maybe I will when I see her in Dec. to see what her other patients have said about it.


I hate the ADA because of their self-serving opposition to home glucose monitoring for many years.

From http://www.mendosa.com/history.htm :

Many times [self-testing of blood glucose] has been called the most important thing since the discovery of insulin.

I went to medical school because I couldn’t get published.

Self-monitoring was especially feared by the ADA. My doctor was the president of the ADA.

Who was he? Max Ellenberg (sp). I can mention his name because he’s now deceased. He was very much opposed to self-monitoring. Most of the people connected to the ADA were even viciously opposed. Charlie may not have told you that, but the top people threatened Charlie when he started circulating the self. I published an article, self-published because no one would publish it, on how to normalize blood sugars in type 1 diabetes, and he pedaled the pavement carrying this article… He took it around to all the major universities and diabetes investigators and the ADA heard that he was doing that and threatened that if he continued to push self-monitoring, no, if they were to sell a meter to patients that they would formally recommend Lilly’s TesTape over the Ames system for testing urine. They had been neutral in the battle between the Ames system and Lilly’s TesTape system, but Charlie was told, and you can confirm this with him, that if they were to try to sell the meter to patients, the ADA would recommend the Lilly system over the Ames.

The ADA fought this tooth and nail until they caved in slightly in 1986, I believe it was October. There was a joint meeting of the ADA and AADE, that is representatives of the ADA and AADE and a few other organizations, and by this time the demand from the patients was so great that the ADA caved in and said that they would find self-monitoring as an acceptable mode of treatment for those who take insulin, just those who take insulin, which automatically ruled out 90% of diabetics, and that was in 1986, 17 years after they first knew about it.

They are moral dirt.


I have just gone through a bad experience with my doctor. I told her I followed the guidelines that she said for the insulin I’m taking, showed her my blood sugar readings. She printed it looked at it held it up waving it over her shoulder showing it to me and said this is nonsensical. She said it repeatedly. Then said there was something that I wasn’t telling her because she couldn’t make sense of what she was looking at or what I was telling her. She then said I was basically taking more insulin than she told me to, which is definitely not true, and called me a liar. And she had a student too in the room with us. I got up and walked out. I’m honestly very hurt by this, I’ve never had a doctor treat me in this fashion.


I have gone through burnout though. With testing my blood sugars.


I’ve had so many experiences with misunderstandings and my diabetes. It really is a shame. One time when the paramedics were putting me in the ambulance on a stretcher, one said, “well where do you wanna take this one?” And the other said, “the morgue.”
My gf at the time heard what they said because she was right next to me and started talking loudly to them getting in their face and telling them what I was going through and what to do. She really didn’t like that one bit. It is terrible, and I have so much sympathy for all diabetics.


I was greeted by a nurse with the cheeriest of remarks. “You were so pale last time…”. Gee, thanks.