What is diabetes distress?

Hi Sally,
Right there with you. 55 years of T1D combined with the recent passing of my wife and then brother has taken a toll on me. Not sure what the future may hold for me at this point. I wish you the best. Take care,


@Daniel11 My sympathies on the loss of your wife and your brother. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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@Daniel11 I’m sorry about the passing of your wife and brother. I don’t even want to think about what it would be like to lose a spouse and then your brother. Heartfelt hugs and prayers your way.

Thank you, Marie.

Thank you so much for your very kind words when you need those same kind words! I am so sorry for loss and emptiness you must be feeling. Please know you can come here anytime and bear ever. I do it frequently as you can see.
And the other thing I find strange, is how compassionate and caring those of us with diabetes can be to other but we are not always so caring and compassionate to ourselves! So please give yourself a big hug from all of us and I will try and do the same to myself. I know I tend to be incredibly hard on myself but so generous to others. Why are we so hard on ourselves? It might just be me but I am here wishing I could give you a big hug! So I do have a smile on my face hoping my hug mentally hug will connect through the internet. God bless!:hugs:

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Hi Sally,
There is a lot of merit in what you wrote re: why (in this case) D’s seem to have a whole lot of compassion for the suffering of others. I agree with you.

You seem to me to be a very kind and compassionate person and I am very grateful to have made your acquaintance. I’m inclined to write, “you are too kind” but in actuality you are the sort of person this world truly needs. Thank you for your kind thoughts. I truly appreciate them.

All my best to you, Daniel.

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Here is a follow up to the diabetes distress workshop I am in. I of course am “distressed “, like off the chart distressed, which for me is diff than burnout. Because I do all the things I need to do everyday to stay in “control”.
But I will say one thing I found interesting. There are 8 of us in the group. 4 with type 1 and four with type 2. 3 of the 4 type 1’s are long timers.
These workshops always frustrate me because they usually talk about what you can do to better manage your diabetes and getting the biggest bang for your buck. You know pick one thing, just one thing that could give you the most for the work.
But for those of us long timers, our problem is not the day to day stuff. We all have that. We all test, take insulin, exercise, control diet items. We have the management down. It was all mental, emotional with all of us. The beating ourselves up, the never being happy with our success, the wanting more or better, never being ok with good enough.
So the two doctors are having us approach it differently. So I have to dig down and find the blessings everyday and I have to realize that I do have a part in those blessings. It is so very hard to find good in ones self. And than trying to find the good that I do everyday with my diabetes.
I know I can get a handle on this and start feeling good about myself and my diabetes. I am not perfect but I am ok!


I would say, out of the seven, this is really the only area I experience any sort of distress or burnout. I’m fortunate to have a very supportive family and friends and medical team. I’ve never had a problem with daily management or with others knowing I have diabetes. But food, man, I think about that every day. In my case, though, a lot of it has to do with the confluence of diabetes and severe food allergies. If I feel like I’m eating well for diabetes, I feel like I’m taking risks with allergies. If I feel like I’m eating safely for allergies, I feel like I’m not eating so well for diabetes. If I feel like I’m eating well for both, my diet is so restricted that it’s no longer enjoyable, or else I freak out when it comes time to travel, or finding recipes becomes a major challenge.

Overall, it’s all just so much work. Reading nutritional and ingredient labels, multiple times. Weighing food and doing all the calculations. Contacting companies constantly about their ingredients. Not being able to eat at restaurants without a week-long conversation with the head chef. Not being able to participate in buffets or potlucks or so many of the places food pops up. Always worrying about whether that insulin dose was correct or if there will be an allergic reaction. Having to explain things like carbohydrates and cross-contamination over and over and over to people who think I’m being way too paranoid about my food and don’t realize how EASY it is to create a serious blood sugar or life-threatening allergic emergency. It’s just EXHAUSTING and I feel like I can never stop thinking about it.

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The only other area I get distressed about is female hormones. I find that such an incredible frustration. I’m constantly having to figure out new doses and it “ruins” my management for about 50% of my diabetes life. As best I try not to get frustrated with it, I find myself doing so every single month. During the hormonal “calm” periods I can go days staying in range and have amazing control, and all that gets tossed out the window when hormones hit, I spend weeks struggling and out of range, and then have to re-establish my baseline doses. Every single month. For YEARS. It drives me crazy.

Other than that, I feel pretty satisfied wtith diabetes.


This comment has me thinking maybe this is why I’m rarely distressed. I apply this mindset to so many areas of my life from helping others to taking care of myself. I may be tired and/or not feel well whether diabetes related or not but my efforts and my conscientiousness matter.