What is your experience with Diabetic Burnout

I was diagnosed when I was nine years old and didn’t experience any sort of burnout until I got to college. I think the onset was a mixture of being on my own (though I had been independently managing my diabetes since I was probably 15), taking an extremely heavy load of classes from the start + being an editor for my newspaper, and having to find a new doctor. I think that last part had a big part in it. Up until college, I had been with the same endocrinologist since my diagnosis, but since she was a pediatric endo, the time had come for me to find an adult one. I loved my doctor, and it took a few years before I was able to find one I felt as comfortable with as my first one. I finally found one about a year and a half ago that I feel actually cares about me as both a person and a patient.

For me, I think it was a lot of emotional burnout, which then became physical. I was tired of the burden the disease put on my life, especially when I was so busy with other things. So I started to put my control on the back burner as far as priorities go. I stopped checking my blood sugar more than once or twice a day, and I wasn’t as careful about counting carbs and giving accurate boluses as I had been (before this point, my a1c was always below 7). I jumped around a few different doctors, and eventually went a couple years without even seeing one because I was tired of the search. Now that I have a great doctor, I’ve been getting back on track, but it hasn’t been an easy road. My a1c still hasn’t been below 7.8 since I started college (I’m now 24 and two years out of college, working full-time, and about two months from my 15 year mark with type 1). I think at my appointment coming up in a couple of weeks, I should be right around the 7.2 mark, which is fantastic, for now. I was in the 8-9 range for about 4-5 solid years there, and it’s been an extreme challenge to get back to between 6.2-6.8 like I used to be at. But I’m getting there, and I care, which is what matters now. I’m back to checking 5-8 times/day, counting carbs, bolusing appropriately, etc. I want a CGM but don’t know if I can afford it yet.

If I’m being honest, my main motivation is not for myself (though not developing complications is a big one), but for my future family. If it’s what God wants for me (and I hope it is), I will be married eventually, and I want kids more than anything. So a huge motivation for me is knowing that eventually, I’ll be wanting to get pregnant, and if I want healthy children, then I need to be healthy and have great control of my diabetes first.

So, all that to say, I think burnout is different for everyone who experiences it. I think it’s a very emotional thing for everyone, but it manifests itself in taking care (or not taking care) of the physical side of diabetes. That might mean something minor and short-lived, or it might be a complete disregard for caring for the disease for an extended period.


OMG. You are not perfect.

Well I just want you to know that I (and most others here) are not perfect. You have described really good control. But:

This is about your feelings. You describe not feeling successful. You think you should be able to achieve very good levels of blood sugar control. Is this really the point? Don’t you want to meet someone and fall in love? Why wouldn’t you believe that you could do whatever is necessary to have blood sugar control and have a totally risk free pregnancy? I am suggesting that you are reading things into the situation. I have faith in you being able to control your blood sugars and have a healthy happy child. Would you please think about this?

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I think you misread my thoughts, but thank you very much for your reply. I’m not saying that I feel unsuccessful or that I’ve failed in any way. I do believe that I can do whatever is necessary to have good blood sugar control and have a risk-free pregnancy. But I also know that pregnancy as a type 1 diabetic is in itself a difficult thing. Without proper control, there can be complications with the pregnancy, birth, etc.

I’m in no way trying to be perfect. That’s just impossible, so striving for it is hopeless. Yes, I do want to meet someone and fall in love and have children. I’m simply saying that’s one of my main motivations for getting back in control. I’m not quite sure what you read into my initial post. But please, do respond. I appreciate it and want my thoughts to be understood. :slight_smile:

Hi. I’m type 2 and I think I did experience burnout. My first course of treatment was diet and exercise. Then metformin and another oral med. I did that for about 5 years. As my a1c began to worsen, I increased the exercise and went on a 15 carb or less per meal diet. I’m 5’7" and my weight went from 135 lbs at the time of diagnosis to 105lbs. I couldn’t find clothes small enough, and people started asking me if I was sick. Yes I was, sick of my lifestyle. So I began using insulin. It’s allowed me to live a more normal life. I still eat low carb and exercise, but not to the extreme. Without insulin I think I would have given up.

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I am still new to this (6 months in), but I only ever start to feel burnout if I’m “failing,” or basically not getting a handle BG numbers. I think, like others say, it has to do with a feeling of impotence and incompetence. There are few things in life where you try so hard to do so badly, and don’t really have an option to take a break, regroup, etc. But on a basic level, like Uff_Da, I really like math and actually find the dynamics of blood sugar fascinating and the troubleshooting and problem solving to be intellectually stimulating and enjoyable. The stress comes in because my child’s well-being on the line.
Luckily, my feeling of burnout usually does not manifest itself in a desire to not to check BGs or make corrections. It usually manifests itself in my being more irritated with other parenting tasks, like cleaning up accidents, cooking dinner, or making them pick up Legos. When I feel burnt out there’s a lot of “Octonauts” playing on repeat.

i have autistic type of burn out but believe me. You can ignore it by recognizing the feeling and then biting this feeling by understanding that it doesn’t worth it.

After 10 years with the T1D/LADA I am finally experiencing what I think is diabetes distress. My A1C is over 7 and has been for almost a year. It used to be between 5.5 and 6.2. I think the issue is that I am sick and tired of thnking that I have control over this diseases. In fact, I do not.

I have control over what I eat.
I have control over how much insulin I take.
I have control over how and when I exercise.

I do not control the outcome of any of those actions. Thinking that I have control of the outcome is the fallacy that is driving me to distress. Knowing that no matter my best efforts, it’s all realy a crap shoot.

Then also realising that the situation is forever (at least until I die). I will forever control what I can control and I will forever not control the outcomes. Any talk about diabetes outcomes is bullcrap.


TYPE One. 54 years. Burn out just happens. Years of stress, highs, lows, messing up vacations, family events, seeing grandchildren, going places and doing things. The T1 effects everything.

Been dealing with it for a while. Add in retirement, medicare, healthcare, ELECTION, drug costs…

It’s tough.


All I can say is hang in there, Khurt. For what it’s worth, lots of people are here for you. :hearts:


i am with you khurt. my a1c right now is 7.5 and i used to have ones in the 5s and 6s. its hard.

not controlling the outcomes, well, i got to my 7.5 for a number of reasons, but the big one was winging it/not caring enough to do the whole hog. im logging now, everything, which i hate so friggin much. but my numbers are way improved. i just hope i can keep it going for the rest of my life. yes, forever is a long time-hopefully!

i have set myself small goals. first just to log. then log and test 2 hours post with a goal of under 200. and it turned out ok. now im up to log, pre-prandial under 110, post under 170. i dont get to it every day (stupid wake up numbers) but having the goals is working.

one step at a time can get us back to where we want to be. yes, with a little obsessing. :unamused:

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Ugh! I hate those “wake up” numbers. I had a prolonged bout of hypoglycemia last night. About 30 minutes after dinner my BG fell to 68. I ate 15g of carb and waited 30 minutes. It was still dropping. Down to 58. So I eat 15g more. 30 minutes later, I was at 65. 1 hour later I was at 60. So I ate another 15g more. Finally, after 2 hours it has climbed to 127. I went to bed around 11 PM (5 hours after dinner) with a BG of 119. This morning when I woke up and my BG was over 250.

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that is just RIDICULOUS. WTF?

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Yep. WTF is about right.

Yes, but as you well know, if you know your keys and substitutions, and you have your modes and scales ingrained, it just takes that half-beat whilst you figure out that they are now playing in Gb and away you go. No sweat!

Did you cross-check during your low period with any fingersticks? I have experienced over-treating a low because the CGM readings lagged way behind. :crying_cat_face:

I had a really hard time with realizing the severity of it all. I was diagnosed T1 when I was 12, shortly after my parents had divorced, met new people, and I had made several moves and big life changes. My parents weren’t really focused on helping me. When diagnosed, it was recommended that I stay in the hospital and take classes and learn the ropes, but my mom thought she knew it all and we didn’t need the training (yikes). I think we were all really confused at the start, and I was embarrassed of having to say I had something different. I don’t remember much, but I remember going to check-ups with my fake blood sugar logs and pretending like I checked regularly. Obviously they could see through that. My A1C was >11 for a long time…then >14 and off the charts. In high school, I didn’t want to have diabetes. I thought if I didn’t think about it and didn’t do anything with it that I was normal. I checked my sugar maybe once every few months. I skipped basal injections entirely for a couple days here and there. I guesstimated on carbs. I was turned away from a handful of doctors because I wasn’t compliant and way too risky. Now, I’m 24. I’ve never had major low episodes, and I’ve been hospitalized for DKA once. Little to no negative impact as far as kidneys, eyes, etc. So, I guess you’d say I’m a lucky one. About 3 months ago, I randomly found information about the Dexcom and was interested - so I got it. It’s as if a switch flipped and I’m not embarrassed about diabetes, and I care what happens. I manage with injections and the Dexcom quite well and my A1C is finally down to a 7. I don’t know if it “qualifies” as diabetic burnout if that’s how I basically started out - but that’s my story. :slight_smile:


If you could only bottle that and give it to other people that need it, but it has to rise within the person. Congrats on your turn-around!

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Also Type 1 and been that way 45 years. I once was active and kept my sugars in decent range rather easily then. Today is different, many affects on my body of Type 1 now happening to me, i continue to work, kids are raised, i’m planning for retirement soon. Just had enough of Type 1 and other conditions. Like mentioned, it’s tough.

Stay healthy. Be active. Smile and laugh as best you can.