Diabetes. We hear a lot about how it affects physical health. But we don’t seem to hear as much about how it affects mental health. It is important to balance taking care of your physical and mental well-being.1 Let’s talk about the connection.
First off, what is diabetes and why do we hear so much about it?
Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body turns food into energy. Insulin is a hormone that your body uses to turn food into energy. Most bodies naturally make insulin. With diabetes, your body either doesn’t make insulin or it doesn’t use it well. This causes blood sugar to rise, which can lead to serious health problems.
There are two kinds of diabetes—type 1 and type 2:
- With type 1 diabetes, your body can’t make insulin
- With type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin well
Diabetes is a chronic condition, which simply means it is long-lasting. It’s rough on your physical body, as well as your mental and emotional health.2
Diabetes is very common
The number of people living with diabetes today is higher than it has ever been. More than 37 million people in the U.S. have it. 2 The bad news is diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and nerve damage. It can also double your risk of depression.3 The good news is there are things you can do to help prevent type 2 diabetes, lessen its effects and improve your quality of life while living with it:
- Eat well
- Be physically active
- Keep a healthy weight
- Manage blood sugar
- Manage stress and your mental health4
If you think you might be at risk for diabetes, talk to your primary care doctor to schedule an exam and testing.5 If you don’t have a primary care doctor, you can connect with one easily now.
Learn more about Primary Care
Diabetes and mental health go hand in hand
It’s understandable that mental health may not always be a priority for people with diabetes. Monitoring blood sugar, managing medications, planning meals, tracking food and getting enough exercise take a lot of attention. All of which can lead to diabetes burnout.1, 6 But it’s important to balance caring for your physical body with your mind and emotions. People with diabetes are 2 to 3 times more likely to have depression than those without. Fortunately, getting treatment for depression can help improve your mental and emotional health and your quality of life.1
Get help and hope
You never have to walk any part of your health journey alone. We are always here to help. Connect with our Diabetes Management Program to get personalized support. With the program, you get access to a coach you can message for encouragement and advice. You also get tools created specifically to help you manage diabetes:
- A smart scale
- A personalized action plan
- Expert coaching
- The ability to share reports with your doctor
- A way to set goals and track progress
- Food logging
- Nutrition advice and meal planning
We’ve helped many members live healthier lives. Hear Howie’s story:
Learn more about our Diabetes Management Program
Consider talking with a therapist
Therapy is a great way to sort out what you’re thinking and feeling. It also can help you with a healthier mindset for managing your physical and mental health. Our Mental Health support is confidential and easy to access. Plus, you can use it from the comfort of your home. Talk with a licensed therapist whenever you’re ready.
Self-care is taking action to help better your well-being. Managing diabetes can take a toll on your overall health. Try these self-care tips to help:
- Get enough rest. The average recommended amount for adults is 7 to 9 hours. Find out how to get better sleep.
- Stay connected with people you like spending time around—people who bring you joy.
- Talk with a therapist. Mental and emotional check-ins can keep us in balance.
- Build time in your schedule to be outdoors. Fresh air can freshen perspective.
- Practice gratitude.
Make sure you have access to all the care you need to live healthy.
Get started with Teladoc Health
Diabetes affecting your skin? Get tips to help.
Published on November 20, 2023