Diabetes Coping Skills

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

Diabetes is a disease that can increase in difficulty as people get older. This lesson discusses coping skills for health and the handling of the daily symptoms.

What is Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease of the metabolic system. This disease makes it so the pancreas does not produce insulin, which ultimately means that the sugars or glucose that the body creates from food is not absorbed properly. Without the absorption of the sugars, which create energy, the body can shut down; a person might feel overtired, hungry or thirsty, have blurry vision, poor circulation, or pain in their extremities. Diabetes can also cause death in severe cases, especially when if it goes undiagnosed, or mistreated. Proper management of diabetes is incredibly important.

Currently, there are approximately 415 million people with diabetes all over the world. This means one out of every eleven people in the world has diabetes, some diagnosed, some not. It is likely we all know someone who has this disease.

Types of Diabetes

There are two type of diabetes:

  • Type 1 - This is the most severe diabetes and requires insulin for survival. This type is where the body will actually start to destroy your pancreas due to the lack of insulin. People are born with this type of diabetes.
  • Type 2 - This type of diabetes has another name, adult onset diabetes. This version of diabetes can come to pass due to an unhealthy lifestyle, which can create insulin resistance in the system. This type of diabetes can usually be handled by a proper diet and proper self-care.

Although, both types of diabetes are different, they are both stressful and at times consuming. There are many coping skills that can physically and mentally help people with either type of diabetes.


Coping Skills

Management of Diabetes

When managing diabetes it is important to do a few things consistently.

  • Monitor your glucose level
  • Remember insulin (if needed)
  • Watch diet closely
  • Keep in contact with doctors

These four are the standard management aspects of dealing with diabetes on a normal day. However, it can be a challenge when you travel, over the holidays, or when you socialize with friends, especially with food. So how do you work management into these events? Here are some ways to prepare for special events, holidays or outings:

  • Check restaurants prior to going out. Look at their menus and plan. If need be, call the restaurant and ask about ingredients or special dietary needs.
  • Have a reminder on your phone that regularly reminds you to bring insulin, so it becomes habit, even when you go out.
  • When you travel, find interesting restaurants that you have already looked up. Use phone applications that help you choose places to eat such as, GoMeals.
  • Invest in several glucose monitors so you have one at home, one in your bag and one in your car so that you can always check your levels no matter where you are.
  • Make sure you have a way to contact doctors when you are out of town, and if you are with friends, have ones that know what to do in case of an emergency and who to contact. That way you are always covered.

Personal Coping Skills for Diabetes

Managing your diabetes

Now that we have discussed different ways to manage diabetes in unique situations, it is also important to discuss coping skills. Having a chronic disease that makes you have to be aware of everything you eat, drink, and do can be daunting and exhausting. The following are some coping techniques to help during these times.

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