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Helping patients overcome distress caused by a diabetes diagnosis

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A diagnosis of diabetes can be, for some people, akin to bereavement; the loss of function in an organ and its replacement with a life-long condition that needs continuous care and attention. The psychological impact of diabetes is often not recognised even by specialists and yet greater awareness could significantly improve the quality of life of many people with this condition.

Despite major medical advances in treatment, about half of people with diabetes still struggle to achieve effective blood glucose control and this increases their risk of diabetes complications.

Living with diabetes requires lifelong skills in calculating insulin doses and carbohydrate portions, and monitoring physical activity. It is understandable that some patients may need psychological support from time-to-time to help them build their confidence over looking after their health and developing a better relationship with diabetes.

Diabetes distress is a term used to describe the sense of frustration, anger and disillusionment that can lead to neglecting the condition over time.

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