Volume 13 Number , 2000, Page 48
|Diabetes Spectrum/ Patient
Diabetes and Quality of Life
Diabetes is a demanding disease, so it can affect your life in
many ways. Managing your diabetes can be stressful. The way you feel when your blood
glucose levels are low or really high adds to the stress. On top of that, there are the
worries that you might develop complications, and the burden of dealing with any
complications you may already have. It is no wonder that many people feel that diabetes
affects their quality of life.
Why is quality of life important for people with
Part of the answer is obvious: everyone wants to have the best possible quality of life.
It just feels good to be satisfied and happy. But there is another reason, as well. Just
as diabetes can affect your quality of life, your quality of life can affect your
diabetes. When you are feeling good about your life in general and about your life with
diabetes in particular, you have more energy to take good care of your diabetes. And when
you take good care of yourself, you are likely to feel better day-to-day and to stay
healthier in the long run. Feeling better and staying healthy give a further boost to your
quality of life. So good quality of life activates a self-reinforcing positive cycle.
How does diabetes affect quality of life?
Aspects of life with diabetes that may affect your quality of life include:
- The never-ending demands of diabetes care, such as eating carefully, exercising,
monitoring blood glucose, and scheduling and planning
- Symptoms of low or very high blood glucose
- Fears about or the reality of complications
How can I judge my quality of life?
The specific things each person needs to feel satisfied and happy are unique to him or
her. Still, there are some things most people would agree are important. Your quality of
life is your own sense of how satisfied and happy you are with your life in general and
your life with diabetes in particular. Here are a few questions that could help you
estimate your quality of life:
- How satisfied are you with your physical health?
- How satisfied are you with the amount of work it takes to manage your diabetes?
- Do you often feel overwhelmed by the demands of your diabetes?
- Do you feel depressed?
- Do you feel you can't do things that are important to you because of diabetes?
What can I do to improve my quality of life?
If you think you might be depressed, talk to your health care provider about how you are
feeling. Depression is much more common in people with diabetes. Depression is the pits.
It feels terrible, and it makes good diabetes self-care almost impossible. Fortunately,
there are effective treatments for people with diabetes who are depressed. So be sure to
ask for the help you need.
If you are struggling under the burden of diabetes and all of
your other responsibilities, you need and deserve help, even if you are not clinically
depressed. Many diabetes health care professionals are trained to help their patients
adjust treatment regimens to ease the burden of diabetes management while maintaining good
blood glucose control and good health. These providers may also be able to help you
improve your day-to-day diabetes coping skills.
If you need more help, see if you can find a diabetes education
program in your area that is approved by the American Diabetes Association. These programs
are designed to help people with diabetes live better with their disease, and they
emphasize the importance of effective coping and problem solving for
maintaining good quality of life with diabetes. Call 1-800-676-4065 for information about
ADA-approved programs in your area.
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