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6 Tips if You're Tired of Your Diabetes

WebMD Feature

When you have diabetes, it can feel like your daily to-do list is endless. You're tracking your blood sugars, medications, diet, and exercise.

That can be a lot to take care of every day. It can make you feel burned out.

"When you have a chronic illness, everybody wants a day off from that, or a week or a month off," says David Spero, RN, author of Diabetes: Sugar-Coated Crisis.

But you can't do that with diabetes. So how do you avoid diabetes burnout and keep a positive mindset?

Some days will be harder than others, but there are ways to do it.

1. Reach out.

"The most important thing is to get help," Spero says. "The number one cause of burnout is people are trying to do everything themselves and get overwhelmed."

Research shows that social support -- from a friend, family member, or support group -- is one of the top ways to counter the negative effects of stress on diabetes management.  

"When you feel like you're in this alone, it's going to be exhausting," Spero says. "But if you feel you have help, it's much easier."

Lisa Bernard, who lives in Pavilion, N.Y., and has type 2 diabetes, is grateful she can vent to friends on online forums.

"The most morale-boosting, uplifting thing is chatting with people who understand what it is like to ride the roller coaster of high glucose," she says. "Who else would understand our frustrations? These people 'get it' in ways I pray my dear family and friends neverwill."

2. Edit your thoughts.

Pay attention to what you're thinking. Your thoughts make a difference in how you feel.  

"We feel the way we think," says Helen Grusd, PhD, a psychologist in Beverly Hills, Calif. "The more you say to yourself, 'This is awful, this is terrible, this isn't fair,' the more you become depressed."

So if you are feeling down you can say, "How can I change my thinking? What can I do differently?"

Of course you'll have negative thoughts. It's a matter of choosing which thoughts you take to heart.

Do something that will lift your mood. Go for a walk, meet a friend at the mall, take a bubble bath, or listen to your favorite playlist at the park.

"It's important to take action immediately rather than let negative feelings grow in your mind," Grusd says.

3. Think like an optimist.

Focus on the positive parts of your life rather than negatives, says Lurelean B. Gaines, RN, MSN, president-elect of heath care and education for the American Diabetes Association.

Think about things you can look forward to, such as an upcoming trip or show, or getting together with friends.

"You have to look at the bright side of things," says Gaines, whose glass is always half-full. "Even in the worst times, I can always think of something positive to get out of each day that I live."

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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