Diabetes Burnout

Is Diabetes Burnout a Thing?

Hello, this is Elizabeth, Hanawalt, and this day's video is gonna be a little longer than normal. And I want to talk about something I don't know if y'all have heard of it before, but it actually exists. It's called diabetes burnout. 

Now, that term is a very, very delicate term, because it's basically the psyche of the diabetic. The reason this is a big deal is because depression and anxiety and related syndromes are higher in people with chronic disease, including diabetes.

 And I'm going to tell you all what a typical day is like.  I'm a type one diabetic and so this day is really typical for type ones and depending on what kind of technology you're wearing for your blood sugars.

What is a Typical Day For a Type 1 Diabetic?

 So first off, when you wake up in the morning, the first thing you see is your blood sugar, or you check it, and then there is nothing that you can eat that you're not going to have to check it again. Because if you're on insulin-like I am, and have been you can't eat anything without knowing how much carbohydrate is in it, because that's what insulin is for basically, as far as food is concerned.

So you get that done, and you eat, and then you look at your blood sugar two hours later. And you got to see whether it is too high or too low, or just where it needs to be. If it's not where it needs to be, then you need to calculate, you need to do some adjusting with settings of things and that are all particular to you and your body. 

Now, in addition to that, you don't eat anything without your mind going through the whole thing of what's in here, how much carb is in here and protein, fat. And you know, it's kind of subconscious, but sometimes it's not. So that goes on with everything you eat. So you go through your whole day, and every meal is like this. And then well, wait a minute, what if we want to exercise? Well, most people know that, well, you know, more than likely it's going to make your blood sugar drop. Not always.

What About Exercise and Blood Sugar?

For people like me who have a high heart rate anyway or people that do real strenuous exercise, their blood sugar could go up. And so, you know, you start out at 140 and after you do whatever you're doing, then you're at 230. And it's like, why did I even do anything? So those things go on.

Oh, but wait a minute back up. Before you exercise as a diabetic, you've got to test your blood sugar to see if you're too low or too high. Because if it's too low or too high, you can't exercise. If it's too low, you've got to eat something, to get it back up or drink something to get it back up. So here's the other side - well, if I'm trying to lose weight, this is like a no go. If it's too high, then you've got to forego it until your blood sugar comes down, or it's gonna go even further up.

Well, let's go to nighttime, then you're at night. And you've got to make sure your blood sugar's in a certain range because you don't want to go low in the middle of the night, depending on what therapies you're on, and things like that. Well, meanwhile, people like me are on a pump and a continuous glucose monitor. 

Every time I wake up in the middle of the night, I'm looking at it. You know, good, bad, or ugly. That's what's happening. So, you know, people that have other diseases have no idea what this is like, and I'm not diminishing anybody else's diseases. But when you hear diabetes burnout, it is literally burnout. So if anybody feels like that, you need to talk to somebody because this is a serious thing. And it happens a lot, especially in type ones. 

So if anybody has gone through that, meet me at my website, or Instagram, or Facebook, and maybe we can talk about it. But just want to let y'all know what was going on. And hopefully, we can stop people from getting too far down in depression and stopping everything because that's the risk. 


Ready to find out more?

As a Diabetes Educator and Nutritionist I help my patients cope with managing their diabetes - whether it's diet, nutrition, supplements, blood sugar, or pump therapy.

Please reach out and contact me if you need support, I truly understand. I live it every day. 

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