August 7, 2013

What’s Distressing About T1D?


distressIt’s amazing to me that money was put toward a study investigating what is distressing about having T1D. On principle – doesn’t it seem like the badge of a chronic disease is distressing? Believe it or not, BMC Endocrine Disorders published the study and the obvious results.

The study looked at 35 people with T1D, between the ages of 23-30 years old. The aim of this study was to narrow-down the overall scope of stressors in the life of a person with T1D.

Some causes of diabetes distress in these young people were evaluated because they are in what researchers consider the second phase of young adulthood. Diabetes distress was triggered by self imposed judgmental behaviors.

Such behaviors are considered to be: self-consciousness, stigmas, day-to-day diabetes management difficulties, having to fight the healthcare system, concerns about the future and apprehension about pregnancy.

Whether or not you have diabetes, these are pretty commonplace issues of consideration. However, the researchers found that having the chance to talk to healthcare professionals, attending diabetes education programs, and joining peer support groups helped.

Young adults felt that having opportunities to talk to healthcare professionals about diabetes distress should be an integral part of diabetes care.

When young adults with T1D are provided with opportunities to talk about their diabetes-related frustrations and difficulties, it seems to help mitigate some of the stressors.

There is no replacement for face-to-face engagement with people in the same T1D boat. Taking the first in meeting others is a good first step. TuDiabetes, Diabetes Daily, Diabetic Connect, Diabetes Sisters, and Children with Diabetes are phenomenal sources to start building a support network for the diabetes distress in your life.

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