January 24


Diabetes Burnout – What Is It and How to Avoid It

By Gabriela

January 24, 2022

There is no doubt that diabetes is a life-long diagnosis and that there is no off-switch.

Therefore, it is not surprising that some people living with diabetes might experience diabetes burnout. Diabetes burnout is also known by the name diabetes distress, which is a rational and natural response to living with a long-term, demanding condition.

This term is usually used when people feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or defeated by diabetes. Bear in mind that this is not the same as depression and that is not a disorder.

However, people should take diabetes burnout as seriously as depression. They should know how to recognize this state in themselves and their loved ones and get the necessary help.

According to data, diabetes burnout affects around 44 percent of people who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes diagnoses.

Symptoms of Diabetes Burnout

  • Feel as diabetes is taking control over your life.
  • Not caring about blood glucose levels.
  • Feeling defeated and overwhelmed by diabetes.
  • Worrying about not taking suitable care of diabetes but at the same time, you are unwilling and unmotivated to change.
  • Feeling frustrated and angry about diabetes and the demands when it comes to the management of diabetes.
  • Avoiding parts of the usual diabetes routine, for example, testing or attending appointments with a doctor.
  • Feeling isolated and alone with diabetes.
  • Going back to the unhealthy behaviors, for example maintaining a poor diet.

What Happens in Diabetes Burnout?

When a person is in the state of diabetes burnout, he or she might participate in so-called self-destructive behaviors.

This might mean consuming whatever comes to hand despite being aware of the effects on blood glucose levels. Or another thing could be estimating quantities of necessary insulin instead of testing blood glucose levels and injecting the suitable amounts.

People who have had diabetes burnout say that when they are in that state, usually they seek freedom from diabetes. But, the outcome is actually the opposite. In fact, people might worsen their diabetes and at the same time elevate the risk of diabetes-related complications.

When an individual experiences burnout he or she adopts a self-destructive behavior. And due to that behavior, an individual might suffer from hypoglycemic episodes or fatigue that in the worst-case scenario might cause coma.

Often, burnout is accompanied by psychological changes like:

Where to Get the Necessary Help

In case you believe that you might be experiencing diabetes burnout, it is vital to get the help you need.

Speak to Your Doctor

Remember that burnout is natural and very common. Therefore, even though it might be hard to talk about this, it is essential that you do. Your doctor will help you to treat and deal with this condition.

3 Tips on How to Avoid Diabetes Burnout

1. It is normal to have a negative feeling when it comes to diabetes. Permit yourself to feel frustrated, angry, and upset. This is a healthy and natural response when it comes to diabetes and its demands.

2. Speak to others about how they feel. Most people who have diabetes are also able to understand what they are going through cause they have been there themselves. Remember, sharing experiences can really help.

3. Aim to improve 1 thing at a time regarding diabetes management. Doing 1 thing at a time is important. In that way, they will feel like they actually achieved something and they are making progress.

Whenever that happens, make sure to reward yourself, because you should always come first.

And never forget, we are stronger than diabetes.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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