February 17


How Can Diabetes Affect Our Mood and What to Do

By Gabriela

February 17, 2022

For someone that has diabetes, experiencing negative emotions like guilt, anger, frustration, fear, and hopelessness is very common.

Nice,2005 notes that when an individual gets diabetes diagnosis, they go through almost the same psychological stages that is disbelief, denial, anger, and depression.

In fact, higher HbA1c is linked to physical symptoms like hyperglycemic score, tension, fatigue, displeasure, and depression.

Furthermore, the diabetes diagnosis adds emotional weight, and that can be challenging to deal with on a daily basis. Sometimes that weight transforms into depression and anxiety.

According to multiple studies external stressors, like feelings of depression and anxiety causes difficulties when it comes to self-care. Examples of poor self-care management are decreased physical activity, not taking proper drugs, and bad dietary choices.

Stress and anxiety might cause them to obtain bad habits such as excessive drinking and smoking. This can put someone with diabetes at a greater risk of complications related to this condition.

The Grief of Diagnosis

After the diabetes diagnosis, people might enter the grieving process. It is the same feeling as losing someone they love.

Find out how to deal with this type of emotion below.

Common Emotions of Diabetes

Diabetes is actually a chronic disease that needs management 24/7.

Sometimes that can be a burden. In addition, that can lead to the manifest of other conditions and emotions and can contribute to greater difficulty when it comes to managing the blood glucose levels.


Physical fatigue might seem as we are constantly in a fog. It can be caused by fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Also, high blood sugar can lead to problems with mental fatigue. We might find everyday tasks such as thinking skills, concentration, and memory impossible.

What to Do?

In case the fatigue symptoms are directly connected to the blood glucose levels, what we can do is gain more tight and better control to reduce and possibly eliminate these symptoms.

But, in case we have control over our blood sugar levels, probably there is another cause. In fact, there are other medical conditions linked to diabetes which can cause fatigue.

Those Conditions Are:

  • Fibromyalgia;
  • Hypothyroidism;
  • Low testosterone;
  • Anemia;
  • Infection;
  • Heart Disease;
  • Depression;
  • Stress;
  • Side Effects from medications.


This is the most common emotion linked to having diabetes type 2. The constant regimen of testing on a daily basis, monitoring the food intake, taking medications seems like a full-time job.

Besides all that we have a family, career and other usual life activities, therefore, stress is inevitable.

Remember, stress influences blood sugar levels. It can lead to fluctuation and a rise in blood sugar levels. This can be another bump in the road to stay in the target range.

What to Do?

Since we cannot eliminate stress, we can learn how to manage and deal with it so it won’t cause damage to our diabetes management. Below there is a list of things we can do to lower stress.

What to Do to Manage Stress

  • Ask for help;
  • Make clear goals;
  • Set reminders to take medications;
  • Regularly scheduled.


This is a dangerous emotion. Why? Because denying that people have type 2 diabetes and not paying attention to their regimen with drugs can be life-threatening.

What to Do?

In the overall management of diabetes, it would be beneficial if we learn how to confront the denial of feelings like frustration, fear, guilt, and anger. Remember keeping those feelings inside and not confronting them is only a short-term fix.

Talk to someone that understands the denial about diabetes, and we will feel free. A big factor to be successful with the management of diabetes is to maintain a network of individuals we can lean on, and those people can be our support system.

Choose someone that will understand your everyday life. There are 2 options, the first one is to join an online group or in-person groups for people with diabetes and the second one is to seek therapy.

Diabetes Burnout

Diabetes needs constant attention. This relentless effort to manage diabetes sometimes might cause diabetes burnout. This happens when the everyday tasks to take care of your condition becomes too much to handle.

Also if you lose will make the needed changes for management.

What to Do?

Never ignore diabetes completely because it can increase the risk of complications and that will be harmful to the overall health. As a matter of fact, there are methods to alleviate the stress linked to diabetes management.

Remember there is no perfect diabetes patient. The blood sugar levels will not always be in the recommended target range.

Usually, some people have unrealistic goals with their diabetes management, and that often turns to be the source of frustration and stress that can cause diabetes burnout.

In tough times make sure to have a support system. That can be the therapist or maybe family and friends. Learn to make a meal plan and stick to it. This is how we can efficiently manage our emotions and diabetes.

Different types of foods and how our body reacts to them can directly influence our mood. Learn to identify those food triggers, and that can help you to manage your emotions.


This can be a destructive and strong emotion which can directly influence your emotional and physical health. Anger kicks off stress, and that increases the heart rate and blood pressure and raises blood sugar levels.

What to Do?

An efficient tool to manage anger is to learn to uncover the triggers that make people angry. Also known as mindfulness, this particular approach is known to be a long-lasting help when it comes to anger management.

By recognizing the triggers, people will be able to respond and not react. Find some suitable hobby or participate in physical activities like yoga to stop the anger.

Consequences of Not Dealing with Emotions

  • Overeating;
  • Disturbance in your sleep schedule;
  • Depression;
  • No interest in activities;
  • Ignoring the diagnosis;
  • No communication with family and friends;
  • Lack of self-care;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Sudden gain or loss of weight;
  • Extreme fatigue.

The Link Between Emotions and Blood Sugar Levels

Changes in blood sugar levels can directly influence your emotions. However, emotions like depression and anxiety can influence how our body will regulate blood sugar levels.

How Blood Sugar Influences Our Emotions

Frequent episodes or prolonged periods of hyper or hypoglycemia might have a direct influence on the emotions.

Low blood sugar levels can lead to anxiety and confusion. And on the other hand, high blood sugar levels can lead to depression, increased fatigue, and concentration problems.


Depression might influence our management and care of diabetes. Those individuals who have diabetes and depression usually have poor glycemic control.

It is one sort of vicious cycle; poor control leads to a worse case of depression. Certain anti-depressants can induce problems with hypoglycemia, and that is potentially dangerous for people that have diabetes type 2.

Talk to your doctor about what to do in case of depression episodes. This can help increase the overall management.


Those individuals who have anxiety and diabetes have higher a1c levels in comparison to those that do not have anxiety. Small episodes of anxiety and panic attacks can interfere with the ability to manage diabetes.

You need to learn how to manage your panic attacks. Here are some helpful techniques:

  • Mindfulness;
  • Deep breathing;
  • Self-hypnosis;
  • Meditation.


If not handled appropriately the combination of stress and diabetes can be bad. When your body is under stress, the adrenal glands release sugar stored in the body. That increases blood glucose levels.

Learn how to manage daily stressors to reduce blood glucose levels.


If you have more than 3 symptoms, you need to look for help. Consult your doctor or therapist and express your feelings. In tough times, talk to your support system.

It is crucial to remember that you are not alone. Remember do not let diabetes control you, you are stronger than diabetes.

Source Diabetes Daily | Diabetes | The Diabetes Council


  • 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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