Although diabetes is a manageable disease, it can be stressful. Yes, no matter how much we have control over it, controlling diabetes can lead to stress.
Those who have diabetes might have concerns such as thinking about their health in the long term, the regular counting of carbs, and the measurement of insulin levels.
But, in some people, these concerns above mentioned become more intense and lead to anxiety.
The Link and Research on Anxiety and Diabetes
According to one research, there is a Healthline. Forbes came to the discovery that Americans who have diabetes are actually 20 % more likely to have anxiety. This is in comparison to those without diabetes.
As a matter of fact, stress can impact our blood glucose. In some people, anxiety can lower blood sugar levels, and in others, it can raise blood sugar levels.
Common Symptoms of Anxiety
- Feelings of panic and danger
- Restlessness, being tense, and nervousness
- Hyperventilation and fast breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Muscle twitching and trembling
- Heavy and increased sweating
- Lethargy and weakness
- Difficulty thinking or focusing on anything except the thing one worries about
- Obsessions about specific ideas, which is a sign of OCD, i.e., Obsessive-compulsive disorder
- Constantly doing the same behaviors
- Gastrointestinal and digestive issues like diarrhea, constipation, and gas
- Anxiety about a specific experience or life event which occurred in the past (a sign of PTSD)
- Strong desire to avoid certain things that activate anxiety.
How to Treat Anxiety
Generally speaking, we can treat anxiety with therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes.
In order to calm anxiety, there are few things that can help with that. We can try to exercise on a regular basis, limit our caffeine intake, follow a healthy diet, get enough sleep and avoid recreational drugs and alcohol.
In case the lifestyle changes don’ work, the second option is therapy. Our doctor can refer us to a mental health provider. There are 2 therapy techniques that can help us with that such:
Exposure therapy – we are gradually exposed to things that make us anxious. This is done for us to learn how to control our feelings.
CBT – cognitive behavioral therapy, with this technique we will identify the anxious behaviors and thoughts and change them.
The most common medications usually prescribed by a doctor are:
- Benzodiazepine – to relieve panic attacks
- Anti-anxiety drugs like buspirone.
Note: we should never take medications without a medical prescription!
3 Tips on How to Deal with Anxiety
1. Have Fun
Learn how to relax. Pick a hobby and commit to it. Watch a funny movie or listen to some music.
2. Try Meditation and Mindfulness
The present is OK. Living in the past will make us sad and thinking about the future might make us anxious. Therefore, remember there is nothing better than the moment right now.
Try to focus on breathing. Listen to some relaxation music. Also, try to take a meditation class.
3. Focus on the Positive
Try to find the positive in every single situation, and yes, it’s possible. For example, when stuck in traffic, turn on the music and enjoy the break. Yes, consider it as a break to enjoy.
Even if running late, by worrying about it, it’s just worse, right? Therefore, take a deep breath and live each moment.