Diabetes and Your Emotions
Whether you've just been diagnosed or you've lived with diabetes for a long time, you may need support for all the emotions you're feeling. This could be stress, feeling low and depressed, or burnt out. The people around you can feel all of this too. Whatever you're feeling, you are not alone.
DIABETES UK have reported that:
- 7 out of 10 people have felt overwhelmed by the demands of living with diabetes.
- Three quarters of people with diabetes can't get the emotional and mental health support they need.
The good news is that research shows that talking therapy with a trained Wellbeing Specialist can improve your mood, reduce your worries and help you manage health problems better.
Midlands Partnership Trust have a team of Wellbeing Specialists specially trained in supporting people with diabetes.
How do I get help locally?
- Speak to anyone involved in your care and they can refer you.
- Or self-refer by phoning: 0300 303 0923
- Or through their website: Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Wellbeing Service (IAPT)
Online Support and Information:
Most people with diabetes only spend around three hours a year with their doctor, nurse or consultant. For the other 8,757 hours they must manage their diabetes themselves. Managing diabetes day-to-day can be difficult. This is why it’s important people have the knowledge and skills to manage their diabetes so they can live well and avoid complications.
DESMOND is a course for people with type 2 diabetes. The aim of the education is to reduce risk factors and the complications that develop from Type 2 Diabetes when blood sugars are not managed.
DESMOND is delivered as a full day group, in local community venues, Monday to Friday and some Saturdays.
DESMOND is also available via a mobile phone app for people who are unable to attend a course face to face
GP / Practices Nurses can refer with up to date diabetes blood tests and body mass index.
Group face to face (on hold due to COVID-19):
South and East Staffordshire Team
Telephone: 01889 572 029
North Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Team
Telephone: 0300 404 2997 Option 5 or Ex. 3878
Brings together the content of face-to-face DESMOND self-management programmes to a portable interactive web-based platform to support you in managing your health.
Email: email@example.com for access
Diabetes UK Online support:
If you want more support with your diabetes management or are supporting someone with diabetes, you’ll find tips and advice on Diabetes UK - Learning Zone.
People with diabetes spend three hours a year with a healthcare professional on average. For the remaining 8,757 hours you have to manage this complicated condition. Diabetes education courses help people self-manage their diabetes themselves. Managing diabetes day-to-day can be difficult. This is why it’s important people have the knowledge and skills to manage their diabetes so they can live well and avoid complications. DIABETES UK
We offer a Carbohydrate Counting & Diabetes Self-management course at venues across Staffordshire. It is delivered one full day a week, over 3 weeks.
GP / Practices Nurses / Diabetes specialist healthcare professionals can refer you to our service if you are interested in attending a group.
If you are having problems getting on a course, or want to know more download the Diabetes UK Advocacy pack
A free online platform to support adults and carers to manage Type 1 diabetes
Structured eLearning courses that are currently available are:
• Understanding Type 1
• Living and Growing up with Type 1
• Considering an insulin pump?
• My insulin pump
DigiBete: Support for Young People and Families
A free online service to support children and young people to manage their Type 1 diabetes.
extod: Managing Exercise
Learning to safely manage blood glucose for people with Type 1 diabetes can be a real challenge. Adding in the additional complexities that exercise presents can really impact on the confidence levels of those with Type 1 Diabetes. It may not be easy, but the good news is that it is possible.
Other useful websites:
The foods you eat not only make a difference to how you manage your diabetes, but also to how well you feel and how much energy you have.
See Dietetics (Adults) for further information about accessing support.
Nutrition and Diet Information for Everyone
Emotions and Eating
Diabetes and Eating Disorders
Denise Ratcliffe - Living with Bariatric Surgery: managing your mind and your weight
Jenny Radcliffe - Cut Down to Size: Achieving Success with Weight Loss Surgery
Poor appetite/ Risk of malnutrition
Being physically active is good for diabetes. This includes traditional exercise like going swimming or playing football. But also small things like moving more when you’re travelling to work or using the stairs instead of the lift. It all makes a difference.
Healthy activity for everyone
Exercise Advice for people with Type 1 Diabetes
Blood Pressure & Cholesterol
Flash Glucose Monitoring
Flash glucose monitors are a way of measuring your sugar levels without having to prick your fingers. There is only one flash glucose monitor manufactured at the moment. This is called the Freestyle Libre.
GP / Practices Nurses / Diabetes Health care professionals can refer people with Type 1 diabetes to our service for consideration with up to date diabetes blood tests
To be eligible, you need to meet one or more of these criteria:
- You have Type 1 diabetes and you need to check your blood sugar level more than eight times a day.
- You have Type 1 and have previously paid for Flash and can show it has improved your HbA1c.
- You have Type 1 and have severe hypos or have reduced hypo awareness.
- You have Type 1 and are unable to test regularly due to a disability.
- You’re a pregnant woman with Type 1 diabetes.
- You have cystic fibrosis-related diabetes and you take insulin.
- You have another type of diabetes that you treat with insulin and you’re also on haemodialysis, which is a procedure that takes over kidney function when your kidneys aren’t working. You’ll also need to show that you have to check your blood sugars more than eight times a day to keep your blood sugar levels in your target range.
- You work somewhere that your diabetes team have said isn’t appropriate for finger-pricking. Or there are emotional or social factors that mean you can’t prick your finger. Both of these cases mean you can have a six-month trial of Flash
You have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and use insulin and are identified as having a learning disability. You'll need to be on your GP's learning disability register. You and your supporter can check with your GP if you're on their register and ask to be added if you're not. Diabetes UK - Improving Care for People with Diabetes and a Learning Disability
If you meet any of these criteria, you must also:
- learn how to use Flash with a healthcare professional
- agree to check your levels eight or more times a day and use the sensor 70% of the time when you check
- agree to regular reviews with your local diabetes team.
Online Education and Tutorials:
Upload your readings from home for your diabetes health care professional to see.
Registration instructions for current service users:
Access Website: DIASEND
Register for personal account
Clinic ID: 76-17690
Diabetes management app
Insulin pumps are currently only supported in the community in the South of Staffordshire.
The Royal Stoke Hospital team runs a pump service in the North.
If you’re thinking about using an insulin pump to treat your Type 1 diabetes follow Insulin Pump link above or course below for further information.
Switching from insulin injections to an insulin pump can be a daunting time for people. This course provides an introductory guide aimed at people with type 1 diabetes considering switching from injections to an insulin pump.
This course, My Insulin Pump, is aimed at people who are starting out with an insulin pump, or as a refresher for those that are already established on insulin pump therapy.
Link-up Information for current pump service users
DIASEND registration instructions for current service users:
Access Website: DIASEND
Register for personal account
Clinic ID: 76-17690
Your feet are important, especially if you have diabetes.
With diabetes, it means you’re much more likely to develop problems with your feet – problems that could end up as amputations. But most amputations can be prevented. If you take good care of your feet and check them regularly, you can reduce your risk of developing foot problems. DIABETES UK
10 simple steps to prevent foot problems
- If you want a few pointers on looking after your feet, then take our simple steps to healthy feet:
- Get help to quit smoking
- Manage your blood sugars, cholesterol and blood pressure
- Check your feet every day
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet and stay active (Healthy Eating - Diabetes UK)
- Watch out cutting your nails
- Make sure your footwear fits
- Use moisturising cream every day
- Don’t use blades or corn plasters
- Get expert advice
- Keep useful numbers handy
14 signs of a serious foot problem
If you spot any of the following changes, you need to see your GP:
- tingling sensation or pins and needles (like numbness)
- pain (burning)
- a dull ache
- shiny, smooth skin on your feet
- hair loss on your legs and feet
- loss of feeling in your feet or legs
- swollen feet
- your feet don't sweat
- wounds or sores that don’t heal
- cramp in your calves when resting or walking.
If you notice any of these changes, see your local foot team urgently
- changes in the colour and shape of your feet
- cold or hot feet
- blisters and cuts that you can see but don’t feel
- foul smell coming from an open wound
See Podiatry page for further information.
Diet is Important
If you have a foot problem it is important to have a good fluid and food intake for healing
Useful information on keeping well nourished and hydrated:
If your food is making your blood sugars to go too high do speak to your GP/Nurse/Diabetes team so they can help manage your medication around this.
Eye screening is a way of spotting eye problems before you notice any changes to your sight.
Everyone who’s over 12 years old and living with diabetes is entitled to an NHS diabetes eye screening once a year. It’s one of your 15 Healthcare Essentials and a vital diabetes health check.
Diabetic retinopathy can become quite advanced before it starts affecting your sight, so that's why it's important to go to your regular eye screening appointments. That way, you can get the right treatment in time.
Preventing diabetic retinopathy
It’s very unlikely that someone with diabetes will suddenly wake up blind - the damage is gradual. Because of this, it’s possible for most people to prevent diabetic retinopathy from getting worse.
You can keep your eyes healthy by taking these steps:
- get your eyes screened
- spot changes to your eyesight
- know your blood sugar levels
- know your blood pressure and cholesterol
- make healthy lifestyle choices.