What long-term support can you get when you have diabetes?
Whether you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes or have been living with the condition for some time, it’s vital to know as much as you can about the condition and what you can do to manage your symptoms. Diabetes is incurable, though type 2 diabetes can often be put into remission by living a healthy lifestyle. The stress of having a long-term health condition can be massive, and it’s natural to seek support.
Sometimes it’s easy to assume that support is only available short-term, and that once you have become accustomed to your diagnosis you should be able to cope. However, many people need support continuously, and even years into their condition, as living with chronic illness can easily become a trigger for mental health issues.
Here we will take a look at the long-term support that is currently available for people with all types of diabetes.
Discounts and treatment plans
The NHS offers free prescriptions with a certificate to those with diabetes, which can be a relief if you are unable to manage your condition via diet alone and need insulin shots or other medication. There are also government funded, long-term treatment plans available which may include specific procedures such as weight-loss surgery if that is what your doctor recommends.
Learning about diabetes is a big step to taking control and feeling confident about managing your condition. The NHS offers a free online course about diabetes which provides tailored advice on how to manage the condition through healthy living. There are also further courses which your GP can refer you to if you feel they would be beneficial.
For many, diabetes doesn’t just affect their physical health but their mental health too. Dealing with a long-term health condition can feel overwhelming at times, and does put you at risk of stress, low-mood and burn out. Some people may develop a fear of hypoglycemia, which can lead to obsessive tendencies around eating habits and blood sugar level monitoring. Left unchecked, these difficult feelings can turn into eating disorders, chronic anxiety or depression.
If you have diabetes, it is important to establish a trusted circle of close family and friends who you can depend on for support. Whether it’s stocking the cupboards with your safe foods or just being there for you to vent to, those closest to you can be a great support when you need it most.
Of course, some people may feel more comfortable discussing their thoughts and feelings outside of their circles. Luckily, now more than ever before there is a wealth of mental health support available in person and online, both through the NHS and privately. There are specialists who can help people with diabetes who are struggling with their mental wellbeing, offering a variety of services to suit each individual. From phone calls to in person support groups, there is supportive, caring, judgement-free help available both short and long-term if you ever find yourself struggling to manage your diabetes emotionally.
If you feel you need support, whether physical or emotional, don’t be afraid to reach out and seek it. With many resources at your fingertips online, and designated groups within reach via your local healthcare practice, you don’t have to suffer with your diabetes alone.