Spotlight on diabetes and mental health

Spotlight on diabetes and mental health

National Diabetes Week 12-18 July 2020 shines a spotlight on diabetes and mental health with the theme “Heads Up”.

People with diabetes are more likely to have a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. Both a new diagnosis and living with diabetes can be challenging. Too much information can be overwhelming and make it hard to make decisions. Taking a step-by-step approach to work through medical issues and any changes to your eating or lifestyle can help.

Do I need to eat differently?

People with Type 2 diabetes do not need to eat a special diet. Eating well with diabetes is no different than for everyone else. There is no need to buy special food or prepare separate meals. You can help to control your blood glucose (sugar) level by eating well and being active.

Top tips for eating well:

  • Include a variety of foods from each of the five food groups every day. These are grain (cereal) foods, vegetables, fruit, milk and dairy foods, and lean meat and meat alternatives (such as eggs, legumes and nuts).
  • Aim for regular meals. Try to spread carbohydrate foods (like cereals and fruit) over the day. This will help balance your blood sugar levels.
  • If you take insulin or diabetes tablets you may also need snacks between meals. Check with your doctor, diabetes educator or Accredited Practising Dietitian if you are unsure.

What about physical activity?

Being active helps:

  • insulin to work better in your body
  • manage stress
  • reduce the risk of anxiety and depression.

Try to be active for at least 30 minutes most days. Choosing movement you enjoy is a great way to improve your mental and physical health. You can be active in many ways including walking, cycling, dancing, gardening or carrying the groceries.

Find out more about Type 2 diabetes and physical activity in Appetite for Life or visit Diabetes Tasmania