Diabetes and Sensitive Topics
Diabetes affects every part of your life, and it can create problems that aren't easy
to talk about with your healthcare provider. It's important, however, to bring them
up, because most problems are treatable. And though you might feel embarrassed, it
may help to know that providers see these problems every day.
Here are some common sensitive topics that people with diabetes deal with and suggestions
for how to talk about them.
Depression refers to feelings of sadness or hopelessness that don't go away. While
it can affect anyone, it's more common in people with diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Managing
your diabetes day after day can feel overwhelming. Blood sugar that's too high or
too low can make you feel tired and anxious and can interfere with sleep. When you're
depressed, it's harder to take care of yourself. If you don't know how to bring up
the topic, try saying, "I haven't been feeling like myself lately, and I'd like to
talk with you about it."
Diabetes can damage blood vessels and nerves, causing problems with sexual function.
Some medicines can affect sexual function, too. It's normal to feel embarrassed or
upset about these problems. But don't let that stand between you and enjoying sexual
intimacy again. Raise the issue by saying, "I'm having a personal problem that I'd
like to talk with you about" or "I'm wondering if diabetes might be affecting my sex
Diabetes can cause infections and nerve damage that weaken the bladder muscle. You
may be embarrassed by your bladder problems, but they're not uncommon. Try saying,
"In the last few months, I've sometimes had trouble controlling my bladder." Diabetes
can also lead to your having bladder infections.
By raising these issues—even if it feels uncomfortable—you'll be taking the first
step toward feeling good again. Talking to your healthcare team will improve both
the quality of your care and your life.