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58% of diabetes patients feel embarrassed about their condition

Diabetic Woman Injecting Arm

With 4 million people in the UK living with diabetes, the condition has a huge impact on society. Diabetes UK estimates that 65 people in the UK die early every day due to the condition. 

According to research by Sanofi, a quarter of patients with type 2 diabetes feel anxious or fearful about having low blood sugar levels (hypos), with 42% of patients preferring to have high blood sugar levels instead of risking another ‘hypo’ despite the risk of life threatening conditions in the future.

Patients not only feel anxious, they also feel embarrassed about having the condition, with 58% of patients feeling self-conscious or avoiding injecting in front of other people.

Dr Max Pemberton, GP and Psychiatrist at St Anne’s Hospital, explains that type 2 diabetes patients feel judged by others for having the condition. “It’s worrying that people feel that they have to hide their condition from others for fear of being criticised.

“This can lead to them not injecting on time because they wait until no one is around, or making bad food decisions during social occasions or not sticking to their meal time routine, which can have an impact on their blood sugar levels.”

Dr Mike Baxter, medical therapy expert at Sanofi UK commented: “Instead of this feeling of blame and failure, we want to help patients feel motivated to seek the help that they may need to navigate the complex blood sugar ‘balancing act’.

“The level of diabetic control in a large number of people with diabetes in the UK remains unacceptably high, exposing them to high risks of developing preventable diabetic complications.”

The Sanofi ‘Diabetes Highs and Lows: Better Balance for a Better Future’ campaign aims to help people feel in control and positive about how they can balance their blood sugar levels. The new campaign website, https://www.diabeteshighsandlows.co.uk/, includes key information on recognising and managing blood sugar highs and lows for both patients and carers.

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