Diabetes Social Code: The European Sting – Critical news and insights on European politics, economics, foreign affairs, business and technology

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This article was written exclusively for The European Sting by Ms Nowshin Tabassum, a fourth year medical student currently studying at Sheikh Hasina Medical College, Jamalpur, Bangladesh. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Student Associations (IFMSA), cordial associate of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s point of view on the subject, nor that of The European Sting.


Diabetic life is challenging when each day is unpredictable and sometimes the frustration is so great that you may want to give up. Unfortunately, that’s not an option for people with diabetes, in fact, it’s a chronic condition that needs ongoing medical care for the rest of your life. However, the burden of managing diabetes is extremely real and has a significant influence on a person’s quality of life. Research shows that people with diabetes are at increased risk of diabetes distress, which refers to negative emotional and psychosocial concerns and the burden of people with the diagnosis. of the diabetes experience. The distress of diabetes can manifest as depression, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, inappropriate responses to stress, substance use disorders, and alcohol abuse. Social determinants such as income, education, housing, unsafe neighborhoods, food insecurity, lack of transportation, and lack of access to health care. drive differences in diet, activity, stress, and preventive care regardless of race that lead to diabetes. Racial injustice has also produced a persistent disadvantage in the social determinants of health for racial and ethnic minority populations, creating racial/ethnic disparities in diabetes outcomes.

Diabetes management is a “24/7” task that requires constant decision-making and action, with often unexpected and undesirable results. Even following the instructions to the letter will not guarantee stable blood sugar levels; doing the same thing every day can have completely different effects. The accumulation of these problems and discomforts could result in “diabetic burnout.”

However, diabetics often battle stigma. The stigma associated with diabetes is pervasive and prevents people from seeking care and taking control of their physical and mental health. It exists everywhere, including in the family, the classroom, the workplace, and the health care setting. Additionally, stigma and prejudice can result in poorer diabetes self-care and control. People with diabetes are often made to feel totally responsible for managing their glucose levels, despite the many factors that affect those levels that are out of their control. Being a conscious part of society we can initiate our kind approaches and be a support system in the face of this overwhelming circumstance. Going hand in hand with the above statement, we should try to be kind and look for the positive environment. As a diabetic patient you can:

  • Communicate with friends or family
  • give yourself a break
  • Do not blame yourself
  • make time to do what you love
  • Take time to do the things you enjoy
  • Talk with your health care providers about negative reactions that other people may have about your diabetes.
  • Talk with your health care providers about your feelings.
  • Talk to other people with diabetes

By using more intentional and thoughtful language when addressing people living with diabetes, we can lessen the stigma associated with the disease in our society.

We should avoid making judgments about weight gain, dietary preferences, or diabetes diagnoses as family, friends, and co-workers of people with diabetes. Instead, be kind and encourage those who are managing their diabetes in public. Remember that people with diabetes were not looking to have the condition and that managing it can be challenging.

About the Author

Nowshin Tabassum, a fourth-year medical student currently studying at Sheikh Hasina Medical College, Jamalpur, Bangladesh. He is an active member of the Bangladesh Medical Students Society, an IFMSA NMO. She is a medical student and advocate for health and rights. In addition to having a strong interest in medicine, she is a visionary young leader who wants to make a difference in society. In addition, she is also an active SRSR activist embracing all differences and positive sexualities in the world.

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