Another holiday season is approaching, a time for spending time with loved ones connecting with friends, and visiting with neighbors. It is also a time to observe food–plenty of cooking, eating, and drinking. Large traditional holiday feasts provide relaxation. They help us to remember great times. For more than 30 million Americans living with Type 2 diabetes and the millions more who are pre-diabetic the holidays are also a time full of and –over illness management. Diabetes is a debilitating disorder that affects approximately 10% of the planet’s population, 79 million people worldwide are pre-diabetic and millions more are undiagnosed (diabetes.org).
For Americans over age 65 that the situation is much worse. More than 25 percent have Type 2 diabetes and an even larger percentage being pre-diabetic. According to The American Diabetes Association[VK1] , in 2015, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Indirect costs and indirect overall over 400 billion dollars. Not only is diabetes a severe lifelong disorder, in addition, it increases the risk for conditions like heart disease, the number one killer in America (NCOA, 2015). At the U.S., countless diabetes cases are diagnosed each year. Approximately 90-95 percent of adults with diabetes have the Form 2 variant (National Institute on Aging, NIH, 2014).
Type two diabetes is treatable, often through healthy living. However, it is also one of the most difficult chronic illnesses to manage, particularly during the winter vacations. Social and psychological support, reinforced during vacations, plays a significant part in how well men and women cope with almost any chronic illness. Relationships with family and friends, community classes, and accessibility of financial resources assist to develop and promote feelings of societal integration and well-being. Support can help minimize distress and increase the potency of illness administration. By the same token, the desire to connect with family and friends at social gatherings can present a challenge for diabetes individuals that are attempting to manage their own illness. Satisfaction with social support is related to greater self-management, adherence to medication, and adoption of greater dietary habits and active lifestyles.
In my job, I have found that Type 2 diabetes patients experience greater anxiety over household visits–particularly during the holidays. This anxiety is also gendered. Women, particularly if they’re the family matriarchs that have a satisfying history of organizing large household meals over the vacations, experience greater anxiety more than maintaining their medical regimes. The majority of these girls gained considerable satisfaction from their function and did not want to disappoint household or change customs.
Certainly, Type 2 diabetes presents significant challenges to any individual’s wellbeing. Besides associated physical concerns, anxiety over social gatherings infused with food and beverage may prompt diabetes patients to avoid such events. Such avoidance, which causes isolation, can raise the prospect of loneliness and . Food intake is frequently the central ingredient of social gatherings. Gatherings that feature an array of traditional foods contribute favorably to a sense of cultural link and persistence. Truly, vacations traditions are formed by specific foods. A diabetes diagnosis can pose an obstacle to individual’s sense of cultural link. Imposed restrictions could lead to disengagement from social parties, especially over the vacations. Social isolation and isolation are common phenomena among older adults who have been diagnosed with a chronic illness. These variables may also form the success or failure of chronic illness management.
Any illness diagnosis increases feelings of sadness, vulnerability, and concerns about mortality. Satisfying social support helps decrease feelings of loneliness. For diabetes patients relationships may also raise feelings of vulnerability, particularly in scenarios that might require disclosure of diagnosis so as to get around the celebratory strain to eat and drink. Illness disclosure leads to self-vulnerability. Studies have shown that girls seem to have an easier time disclosing illness; men were somewhat more likely to report feelings of shame and more than chronic conditions, making it psychologically difficult to self-disclose at holiday gatherings. For men who have spouses, nevertheless, the spousal support makes it easier for them to reveal and manage their illness.
Sharing concerns with spouses or close relatives and asking illness management assistance is an effective way to garner much needed support, particularly during the stressful holiday period. When confronting such negative and stressful life events as a serious illness, psychological coping can be effective. Emotion-oriented coping will help regulate negative feelings related to chronic illness diagnosis. Talking about one’s feelings about illness can decrease the distress and anxiety related to treatment. Positive-approach coping and negative-avoidance coping are also valuable. Positive-approach coping, or task-oriented coping, can help patients view their diagnosis as manageable and determine a plan of action where they assert previously adopted lifestyle and personal changes during the vacations. Negative avoidance coping is helpful when patients find their diagnosis as uncontrollable and consider the diabetes progression as irreversible. This negativity may lead patients to suppress their nervousness and uncertainty, which may, in turn, lead them to avoid disease management strategies and overindulge, will have negative impact on and emotional well-being.
Type 2 Diabetes can be effectively handled over the vacations. Meal preparation, focusing on other festive details of the entire year, increasing physical activity to compensate for intermittent overindulgence are only some of the possible management approaches. By making a plan, patients may maintain a sense of control. You don’t need to bypass meals to compensate for overeating. You are able to choose a little plate and sample everything. When you slide up, you can forgive yourself. You can make certain that you get enough rest (cdc.gov).
The incidence of Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, particularly among older adults. Clearly there are challenges and barriers to managing Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the type of illness that could be, to a large extent, managed through radical lifestyle alterations. Women and men can empower themselves to raise feelings of control over their illness by talking about their struggles, by self-disclosing their ailment, by relying upon their own social and psychological support, by meal preparation, and by forgiving themselves intermittent dietary lapses. These practical approaches make the holidays an excellent time for Type 2 diabetes patients.