Burn out?

I’ve been told I might have “burn out” by some friends. What does this mean?

@AAT1D hi Amanda, diabetes burnout is a way to describe when you get sick and tired of counting carbs and injections. For some people, they go through a time where taking care of themselves becomes hard if not impossible to do. For me I usually also scream “I can’t take this anymore “ and break something.

The big takeaway is we all really hate this and only do it to survive. I kind of gave up on the rebellion part where I stopped taking care of myself and have made peace with this disease. If you find you can’t do it anymore or have feelings where you want to hurt yourself please tell someone and talk about it. We are here for you too so don’t feel bad if you need to yell and scream here. We get it.


I CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!! I’m tired of all the shots, finger prints, ketones, not being able to eat what I want, EVERYTHING!!! This desease is stupid, anoying, and getting in my way of having a normal life.


@AAT1D hi Amanda,

if it means anything I hate it too. I just think there’s way too much for me to do and see to give up, so I do whatever I have to do to continue. I know I’ve said it before but there is no such thing as a normal life, the junk on social media is made up and there isn’t a single person that doesn’t have some kind of pain in their life. Once you figure out how to use insulin you can so eat anything you want… I do. don’t get me wrong I can’t eat A LOT of ice cream but I can and do eat ice cream for example.

it’s a very weak argument but even though I can’t make insulin anymore, I am glad my body didn’t attack my own blood cells (Lupus) or my nervous system (MS)…or my bones (RA) .

what are you doing now? shots? pump? what do you want to eat?

I do vial and needles right now. I want to be able to eat things like cake, ice cream, things full of sugar. I’m tired of feeling left out at school parties and stuff like that.

Hi Amanda @AAT1D, I hear what you’re saying - it certainly is tough. Years ago I had a similar attitude to what you are expressing and hated doing “stuff” that would help me live "the good life.

What happened to me is that I looked about me and gradually, very gradually, started changing my thoughts and began studying MY BODY to see what I’d need to do to both enjoy life and manage diabetes. It took a few years until I was able to enjoy a splurge and somehow either manage necessary insulin during my venture or to get my glucose level back “to normal” within a reasonable time.
For me, and this may work for you, is that through trial and error I could “guess” the amount of insulin needed for certain foods or combination of foods. Oh yes, I used vials and thousands of syringes for over 45 years. One caution, be very careful that you do not overcorrect with insulin. With the traditional “over-eating season” approaching now is a really good time for you to take the extra effort, and take notes, so you can manage your diabetes while participating and enjoying. Another word of caution - if you take a “correction dose” following a party, always tell someone what you did; and try not to take much correction late at night when you and everyone else will be going to bed.
It would be good to talk with your good doctor about your plans and LISTEN to what she / he has to say.

Thx Dennis. I do listen, but my gma goes with me to my appointments and I don’t accually have an endo. My dr. is just a regular dr. My medicade won’t cover an endo. :frowning:

Hi Amanda,
The best advice I’ve heard for getting through burnout (from a diabetic psychologist in fact) is to take baby steps. Set yourself small goals for now like checking your blood sugar once a day or exercising once a week. The actual goals you set will depend on what you’re having difficulty with. Then gradually set larger goals. Once your’e in the habit of checking your blood sugar once a day, start trying for twice a day, then three times. It might also help to set some rules with your grandma (I’m assuming “gma” = “grandmother”). What is she responsible for and what are you responsible for? Who decides what you eat? Who checks your blood sugar? Who decides the insulin amount? Who gives the insulin? If you don’t feel you can handle the whole work load, ask your grandmother to split it with you. I got this info from a conference a couple years ago and I still have my notes somewhere. If you’d like more information or the name of the psychologist so you can look her up, let me know.

I was diagnosed as a kid and have had diabetes for 25 years now. I also use multiple daily injection (vial and syringe). You can have a “normal” life and eat all the foods you want (I had a cinnamon bun for breakfast today), but you’re going to have to work for it a little bit first. I keep very detailed records of everything I eat, of every time I exercise, how much insulin I take. And then I look for patterns and adjust my insulin doses from there. I’m not perfect – I still have high and low blood sugars – but overall I’m healthy and happy with the way I’m living my life.


Hi Amanda,
I too have had many times where I was just tired of the routine. I have been diabetic since 1974 and calculate that I have taken over 50,000 insulin shots.
For many years I thought that I would avoid passing out by just eating more than I thought I needed, so my sugar would not drop too low. Now, I realize that the way I was living was really hurting myself after developing neuropathy in my hands and feet, nerve damage in my leg and losing my sense of taste and smell after a major low blood sugar episode. I have had dozens of emergencies with passing out over the years that I have been diabetic.
3 months ago, I started using a Dexcom CGM. This gives me the ability to check what my blood sugars are, every 5 minutes and a graph to visually see when my sugars are going up, or down. The best thing is the alarms I can set for when my sugar drops too low, my sugar gets too high, when it is dropping fast, or slow. I still use the pen for insulin, but this thing can save your life with the alarms.


Hi Pete @petethediabetic, nice that you have overcome “burn out” from the constant need to be aware of your diabetes. Yes, I’ve found that using a good continuous monitor for glucose levels has helped - now that it has been in use for a while. At first, I was constantly watching EVERY five minute bip and was becoming ridiculous - now I allow it to be a background operator.

Note that a DexCom CGM does NOT give blood sugar values - your DexCom device tells you your Body Glucose Levels [BGL]. Your device is evaluating interstitial fluids which should not be confused with blood readings. Yeah, I know it is hard to tear our brains away from the former blood sugar readings - but the BGL is a more stable value than BG.

1 Like

In 3 months after starting to use the Dexcom, my A1C went from 8.9, down to 7.5.

1 Like

Hi Amanda, you are not alone. It is normal to have times of frustration, where you want to rebel. I’ve been diabetic for 47 yrs. I have 8 siblings and used to rant “Why me! It’s not fair!” I did rebel… a lot! However, with age comes wisdom, so hang in there.
Depending on your body, short acting insulin stay/breakdown over time. So a donut or candy for example will be reflected in your blood quickly creating a high bg. Whereas a sandwich will breakdown slower and not give you a spike. You can eat what you like. It’s just important not to over correct. Try to make sure you have an alert on your phone to say you’re a T1D, and ensure close friends know what to do in case of a blip, have your emergency contacts. (Small carton of orange juice works wonders for me, ask your doctor what is best for you). Never be afraid to ask questions, ever.
Be brave Amanda, you can do it! Xox

1 Like

I recently had to settle my frustration with my diabetes monster in a bit of an unfortunate way: I broke the TV. :sweat_smile:

I’d been fighting with my BGs for a good month after recovering from the flu, and even though I wasn’t even sick but a few days, my BGs just would NOT SETTLE DOWN. So I’d been eating a lot of carb-fasted meals so that I could forgo meal boluses and try to get a handle on what my basal rate was doing. Well, it took about a month, but I have made improvement.

However, this is not the diet that I am used to eating, and having to constantly wake up in the night to check my BG, not getting to sleep in, not getting to exercise on my preferred schedule (because I didn’t want it to affect my BGs), plus all the constant monitoring of the situation was stressing me to the point that I was not feeling like myself.

I’m not an aggressive person by nature, but I was feeling increasingly aggressive, even physically violent. Fortunately, all this destructive energy was directed towards inanimate objects, not people. Unfortunately for the living room TV, it made a noise that startled and enraged my sleep-deprived self, and – already having the remote in my hand – I threw it at the screen as hard as I possibly could. So now there is no more TV!

It was an expensive mistake – as I now have to pay for a new TV – but I feel like all my frustration had just come to a head and this was my way of resolving the matter. Understand, I’m not condoning destroying things as a way to vent your frustration! I’m just saying that we’ve all been there! I’m a little embarrassed at my silly mistake, but at the same time, it kinda worked.

After I threw that remote and was just kind of standing there, staring at the perfect star-pattern break in the TV screen, it suddenly dawned on me just how utterly absurd the whole situation was. I decided that since my current attempts to wrangle my BGs were clearly putting every expensive item in my home at risk, it was in my wallet’s best interest to settle with the improvements that I had made and just go back to doing my normal thing.

So I’m back to eating the food I like and am used to, exercising the way I want, sleeping through the night and dealing with whatever the hell my BG did over night in the morning. My month of experimentation definitely helped make improvements, but now I feel like my BG has come even closer back into line since I’ve resumed just living my life.

The counselor who visited me in the hospital when I was diagnosed told me that I would probably go through the 5 stages of grief that accompany a major life change. What he didn’t tell me – and what I think they SHOULD tell newly diagnosed patients – is that I wouldn’t go through those 5 stages just once, but periodically throughout the rest of my life, for as long as I have this medical condition. I can now say that I’ve made it through the 5-stage gauntlet once more and come out the other side.

…Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the TV. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

1 Like

Hi Amanda, So pleased to read you have found some resolve after going through hell! On a calm day, it would be a good idea to explain to your parents that when going through a blip, they are not the only ones frightened. I know from experience, it can be a frightening during a hypo. The frustration of not being able to say what you’re feeling, as your brain is back on track but everything else is still lagging behind, and all that comes out of your mouth if “urg”, not “I’m cold and want a blanket”!
The effects after a low BS vary for everyone. Communication is important for you all, try and explain if you can remember, things you were trying to tell them. Let them know, that it is so frightening for you too. I’ve two sons, and what I’ve said to them in the past, hilarious, telling my 16 yr old to put on his wedding jacket. It’s now a silly joke we all share from time to time.
Sleep deprivation is tough on everyone, but particularly with T1D. What can also effect your BS is stress! If you have tests/exams, maybe Prom & graduation blah blah, they can all have an effect, even though consciously you are unaware. Being a grump :joy:, that’s why testing can be so enlightening.
Sounds like you are on track, keep it up, you’re doing brilliantly!!!

1 Like