With the explosion of information linking health and behavior, the importance of consulting and using psychologists as part of patient care to enhance clinical outcomes is clearer now than ever. The majority of leading causes of death in the U.S. are linked to unhealthy behaviors like overeating, smoking and abusing alcohol. In addition, mental health problems like anxiety and depression can be harmful to numerous physical illnesses.
If possible, diabetes management is provided by a team of health care professionals, including a dietitian, physician, psychologist, and diabetes nurse educator. Many diabetic patients confirm failing to adhere to proper diabetes management at some point during their illnesses. Psychologists can help patients cope with everyday stresses that can adversely affect blood glucose levels and adhere to a diabetes regimen, including following a specific meal plan, properly administering insulin, accurately testing blood glucose levels, and getting adequate exercise and foot care. A psychologist can also help develop healthful behaviors, promote healthy coping skills, discourage high risk behaviors, improve family communication, and treat any other coexisting psychological problems.
Keywords: diabetes, stress, health care needs, psychologist, help
How stress affects diabetes
American Diabetes Association
Understanding how glucose is processed in the body