Are You in Diabetes Denial?


Paige Greenfield

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When people first learn they have diabetes, many react with a similar emotion: denial. You could be in denial about your diagnosis if you find yourself thinking, “This isn’t happening to me” or “The doctors must be wrong.”

The sentiment is so common that many doctors expect patients to feel this way after delivering a diagnosis. Denial may be our mind’s natural way of coping with bad news—a powerful defense mechanism. It keeps us from becoming depressed and distraught. But over time, the reality sinks in, and denial gives way to acceptance. People come to terms with the fact that they have diabetes and learn how to live with it.

Making healthy lifestyle choices is key to managing type 2 diabetes, but it can be hard to stay on track. Dr. Anthony Cardillo explains that focusing on diet, exercise and stress reduction can help you maintain control of your diabetes.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Aug 13, 2015

2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

What is Toujeo® (insulin glargine injection) 300 Units/mL?

Prescription Toujeo® is a long-acting insulin used to control blood sugar in adults with diabetes mellitus.
• Toujeo® contains 3 times as much insulin in 1 mL as standard insulin (100 Units/mL)
• Toujeo® is not for use to treat diabetic ketoacidosis
• Toujeo® should not be used in children

Important Safety Information for Toujeo® (insulin glargine injection) 300 Units/mL

Do not take Toujeo® if you have low blood sugar or if you are allergic to insulin or any of the ingredients in Toujeo®.

Do NOT reuse needles or share insulin pens even if the needle has been changed.

Before starting Toujeo®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including if you have liver or kidney problems, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant or if you are breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed.

Heart failure can occur if you are taking insulin together with certain medicines called TZDs (thiazolidinediones), even if you have never had heart failure or other heart problems. If you have heart failure, it may get worse while you take TZDs with Toujeo®. Your treatment with TZDs and Toujeo® may need to be changed or stopped by your doctor if you have new or worsening heart failure. Tell your doctor if you have any new or worsening symptoms of heart failure, including:
• Shortness of breath
• Swelling of your ankles or feet
• Sudden weight gain

Tell your doctor about all medications you take, including OTC medicines, vitamins, and supplements, including herbal supplements.

Toujeo® should be taken at the same time once a day. Test your blood sugar levels daily while using insulin, including Toujeo®. Do not make changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your doctor. Verify you have the correct insulin before each injection. Your dose for Toujeo® may be different from other insulins you have taken. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.

Do NOT dilute or mix Toujeo® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Use Toujeo® only if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible.

Toujeo® (insulin glargine injection) 300 Units/mL

While using Toujeo®, do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Toujeo® affects you. Don’t drink alcohol or use other medicines that contain alcohol.

The most common side effect of any insulin, including Toujeo®, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious and can be lifethreatening. Severe hypoglycemia may cause harm to your heart or brain. Symptoms of serious low blood sugar may include shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision.

Toujeo® may cause serious side effects that can lead to death, such as severe allergic reactions. Get medical help right away if you have:
• A rash over your whole body
• Shortness of breath
• Swelling of your face, tongue, or throat
• Extreme drowsiness, dizziness, or confusion
• Trouble breathing
• Fast heartbeat
• Sweating

Toujeo® may have additional side effects including swelling, weight gain, low potassium, and injection site reactions which may include change in fat tissue, skin thickening, redness, swelling, and itching.

Toujeo® SoloStar® is a disposable prefilled insulin pen. Talk to your doctor about proper injection technique and follow instructions in the Instruction Leaflet that comes with the pen.

Please see link below for Full Prescribing Information for Toujeo®

Prescribing Information | Important Safety Information
© 2002-2015 sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. All rights reserved. | US.GLT.15.07.042

The Danger of Diabetes Denial

But what if denial doesn’t go away? If you don’t believe that you have diabetes or that your condition is serious, you won’t take the necessary steps to keep yourself healthy, such as eating right, exercising, and taking your medications.

Denial can cause you to make poor decisions that could harm your health. You might light up a cigarette. You might avoid checking your blood glucose levels regularly, or forget to wash and inspect your feet for signs of injury each day. After all, if you don’t believe you have diabetes, why should these things matter? Unfortunately, all of these behaviors could lead to serious complications down the road, such as high blood pressure, stroke, poor vision, and kidney disease.

Finally, denial can also shield you from learning exactly what you need to do to protect your health. There’s a lot of valuable information available, but if you’re in denial, you may not be open to receiving it.

So take a moment and ask yourself: Have I fully accepted the fact that I have diabetes? Am I doing everything I can to keep myself healthy?

Three Ways to Ditch Denial

Even if you’ve completely grasped the reality that you have diabetes, feelings of denial may surface now and again. That’s normal. Whether you’re still moving through denial or coping with a new bout of it, the American Diabetes Association offers these tips for keeping healthy habits in place:

1. Follow a plan. Write down a detailed plan of everything that’s involved in your self-care. This might include when to check your blood glucose levels. Jot down when and how much insulin or other medications you need to take. Make a note to inspect your feet daily.

Once you’ve made a plan, read through each item and make sure you fully understand why it’s important. If you’re not clear about anything, discuss it with your doctor. Following your plan each and every day will help keep you on the right track.

2. Don’t go it alone. There are people around you who can help, from your friends and family members to your doctor and diabetes educator. If you’re struggling with any aspect of your care, such as your nutrition plan, it might feel easier to forget about it altogether. But this will backfire by compromising your health.

Any time you identify an area in which you’re having difficulty, think about who can best help you through it. For instance, working with a registered dietitian can help you overcome trouble with a meal plan. If you can’t seem to stick with an exercise plan, work with a trainer to develop a routine that’s enjoyable and effective for you.

3. Make it a family affair. Sticking to your self-care regimen can become even more challenging if your family members aren’t on board. You may feel envious that they can eat whatever they want and think, “I can eat that, too.” That’s denial—you believe, even for a moment, that it won’t hurt you. But it can.

Asking your family to adopt some of your healthy habits can prevent these potentially harmful moments of denial. What’s more, making smarter eating choices and increasing the amount of exercise your family gets—such as taking walks together around the neighborhood—will benefit everyone, whether or not they have diabetes.

Was this helpful? (60)
Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Jun 24, 2015

© 2016 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.

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