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Diabetics face many social challenges

Category: Diabetes

Individuals with diabetes must constantly monitor their blood test results and be very careful about the types of food they eat. New research suggests that the healthcare system and society at large may not do enough to accommodate the needs of diabetics.

A team of researchers from Queen Mary, University of London followed a group of more than 30 diabetics through a normal day and made note of any difficulties they faced. The results showed that they face many social challenges and often do not have access to their physicians when they need them.

In particular, the lack of nutritional information that accompanies restaurant food made it difficult for some participants to calculate how much insulin they would need following a meal. Others struggled to manage their condition between family responsibilities. The researchers also found that some doctors were not responsive to their patients' efforts to manage their condition on their own.

"We have shown that self-management of diabetes is hard work both practically and emotionally, and that many but not all people with diabetes are skilful at undertaking and coordinating all the different tasks involved," said lead researcher Trisha Greenhalgh.

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