Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
The T2D advocate team sits together behind an orange backdrop.

Advocate Answers: What Frustrates You Most About Managing Diabetes?

Frustration #1: diabetes management is always changing

Phyllisa wears a green square neck top and a gold necklace.Phyllisa: What I find the most frustrating is that my diabetes management routine is always changing. Yes, I’m a spontaneous person that loves to travel, but even if I ate the same thing at the same time every day my management routine would change because of stress, sickness, and my inability to ward off all the food pushers during special occasions.

Frustration #2: diabetes management is complicated

Shelley wears a turquoise top and a jade beaded necklace.Shelley: The most frustrating part of managing diabetes is that it is all-consuming. There are so many tasks that you have to apply to manage it well. These tasks involve making sure you are eating the right foods in the right quantities at the right time. It involves getting enough exercise. It involves testing your blood sugars before and after meals, testing when exercising, testing because you don’t feel ‘right.’ Then you worry about why the result wasn’t what you expected. You swing into gear to try and figure it out but you can find no explanation, it makes no sense. It’s like diabetes has a mind of its own with a b*tchy personality that you just can’t get along with. It hurts the brain trying to figure out how to manage it best and still have a life you enjoy.

Frustration #3: some health care providers don’t understand

Tom wears glasses and a maroon sweater.Thomas: When looking for a doctor, needing to find one that doesn’t have the view that if they don’t see it, you don’t have it. I’ve had a doctor like that. Her view was that if she didn’t see it on the A1C then you don’t have it. You might have had it at one time but don’t now. Didn’t take into consideration how hard I had worked at getting to that A1C she was looking at nor the effort I was putting into maintaining that type of A1C and weight loss. If she didn’t see it you don’t have it. I changed doctors real fast.

Frustration #4: diabetes is unpredictable

Corinna wears a gold scarf.Corinna: Diabetes is not predictable. I can do the same thing for two days in a row and get different results. How I feel can be different. My blood glucose readings can be different. My energy levels can be different. And there’s no apparent reason for it.

This can make it hard to stay on track with my self-care. The frustration that comes with diabetes being so unpredictable sometimes leaves me feeling like it doesn’t really matter what I do or don’t do. Diabetes is going to do whatever it wants.

Rachel wears a polka dotted shirt.Rachel: The unpredictability is what frustrates me most about managing diabetes. So many factors go into whether a particular food is going to spike my blood glucose or not; it could be the time of day (mornings are the worst with dawn phenomenon for higher carbohydrate foods) or the amount and/or type of stress I am experiencing or menstrual cycle…just to give a few examples. While I do not experience low blood glucose with my diabetes care regimen at this time, I understand the variability as I described can put someone at risk if they are on insulin or other medication with a hypoglycemic warning.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Colin
    3 months ago

    A lot of T2s are being frustrated because they are deceiving themselves with their T2 management – I cannot think of another way to say it.

    They understand carbs and exercise and the test numbers but they do not understand what I call “The T2 phenomenon”.

    Because they do not understand the T2 phenomenon they come up with management strategies that they have “proven to work” and then complain when they “do not work”.

    The T2 phenomenon can be “simplified for our purposes” as being like an allergy. If we are allergic to something we can handle a little bit but too much and our symptoms run rampant.

    With T2 we have a limit as to how much carbs we can process at one time – that could be a simplified definition of T2 the disease.

    When we exceed our carb limit a little extra carbs will send us very high. It s not a linear relationship it is like going off a cliff – one step too far then ….

    It has nothing to do with what foods the carbs are in. It has everything to do with the cumulative amount of carbs we are trying to process at any one time.

    There are two common T2 concepts that are based on some truth but they are only half truths so they cause all the trouble.

    #1) Is “everyone is different” – the only difference is how far the T2 disease has progressed other than that if we are T2 we are all the same.

    #2) Is “eat to your meter” your meter will not tell you what carb foods you can get away with. And when you get a high meter reading it is too late, you have already eaten too much carbs at one sitting.

    Biologically everything interacts so wellness and stress can affect our carb limits.

    Morning people get a sugar kick to get them going for the day – so morning readings can be useless.

    Good health management includes a balanced diet to nourish all our organs – but modern diets have too much carbs for T2s so they are not balanced for us but we do need some carbs for brain health.

    I hope that helps.

  • Beek
    3 months ago

    My biggest frustration is my morning readings. They range from 130 to 150 no matter what I eat. I eat very low carb meals, with no snacks. I usually do a 12 hour fast between supper and breakfast. I have lost 10 pounds and exercise 4 days a week. My last A1C was 6.3.

  • Margot moderator
    3 months ago

    Thinking of you @Beek – have you looked into the Dawn Phenomenon or discussed with your doctor/care team? More info on it can be found here: Best, Margot, Team

  • Poll