A GP has blamed ‘anxiety fatigue’ for hurting efforts to reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes on people in the UK.
Dr Nick Tait, who is based in Leamington, said that when people are continually told to do something they eventually switch off, a notion called ‘anxiety fatigue’.
Speaking to The Leamington Observer, he said: “GPs often talk about the fact that to achieve change you need interest, opportunity and information. You have to be motivated.
“Managing diabetes starts off with the basics of exercise and diet, as it is amazing how little people often know about their diets. But there is the danger of what we call anxiety fatigue where you are told about so many things which can frighten you that you eventually stop worrying and forget the building blocks of change.”
Dr Tait, who runs diabetes clinics at the Nuffield Health Hospital, thinks the key to success is introducing small changes over time, rather than telling people to improve their lifestyle in one go.
He added: “The media is full of stories about studies which highlight how different types, or quantities, of food and drink can be harmful and eventually we reach saturation point. People won’t stay frightened forever.
“With diabetes, you need to do the basics well, get the building blocks in place and establish the underlying cause for the problem. I find it can often take around two years for people to make real changes to their lifestyle.”
He wants more people to understand that – unlike a lot of other medical conditions – it is possible to control or prevent type 2 diabetes using other more holistic approaches.
“It is so important to realise that diet and exercise are as important as taking tablets. It is about getting people to make a small change and stick to it, as you are often talking to someone who feels well and has no discernible sign of illness.”
Our award-winning Low Carb Program shows how making gradual lifestyle changes can help people with type 2 diabetes lose weight, reduce their HbA1c and come off type 2 diabetes medication. More than 40% of people with type 2 diabetes who start the program on medication eliminate a medication from their regime at the one-year mark.