New campaign launches to highlight how emotional and psychological factors are impacting effective diabetes management
The UK has the worst T2 diabetes blood glucose levels in Europe, so Sanofi is launching a new campaign dedicated to helping patients- ‘Highs & Lows: Better Balance for a Better Future’, that includes a Sanofi sponsored patient support website, to help the 52% of patients with T2 diabetes who find it challenging to balance their blood glucose levels or who worry about doing so. Another Sanofi-funded study conducted in UK adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and published in the journal Diabetic Medicine, showed even modest and sustained improvement in blood glucose control could help prevent almost a million serious medical complications such as eye disease, kidney disease, foot ulcer and amputations, and potentially blindness, which could avoid billions in future NHS costs.
Dr Max Pemberton, GP and Psychiatrist at St Anne’s Hospital, London explains: “This research shows that people with T2 diabetes are making fear-driven decisions in the ‘here and now’ to prevent low blood glucose levels, without considering that high blood glucose levels can have serious implications on their health in the future as well. They need more support in order to be successful at this blood sugar ‘balancing act.”
The Sanofi research also revealed that negative emotions are stopping people managing their condition. People living with T2 diabetes believe that others think they are to blame (15%), some believing that people think they are just greedy (14%).1 This is in combination with 25% only telling close friends, family or their healthcare professional about their condition, and 58% feeling self-conscious or avoiding injecting in front of other people.1
Dr Pemberton, adds: “It’s clear that those with T2 diabetes feel judged by a ‘crowd’ of people who they think blame them for having the condition in the first place. It’s worrying that people feel that they have to hide their condition from others for fear of being criticised. This can lead to them not injecting on time because they wait until no one is around, or making bad food decisions during social occasions or not sticking to their meal time routine, which can have an impact on their blood sugar levels.”
Dr Mike Baxter, medical therapy expert at Sanofi UK commented: “Our research shows that there is a need in the UK for better support for people with type 2 diabetes – not just in terms of the medical management of the disease, but also the emotional and psychological aspects of the condition. Almost a quarter of patients blame themselves (22%), or feel they’ve let themselves down (24%), if they can’t or don’t manage their blood sugars effectively. Instead of this feeling of blame and failure, we want to help them feel motivated to seek the help that they may need to navigate the complex blood sugar ‘balancing act’. At this time, although the importance of psychological support in helping people to manage their condition is well recognised and the benefits of improved blood glucose control on reducing diabetic complications is well documented, there is a clear lack of adequate psychological support for people with diabetes. Consequently, the level of diabetic control in a large number of people with diabetes in the UK remains unacceptably high, exposing them to high risks of developing preventable diabetic complications”
The Sanofi ‘Diabetes Highs and Lows: Better Balance for a Better Future’ campaign aims to help people feel in control and positive about how they can balance their blood sugar levels. The new campaign website includes key information on recognising and managing blood sugar highs and lows for both patients and carers.