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Emotional toll of diabetes 'needs more recognition'

From BBC - November 13, 2017

Many people living with diabetes are struggling with related emotional problems - an issue that needs support and recognition, a charity says.

Diabetes UK surveyed 8,500 people about diabetes and how it affected their daily life.

Three in five said their condition made them feel down.

Of those in employment, 16% felt discriminated against at work - and 7% had not even told their employer about their diabetes.

Clare (not her real name), 26, says she had to quit her job as a management consultant as a direct result of her diabetes.

She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 13.

Despite being one of 4.5 million people affected by the condition in the UK, she says the "lack of understanding" she encountered in the workplace left her feeling "frustrated, anxious and stressed".

"I was constantly undermined and told that my diabetes was not that serious," says Clare.

"This included being told off for having medical appointments during the day, and being made to feel bad for talking about my diabetes.

"I do not want to be treated differently, but sometimes I need to be treated differently," she tells BBC News.

"You are young and in your 20s and people on the Tube look at you and ask, 'Why do you need a seat?'

"No-one knows I have an insulin pump attached to my bra, my blood sugars are being monitored and I am constantly thinking about food."

She says her employers "never sat down and talked to me about it".

In an appraisal, she was told she needed "to manage her health anxiety".

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