When people have diabetes, their bodies do not produce enough insulin or are not able to effectively use the insulin they do produce. Insulin is a hormone. It is used to turn sugars into the energy that our bodies need to run on a day-to-day basis. When everything is working normally, insulin is produced as needed to control the level of sugar that is released into the bloodstream. When not enough insulin is produced or when the body cannot use the insulin properly, the level of sugar and insulin in our bloodstream rises. If this condition continues over a period of time, diabetes can develop.
Research has indicated that there is a genetic link for diabetes. We also know that certain ethnic groups appear to possess genes that increase their risk. These include people whose families descend from Aboriginal, Hispanic, Asian, South Asian, and African populations.
It is a challenge to live with any chronic illness such as diabetes, because to do so effectively requires us to make lifestyle changes. Most of us find this very difficult. As humans, we are creatures of habit. We get used to living a certain way, and we resist change it even when we know it will be good for us. The true challenge in effectively coping with diabetes is in making the necessary lifestyle changes.
Psychologists are specialists when it comes to lifestyle change. We help people implement the changes they want to make even if they have mixed feelings about those changes. We help people resolve the inner conflict that we all experience when confronted with changes we need to make.