Type 2 Diabetes Impacts Mental Health, but Continuous Glucose Monitors Can Help


A report from Dexcom found that depression and anxiety are commonly reported in patients living with type 2 diabetes, but continuous glucose monitors can make disease management easier.

A new report that surveyed patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and their caregivers found that living with the disease negatively impacts mental health, Dexcom announced in a release.1 The survey also found that continuous glucose monitors (CGM) make it easier to manage T2D and having access to the technology would have a positive impact.

Type 2 Diabetes Impacts Mental Health, but Continuous Glucose Monitors Can Help / Halfpoint - stock.adobe.com

Type 2 Diabetes Impacts Mental Health, but Continuous Glucose Monitors Can Help / Halfpoint - stock.adobe.com

The “State of Type 2 Report” from Dexcom was conducted in collaboration with market research company Censuswide. The survey included 250 patients living with T2D and 250 caregivers, such as family members. Over 350 health care professionals involved in the care of patients with T2D were also surveyed, including general practitioners, nurses, endocrinologists and dietitians.

Key Takeaways

  • A Dexcom report shows that living with type 2 diabetes (T2D) significantly affects mental health, with 42% of survey respondents experiencing negative impacts, over 60% reporting anxiety, and 52% experiencing depression, mainly due to daily disease management challenges.
  • Managing T2D on a daily basis is tough for many, with 63% finding it difficult. Challenges include less sleep, reluctance to inject insulin publicly, forgetting injections, and managing multiple medications.
  • CGM technology could ease the burden of T2D management. 67% believe CGM could reduce stress, 57% think it could improve mental wellbeing, and 63% feel it could help them feel more like themselves.

“Our research reveals living with diabetes brings a range of challenges many don’t anticipate at the time of their Type 2 diagnosis,” authors of the report wrote. “Not only are there physical effects to contend with, but the need to continuously manage glucose levels often stops people from living their lives on their terms…People with diabetes and their caregivers recognize CGM technology would help alleviate some of the stress of having to manage their diabetes.”

READ MORE: CGM Becoming Standard of Care in Hospital Settings

There are over 500 million people living with diabetes worldwide and T2D accounts for around 96% of diagnosed cases.2 The prevalence of T2D is expected to continue to increase due to a rise in obesity. The condition is potentially reversible if managed successfully early in the course of disease, which is why different methods and strategies to help people living with T2D are crucial.

CGM has been one of the most beneficial advancements in the field of diabetes care. Although CGM use has been well established in type 1 diabetes, uptake among patients with T2D is still lacking, despite there being far more patients with T2D. Research has shown that CGM can help with glycemic control in patients with T2D, which results in fewer visits to the emergency room for hypoglycemia.3

In the report from Dexcom, 42% of respondents and caregivers said that living with type 2 diabetes has had a negative impact on their mental health. Over 60% said they or the person they care for suffers from and anxiety and 52% said they experience depression. One of the biggest reasons noted in the report contributing to the impacts on mental health was daily diabetes management, with 63% of respondents saying they find it difficult in some way.

Some of the reasons given for why respondents find it hard to manage diabetes on a daily basis included getting less sleep, not liking injecting insulin in public, finding it hard or forgetting to inject at times, and finding it difficult to manage all the necessary medications.

In regard to CGM, 40% of respondents said that being able to see glucose numbers in real time and having access to a CGM would have the most positive impact on their T2D. Additionally, 67% of respondents with T2D said having a CGM would reduce the stress of managing glucose levels, 57% said it would improve their mental wellbeing, and 63% said it would make them feel more like themselves again.

“Lots of people believe that having diabetes inevitably means that they will be very unwell and have lots of scary diabetes complications, but this is not the case,” Rose Stewart, DClinPsy, a clinical psychologist at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said in the report. “By taking an active role in your diabetes management, learning as much about it as you can, following the advice of your healthcare team, living an active life and using the treatments and technologies available to you, it is likely that you will live a long and healthy life doing the things that are important to you, without feeling that diabetes is taking over.”

READ MORE: Continuous Glucose Monitoring Resource Center

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1. State of Type 2 Report: Key Findings and How CGM Can Help People with Type 2 Diabetes. News Release. Dexcom. Accessed May 22, 2024. https://www.dexcom.com/en-GB/blog/type-2-diabetes-report
2. GBD 2021 Diabetes Collaborators. Global, regional, and national burden of diabetes from 1990 to 2021, with projections of prevalence to 2050: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2021 [published correction appears in Lancet. 2023 Sep 30;402(10408):1132]. Lancet. 2023;402(10397):203-234. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(23)01301-6
3. Karter AJ, Parker MM, Moffet HH, et al. Association of Real-time Continuous Glucose Monitoring With Glycemic Control and Acute Metabolic Events Among Patients With Insulin-Treated Diabetes. JAMA. 2021;325(22):2273–2284. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.6530
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