Fend off depression.
“This is a chronic illness where patients are reminded daily they have diabetes,” says Tom Donner, director of the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Center. “That’s a taxing burden.” Depression is dangerousfor people with diabetes because it can make them feel as if they have no control over their illness, says Robert Rizza, former executive dean of research and a diabetes specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. That may make them feel so helpless they don’t stick to their medications or show up for doctor visits. Yoga and meditation can reduce the stress, and a special interest or activity – a book club, fantasy football, birdwatching – can provide daily happiness, making the disease more manageable.