Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association tells the story of diabetes in the US: 25.8 million of us—8.3% of the population—have diabetes. Its cost exceeds $200 billion in medical expenditures and reduced productivity. People with diagnosed diabetes have medical costs that are about 2.3 times higher than they would be in the absence of diabetes. And about $1 in $10 health care dollars is attributed to diabetes.

Employees and health plan members with diabetes are at greater risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system disease, and amputation. Some recent studies have shown that mindfulness can help manage the disease.

Improving diabetes self-management through acceptance, mindfulness, and values: a randomized controlled trial - In a randomized controlled trial, patient with Type 2 diabetes were given education alone or a one-day class combining education, mindfulness, and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).  Compared with the education group, after 3 months those in education plus mindfulness group were more likely to use coping strategies, to report better diabetes self-care, and to have HbA-1C values in the target range.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction is associated with improved glycemic control in Type 2 diabetes mellitus: A pilot study - In a prospective, observational study of 11 patients with diabetes who underwent MBSR, blood pressure decreased, and bloodwork indicated better glycemic control. A decrease in measures of depression, anxiety, and general psychological distress was observed.

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