Diabetes.co.uk will be conducting a live social media Q&A with mindfulness expert Dav Panesar on Thursday 23 April 2015.

An expert in mindfulness-based therapies, Dav possesses over 20 years of experience teaching how mindfulness can be incorporated within the business, education and health sectors.

Among the topics Dav will be discussing include depression, anxiety and diabetes-related distress as part of Depression Awareness Week, which begins Monday 20 April.

Dav will be answering questions between 7pm-8pm (1900-2000). If you care for somebody with diabetes, or you are a patient yourself, you can send your questions to Dav on the Diabetes Forum.

Alternatively, if you want to post questions live on Thursday 23 April, you can do this on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Mindfulness and diabetes

A number of studies have linked mindfulness to improved coping strategies for people with diabetes.

Mechthild Hartmann et al observed that mindfulness-based stress reduction achieved reduced psychological distress in type 2 diabetes patients, while improved diabetes management through mindfulness has also been reported.

Mindfulness is a technique found in many “non-dual” Indic tradition such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikh practices of breath-based attention training. This serves to cultivate moment-by-moment thoughts, emotions and physical sensations in a non-judgemental way.

Meditation is a principle foundation of mindfulness, which is being increasingly used in the United States for negative eating habits and diabetes management.

Emotions and diabetes

Techniques such as mindfulness can be essential due to the emotional impact that diabetes can have upon individuals and their families.

With many people with diabetes not getting the emotional support they need, it has been reported by the InDependent Diabetes Trust that diabetic patients are 29 per cent more likely to suffer depression than those without diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes were found to be 53 per cent more likely to have depression.

This is why managing diabetes with mindfulness can be beneficial for people with diabetes, and also help fight off conditions such as diabetes burnout.

People with diabetes burnout end up submitting to their condition. They may neglect to test blood sugar levels, miss hospital appointments or stop taking insulin injections, which can lead to the development of health complications.

Dav will be talking about emotional physiology (how our emotions impact our bodies) and how mindfulness practises can reduce the negative emotional toll that diabetes can have, and what techniques can help tackle depression.

If you want to ask Dav a question then send it over and log on before 1900 on Sunday March 1 for the live Q&A.

Diabetes.co.uk has been conducting a monthly series of live Q&As throughout 2015, giving users the chance to ask diabetes-related questions to experts such as doctors, nutritionists and dieticians. In March, Diabetes.co.uk held a live Q&A with the creators of the Fixing Dad documentary.

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