Recent studies have shown a connection between diabetes and depression. Any health condition can have a negative impact on your emotions but there is a two-way connection between these diseases. Find out why health and mood matter when it comes to diabetes and depression.
- A 10-year study by Harvard University discovered a two-way connection between diabetes and depression. People with diabetes are at risk for depression. Conversely, people with depression are at risk for diabetes. Prevention and treatment of diabetes or depression is essential to avoid creating a vicious cycle.
- Poor diabetes control can lead to symptoms that resemble depression. Feeling down occasionally is normal. An ongoing feeling of sadness and hopelessness for two weeks or more is a sign of depression. Immediately discuss symptoms with your physician to find out what might be happening in your body.
- The stress from daily diabetes management can lead to feelings of isolation or depression. Facing complications such as fluctuating blood sugar levels or nerve damage may make you feel like you are losing control. Discuss these feelings with your diabetes care team right away. Learn easy ways to control your blood sugar levels such as a proper diet and exercise which can also elevate your mood.
- Go for a walk and gauge your daily progress using an Omron pedometer. Check your blood sugar levels before and after exercise with a blood glucose meter. Also verify your blood pressure readings by using a wrist blood pressure monitor. Taking care of yourself everyday helps you to feel better and identify problems immediately.
- Depression may prevent you from exercising good diabetes self-care. A lack of energy and anxiety can lead to failure to test blood sugar regularly and poor eating habits. At a result, you might not be able to think straight or function properly. Address negative feelings to maintain proper diabetes self-care and overall good health.
- Symptoms of depression include change in appetite; change in sleep patterns; early to rise; loss of pleasure; difficulty concentrating; morning sadness; nervousness; loss of energy; guilt; and suicidal thoughts. Experiencing three or more of these symptoms or feeling continuously sad for two weeks or more means you need help.
- Talk to your doctor about symptoms of depression to consider possible physical causes. Poor control of diabetes can cause symptoms that resemble depression. Other potential physical causes of depression are drug or alcohol abuse, side effects from certain medications and thyroid problems. Let a medical professional determine the root of your feelings.
- If physical causes are ruled out by your doctor, you are likely to be referred to a mental health specialist. Psychotherapy, counseling, biofeedback and/or antidepressant medication can help you relieve the problems causing depression. If medication is prescribed, talk to your medical care team about side effects and how it might affect your blood sugar.
- If you have both diabetes and depression, they can be effectively treated and managed together. If you have either of these conditions, managing one can have a positive impact on the other. The key to good physical and mental health is taking care of problems right away.
The connection between diabetes and depression has been recognized but all the causes are not yet known. Enjoy maximum physical and mental health by consulting with your medical care team about telltale symptoms.