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The Connection Between Diabetes and Depression | Diabetes Daily Post
Understanding The Connection Between Diabetes and Depression

Understanding The Connection Between Diabetes and Depression

depressionThere is a connection between diabetes and depression. However, it is unclear if depression increases the risk of diabetes or diabetes increases the risk of depression. Current research suggests that both of these are possible. Depression can affect your entire body and has been linked with other health problems including diabetes. On the other hand, the emotional toll of living with diabetes may lead to depression. Although depression frequently occurs concomitantly with diabetes, it is unrecognized and untreated in approximately two thirds of patients with both conditions.

In the United States, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have depression compared to those who do not have diabetes. Managing your diabetes means always being aware of your diet, being concerned about your blood sugar levels and it can take a lot of effort to adjust to a life with diabetes. Stress of daily management of diabetes may increase the risk as well as worsen depression.

There are some symptoms of depression such as reduction in physical and mental health that may worsen diabetes. Depression interferes with daily life and reduces quality of life. People with depression may become less motivated to practice healthy lifestyle behaviors that can lead to or worsen diabetes. For example, not eating right, not taking medications, or not checking blood glucose levels could all lead to poor glycemic control and contribute to worse clinical outcomes.

Diabetes and depression can have negative effects on one another so it is important to be able to recognize the symptoms and get proper treatment. It is normal to feel sad once in a while but if you feel sadness and hopelessness most of the day for two weeks or more, this is a sign of depression. If you experience suicidal thoughts, loss of pleasure, change in sleep pattern, change in appetite, trouble concentrating, decreased energy, nervousness, and/or guilt you may have depression.

For people who have diabetes and depression, treating the depression can improve mood and in turn improve blood glucose control. A common treatment for depression is psychotherapy or counseling. If pharmacological (drug) therapy is needed, there are several classes of antidepressants available on the market. However, many antidepressants may cause various degrees of weight gain and should be taken under consideration when treating patients with diabetes. There are medications available that are weight neutral or may even cause weight loss. It may take up to 8 weeks to experience the full effects of medications that are used to treat depression. Treating depression will take time but optimizing treatment of both diabetes and depression will help you better manage your diabetes and improve your overall health. If you believe you may have depression you should speak to your physician who can help tailor the best treatment for you.

This article is brought to you by our guest writers:
Kimberly Mok, PharmD Candidate, MCPHS University, 2015 and Jennifer D. Goldman, PharmD, CDE, BC-ADM, FCCP Professor of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy Boston, MCPHS University
Clinical Pharmacist, Well Life, Peabody, MA

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