Kamis, 21 Mei 2009

Diabetes and Depression - The Surprising Connection

By: Alice Saracho

In the early stages of a disease, in most cases, the body will give subtle hints signaling that something may be not quite right with it. One of the early signs of diabetes is a constant feeling of being tired and listless. You may find yourself easily becoming tired while doing tasks that formerly took you no effort whatsoever.

But even if you see your doctor because you suspect something is wrong, it can still be a shock to be told by your doctor that you have diabetes. You may go through a stage of denial and a stage of anger, but eventually you will come to acceptance of the fact that you do have diabetes.

In addition to its many physical symptoms, diabetes has some possible emotional one as well. Many people upon finding out that they have a grave illness will go through one or more preliminary bouts of depression. But with diabetes, there seems to be some additional psychological and physical link to depression. And, over the years researchers have documented a strong link between diabetes and depression.

A person diagnosed with diabetes increases the chance that he or she will develop depression by a hundred percent. There have been many peer group studies that show that. Even taking into account that the psychological stress of learning that someone has diabetes will account for a small amount of the depression, a two fold increase is a huge number.

To date, there have been no studies that identify exactly why there should be a link between diabetes and depression, but there are a couple of theories that may provide us with a clue.

One theory is simply that people with depression are more likely to develop diabetes. In other words, there is some common metabolic tendency in the bodies of people with depression that puts them at risk for diabetes and vice versa. But there may be a direct dietary causal reason as well. A depressed person, especially one not taking medication for his depression, is not taking care of himself normally. He has a tendency to eat more poorly, especially carbohydrate laden junk foods that have been shown to increase blood sugar levels. A depressed person will also typically exercise less. In combination, these two factors can lead to obesity which can lead to him being diagnosed as a type-2 diabetic.

A second theory is that diabetes itself is the spark. Studies have proven that diabetes causes the body's sugar levels to vary wildly. Researchers of depression also know that depression is directly related to the body having poor and erratic blood sugar control. Knowing this connection, it would come as no surprise that a high number of diabetes sufferers could also experience depression.

The crucial matter to keep in mind, however, is that many effective treatments exist for both diabetes and depression. Many doctors observe that when treating depressed patients with psychotherapy and/or medication, that their blood sugar levels are also improved. And, even though, its yet to be proven, it's probably true that successfully treating diabetic patients will simultaneously help with their depression.

Hopefully, realizing that depression is a possible side effect of diabetes will help diabetics to understand better why they are feeling the way they do and encourage them to seek out aid for their possible symptoms of depression as well.

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Alice Saracho is webmaster and owner of www.diabetescausestreatments.com. On her site you'll find articles about diabets and other diabetes related topics.

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