Dr Aidin Rawshani

Depression and Diabetes


Diabetes and depression

The presence of depression and diabetes

Depression and diabetes are common diseases. Approximately 5 -8% of all Swedes have depression at the moment and approximately 4 -5% of the population have diabetes. This means that about a million people have diabetes, depression, or both. The fact is that depression is twice as common among people with diabetes. This applies to both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

Living with diabetes is difficult for the vast majority, especially those living with type 1 diabetes because they often experience the disease occupies a significant part of the day. Individuals with diabetes need to seek help if they feel depressed or depressed because diabetes and depression reinforce each other.

Mental illness and diabetes

The psyche is affected by blood sugar, and basically everyone who has diabetes knows it. Equally obvious it is that blood sugar is affected by the psyche. All research suggests that diabetes can contribute to depression and depression to diabetes.

Depression occurs twice as often among people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes than among people without diabetes. In addition, depressed people are at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

There are probably many reasons for the strong relationship between diabetes and depression, but we do not know them very well yet. It is known that the psyche is affected by poor blood sugar. People with poor blood sugar control get tired, easily irritated, nonchalant and indifferent.

Regular exercise, however, relieves depression and improves sugar metabolism, but those who are depressed or depressed can not always be physically active and take care of their diet. For some people, diabetes is a tough disease and self-care leads to the loss of life and the spark of life. Good mood always leads to better blood sugar.

Contact healthcare if you feel depressed

Talk to your diabetes nurse or doctor as soon as you feel exhaustion or depression sneaking up on. Depression is always a signal that something is not right and you do not have to drag yourself to talk about it.

The symptoms arising from depression are reminiscent of the symptoms of diabetes to some extent. They can come insidious and it is not easy to recognize them yourself, even healthcare professionals can sometimes miss the symptoms. One study shows that 50 -70 percent of all depressions among diabetics are not detected in healthcare.

Light depressed mood belongs to life, but the symptoms can become chronic. It can be connected with a range of life experiences and physical factors. Some diseases such as impaired thyroid function (hypothyroidism in medical language), hormonal changes occurring at different ages, and some drugs may also affect the psyche. It is important to get help in depression because the quality of life deteriorates and you cannot take care of your diabetes.

Recovery will be difficult if you do not have the strength to manage your diabetes. When you take care of one condition, the other also improves. Research studies show that sugar control is improved when people with diabetes feel mentally better. When blood sugar is better, you feel better and the treatment for depression has a greater effect.

Treatment of depression in individuals with diabetes

People with diabetes and depression are offered treatment with drugs, psychotherapy or a combination of both.

In case of mild symptoms, it may be enough to take the courage and talk about your exhaustion with a doctor or nurse at a health centre or a diabetic clinic. Ask if it is possible to have an appointment with a psychologist because the health care staff may not always remember to offer the opportunity.

In severe depression, it is urgent that medication or therapy be initiated, preferably both. It belongs to the procedures that antidepressants are offered as first treatment. There are several different variants of antidepressants. Anyone who struggles with weight problems is usually prescribed antidepressants that do not lead to weight gain.

In severe depression, some medicines must be initiated even though they increase the risk of weight gain. The doctor can also recommend psychotherapy as a supplement from the outset, especially if you are easily able to gain weight. It is further important to get qualified help. Studies show that prolonged use of antidepressants (over two years) may increase the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes.

Therapeutic support reduces the likelihood of recurrence of depression. Because of the risk of relapse, diabetics are usually allowed to use antidepressants for a longer period of time for prevention.

Exercise and treatment

There are many specializations in psychotherapy. Depression can, for example, be treated with behavioural therapy. The purpose is then to help the person cope with their negative thoughts and emotions. The therapy seeks factors that increase the joys of life, where physical activity plays an important role.

The results have been promising. A couple of years ago, the effects of behavioural therapy were investigated among depressed diabetics. The results showed that depression decreased significantly more in those receiving therapy for ten weeks than in those receiving counseling instead of therapy. Six months after therapy, those who participated in the therapy group had significantly better sugar values, while the people in the comparator group had lower sugar values.

Talk to your doctor about which psychotherapies are available and suitable for you. They can assess your need for therapy and help you find a suitable therapist either in public or private healthcare.

Symptoms that occur in depression

  • You feel exhausted, powerless and discouraged
  • Lower self-esteem and confidence, depressed mood and loss of interest; everything feels indifferent and past interests such as hobbies, jobs, human relationships and sex have stopped interested you
  • You experience physical but nonspecific symptoms, such as diffuse pain and stomach upset increases.
  • Food habits and weight change (appetite disorders) Sleep disorders; you sleep too much or wake up at night
  • Energy loss
  • Cognitive disorders such as thinking disorders and concentration difficulties

Studies on diabetes and depression

Individuals with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing a depression, it shows a study published in the reputable journal JAMA. The link between diabetes and depression is well known, but it is still unclear whether depression causes diabetes or vice versa. There are several possible reasons why people with diabetes are at increased risk of depression, possibly due to complications arising from their diabetes, side effects from treatment, lifestyle or diet. There are studies that show that people with diabetes have an increased risk of depression, and vice versa. One study has shown that people with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of diabetes regardless of blood sugar levels.

Scientists and doctors believe that individuals can experience psychological stress from managing their diabetes and that this stress can increase the risk of depression. Doctors need to become more aware of this. Some researchers and doctors believe that healthcare should consider whether people with type 2 diabetes should be routinely screened for depression.

In a new study presented at the American Diabetes Congress ADA in New Orleans, researchers from the University of Colorado examined 458 adults with type 1 diabetes and 546 healthy individuals. In the current study, the researchers looked at the prevalence of depression and antidepressant medication. It turned out that people with type 1 diabetes experienced depression more than twice as often as those without diabetes. Approximately 20% of diabetic patients used antidepressant treatment compared to 12% in the second group.

The researchers also observed that individuals with diabetes and depression have an increased risk of diabetes-related complications — such as retinal changes, blindness and cardiovascular diseases. Individuals with type 1 diabetes who have manifested cardiovascular diseases usually experience more depressive symptoms than people without complications.

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