People who have type 2 diabetes are far more likely to experience depression symptoms than their peers. At the exact same time, data imply that individuals who are depressed have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Researchers have offered a number of explanations for the connection between depression symptoms and type 2 diabetes, including:
- A diabetes diagnosis leads to melancholy. Many people experience depression symptoms after receiving the diagnosis of a chronic illness like diabetes.
- Diabetes can be triggered by the physical effect of melancholy. Depression influences your body’s reaction to stress and increases inflammation, both of which could make it difficult to process sugar and insulin right. This then can promote the development of diabetes.
- Type 2 diabetes can be caused by antidepressants. A study of over 3,000 adults participating in the Diabetes Prevention Program suggests that antidepressants may make it more difficult for individuals to control blood sugar levels. This doesn’t mean that people with depression should cease taking their medicines, but their blood sugar levels should be monitored more closely. Additional research is needed to clarify this issue.
- The risk of both ailments increases. A sedentary lifestyle along with a high-calorie diet put you at greater risk of both depression and diabetes.
- Depression causes it to be more difficult to handle diabetes. A study of 2,902 Native Americans revealed that those who were depressed and had diabetes were less likely to keep their blood sugar under control.
Depression and Diabetes: What Does the Research Say?
In a study printed in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore ascertained that the danger of type 2 diabetes rises as melancholy symptoms increase. Likewise, they found that people with type 2 diabetes were nearly two times as likely to get depression symptoms as those who had untreated, and probably undiagnosed, type 2 diabetes.
“Having melancholy increases an individual’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and having treated type 2 diabetes increased an individual’s risk of developing depression,” says study author Sherita Golden, MD, MHS, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins.
The results from Dr. Golden’s study build on the basis of earlier work researching the link between diabetes and depression.
“Previous studies have shown that individuals who have diabetes and depression tend to be more than likely to have hyperglycemia or poor blood glucose control. We all know that people with depression are less prone to work out, use up more calories, and are less adherent [to] their drug program, all which can promote poor blood glucose control in the setting of diabetes,” Golden explains.
In spite of the data, there are no national recommendations for screening people who have depression for diabetes, or for screening people with diabetes for melancholy.
“The data indicates that individuals with diabetes must be monitored for development of depression, just as they may be monitored for other complications of diabetes. Additionally, it proposes that individuals with depression should be monitored for development of type 2 diabetes and behavioral treatments for depression might also have to include direction strategies for transforming obesity-promoting health behaviors,” stresses Golden.
Finally, individuals with one of these conditions may have to be their own promoters to get screenings. Both type 2 diabetes as well as depression are treatable and manageable, and research further implies that treating depression in people with diabetes may help them manage their diabetes
“People with one ailment — diabetes or depression — should understand that they are at increased risk for developing the other and engage in a dialogue with their doctors about addressing and treating the depression that can normally accompany the diabetes,” suggests Golden.