Diabetes and Depression - Recognizing the Symptoms
People with diabetes often exhibit signs of depression. The link between
diabetes and depression
unclear, but together they are increased cause for concern: depression
makes it difficult for people to take care of themselves, and in
is particularly important to keep blood glucose levels under control.
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Depression can and should be treated. People who are depressed are
less likely to follow their diabetes
treatment plan, resulting in poor glucose management and higher risk
for the development of diabetes-related complications.
Poor physical health can also impact your mental well-being, leading to a vicious
Symptoms of Depression
Signs or symptoms of depression in diabetics can include:
- Repeated bouts of poor blood glucose management, resulting in
or even hospitalization.
- Extreme fluctuations in blood sugar levels,
often with no discernible reason.
- Poor A1C results.
- A halt in menstruation.
- Repeated bouts of binge-eating or drinking
- Behavioral issues: restlessness, irritability, inability to concentrate,
impatience, anxiety, easily angered.
- Physical issues: headaches, upset stomach, diarrhea, muscle aches, and excessive sweating.
- Unintentional weight gain or loss.
- Loss of interest in favorite activities, hobbies, etc.
- Trouble falling asleep, or waking often during the night.
While it is normal to feel "down" every so often, a mood swing that
lasts more than a few weeks could be depression. It can be difficult to tell
someone that you're feeling depressed. However, depression is a serious condition
-- and even more so in diabetics who need to be feeling mentally-well in order to
engage in a good diabetes self-care routine.
If you notice symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor and ask for help.
Depression can be treated. Medication and psycho-therapy are most often
used in some combination, depending on the person being treated. Ask your doctor
for a referral to a mental health professional who is experienced in treating
depression in diabetics. Always provide every healthcare professional you see
with a complete list of medications you take (including insulin), and the dosages.
Since everyone responds differently, medications may need to be adjusted until
the right combination can be found for you.
It is not uncommon to find diabetes and depression together. It is important
to get assessed and begin treatment quickly, so that you can continue to take
good care of your health.
The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience,
and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual
situation should be directed to your doctor.