Sunday, October 3, 2010



Diabetes and depression: What's the link?What's the connection between diabetes and depression? Can diabetes cause depression?


from Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D.

If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of developing depression. And if you have depression, you have a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Though the relationship between diabetes and depression isn't fully understood:

■The rigors of managing diabetes can be stressful and lead to symptoms of depression.

■Diabetes can cause complications and health problems, such as diabetic neuropathy, that may worsen symptoms of depression.

■Depression can lead to poor lifestyle decisions, such as unhealthy eating, less exercise, smoking and weight gain — all of which are risk factors for diabetes.

■Depression affects your ability to perform tasks, communicate and think clearly. This can interfere with your ability to successfully manage diabetes.

The good news is that diabetes and depression can be treated together. Medications and lifestyle changes, including regular exercise, can improve both diabetes and depression.

If you have diabetes, watch for signs and symptoms of depression. These include:
■Loss of interest in normal daily activities

■Feeling sad, down or hopeless

■Problems sleeping

■Trouble focusing or concentrating

■Difficulty making decisions

■Unintentional weight gain or loss

■Feeling fatigued or weak

■Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior

■Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

If you think you may be depressed, seek help right away. Your doctor or diabetes educator can refer you to a mental health professional.