The exponential rise in the cases of patients suffering from diabetes over the past several years has been a matter of grave concern for medical professionals and researchers. This has led to extensive research about the diverse affects of the ailment on the overall health and well-being of the patients. One of the recent findings of such studies has suggested that people suffering from diabetes are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression as compared to people spared from the disease. This is true for people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and more importantly is inversely true as well. This means that people suffering from depression are likely to have a greater risk of developing diabetes.
Understanding The Link Between Diabetes And Depression
While researchers have failed to fully understand the link between diabetes and depression, they have found enough proof about a connection between the two ailments. In fact, many researchers feel that this connection results from the metabolic and brain functionality effects of diabetes on the patients. In fact, diabetes is known to create alteration in brain chemistry, which can lead to development of depression. In addition, the day-to-day management of diabetes can be extremely rigorous and stressful, which is also something that researchers associate with the development of depression. Researchers believe that the combination of diabetes and depression in an individual can instigate more long term health complications related to both these ailments.
Ways In Which Depression Affects Diabetes
Depression tends to effects the ability of patients to deal with diabetes and even makes it difficult for them to manage their blood glucose levels in an appropriate manner. Discussed below are some common ways in which depression affects diabetes.
- Depression causes people with diabetes to make poor lifestyle decision, which might in turn enhance the progress of diabetes. Diabetics suffering from depression are known to indulge in unhealthy eating, less exercise, weight gain and smoking, which are the known risk factors of diabetes.
- Depression makes it relatively difficult for diabetic patients to perform different tasks, think clearly or even communicate their concerns properly. This makes it extremely difficult for them to manage their diabetes successfully and result in various-related complications.
- Depression deeply affects the quality of life led by diabetics as it interferes with their adherence to established medication schedules and diet regimes. Moreover, some anti-depressant medicines are known to have hypoglycaemic effects, which complicate the problem further.
Best Ways To Manage The Two Ailments Simultaneously
While managing both the health issues individually might not be as difficult, doing so simultaneously can be somewhat tricky. Discussed below are some effective ways for patients suffering from both the ailments to manage these health problems successfully.
- Self-management Programs For Diabetes: Self-management programs for diabetes help the patients to monitor their behaviour to ensure better metabolic control and enhanced fitness level. These programs help to counter the effects of depression by increasing the sense of well-being and the benefits of a good quality life amongst the patients.
- Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, especially the one focusing on cognitive behavioural therapy is known to improve the symptoms of depression amongst diabetics. This helps them to manage their blood sugar levels in a better manner and reduce the risks associated with both the ailments.
- Changes In Medication And Lifestyle: Proper medication forms an integral part of efficient management of both diabetes and depression. In addition, it is important to make necessary lifestyle changes to ensure visible improvement in both conditions.
- Collaborative Care: Research has proved that seeking the advice and guidance of professional health care experts can significantly improve the management of depression and diabetes. However, this type of care may not be available in most health care systems.