Depression and Diabetes
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By: Kathy Kurit ARNP
Although there is not a definitive explanation for the relationship between depression and diabetes, it is evident that this connection exists. Some experts believe that changes in the brain caused by high blood sugars lead to the development of depression, while others believe those with depression have a greater risk of developing diabetes. For example, being diagnosed with diabetes can cause extreme stress and lead to feelings of depression; while, depression can lead to changes in lifestyle causing weight gain from poor dietary choices and inactivity. No matter which comes first, the link is becoming more prevalent. The important thing to know is that both can be treated and people can live long, healthy lives.
According to the CDC, diabetics are 2-3 times more likely to be depressed when compared to nondiabetics but, only about half of depressed diabetics get diagnosed professionally and are treated. The essential thing is to recognize the problems before they spiral out of control.
It is critical that diabetics get screened for depression; especially those with a strong family history. Depression often leads to a decline in self-care, poor diet, and inactivity, which in turn, can result in extreme elevations in glucose. These elevations put you at risk for multiple complications such as kidney failure, nerve damage and blindness.
If you or a loved one show any of these common symptoms:
- difficulty sleeping
- decline in appetite
- decline in willingness to participate in activities
- feelings of sadness
You should schedule an appointment with your medical provider for a complete evaluation.
Many are afraid to seek help, as they fear the stigma of a mental health diagnosis or are hesitant of side effects that new medications to treat this condition may cause. The good news is, there are multiple treatment options that successfully manage depression that do not include prescriptions medications. For example, working with a therapist to improve sleep habits and control stress, learning meditation, working with diabetes educators and nutritionists to become comfortable with your diagnosis, and limiting alcohol intake are options. Other ideas are reaching out to friends for support, increasing your level of physical exercise or joining relaxing group activities. For those who ultimately require extra help, there are many safe and effective medications to consider.
If you or a loved one has diabetes, be on the look-out for any signs or symptoms of depression. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help and start living the happy and healthy life you deserve!!
Managing diabetes when you have the blues
By: Jessica Cook MS, RD, LD/N, CDCES
Managing diabetes takes a lot of effort. It is time consuming. It can be draining and cause mental fatigue. Remembering insulin doses, medication timing, carbohydrate counting and blood sugar monitoring can seem overwhelming some days. With pandemic, daily stress, finances or possibly missing or losing loved ones many people have felt depression after this past year.
Here are some tips to implement to help you stay positive and on top of your diabetes management even during a period of depression:
- Get some help! Ask your family members, friends or co-workers for support. Can they help you prepare meals or plan meals? Can they start walking in the evening with you? Can they carry around juice for you in case you have a low blood sugar? You may think it will be intrusive to ask them for help, but honestly those closest to you may want to provide support, so do not hesitate to ask!
- Start a gratitude list. Each morning or night before you go to bed write down what you are grateful for or what makes you happy. It could be an easy a being grateful for your dog companion, the sun shining today or you are fortunate enough to have a roof over your head. You may find you have a lot more positivity n your life than you realized.
- Journal your feelings. Writing your experiences, frustrations, dreams or hopes for the future can be a very cathartic and freeing. It can also highlight areas you want to work on or explore deeper feelings about a subject. Spend 10-15min per day journaling your worries, thoughts or aspirations for the future and see what can come up for you.
- Get outside and move! Moving our bodies is an easy way to fight off sad or lonely feelings. Even if you cannot walk consider sitting on the porch, stretching, walking in the pool or simply spend some time on a bench next to the beach. Changing your environment, getting out of the house and increasing your circulation can give you a sense of enjoyment or difference in perception.
- Take it one day at a time and remember your why! Think about why you want to be healthy. Why you want to have good blood sugars. Why do you want to feel good. On days when you do not feel that motivation just think about why you started. You are worth the time, investment and work it takes to be healthy. Remember that.
Join our Socially Distanced
Healthy Meal Planning& Weight Loss
For Diabetes Class Sessions!
Join our classes to stay motivated,
& stay healthy!
Virtual on Zoom:
Tuesday May 11th 10am-12pm
550 Heritage Drive, suite 150 Jupiter FL, 22458
Wednesday May 12th 5:30pm-7:30pm
Boynton Beach Location:
6056 Boynton Beach, Suite 245
Boynton Beach FL 33437
Thursday May 13th 10am-12pm
If interested attending this program please contact our scheduling department at (561) 659-6336 Extension 8001 today!
At Healthy Living with Diabetes we want to ensure that you are satisfied with all services received. We also would like your input on educational workshops that you would like us to offer, information you would like to read about in Healthy Living with Diabetes Monthly or feedback on any workshop that you may have attended. You can contact the director of education personally by email jcook@PBDES.COM or leave a message at (561) 659-6336 ext. 8012. We would love to hear from you!
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