February 15, 2016

Manage Depression and Manage Diabetes

Among people with diabetes, depression is a fact of life. Some have severe depression, but for most, it is mild depression. It is also a fact that many people with diabetes do not seek the help they need because of the stigma that is attached to depression.

Depression has been linked to increased hyperglycemia, morbidity, and mortality. The treatments for the symptoms as well as for depression can lead to improvement in quality of life. Depression is feeling blue or sad, which can interfere with daily life and be a burden on the patient and those around them.

There are many symptoms of depression. This list is just a few:
  • feeling of depressed or sad mood
  • diminished interest in activities, which used to be pleasurable
  • weight gain or loss
  • psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • feeling of guilt
  • difficulty concentrating
  • recurrent suicidal thoughts

There are many causes of depression such as genetics, environmental factor, or psychological factors. This is also a reason that the stigma should not be put on people with depression as often it is not something that they can control. Progress is being made in finding other causes for depression and I have a blog about five of these.

It my understanding, about 67 percent of people with diabetes do suffer from some type of depression; however, most of the time you will see this listed as just depression with no definitive definition. Then about 19 percent of people with diabetes suffer from serious depression and again no accurate definition accompanies this statement.

Some depression tends to run in families and scientists are investigating certain genes that make an individual more prone to depression. However, while genetics do play a big part in depression, many would agree that it is the combination with environmental or other factors that would bring on depression. The loss of a loved one, trauma, difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode in a patient. These are debilitating symptoms for a patient and can prevent them from taking proper care of themselves.

A retrospective cohort study looked at 1,399 patients diagnosed with both depression and type 2 diabetes, and compared their glycemic control using their A1c levels. The study found that 50.9% of depressed patients who are on antidepressants have good glycemic control as compared to only 34.6% of depressed patients without antidepressants. After adjusting for covariates, the study found that those on antidepressants are twice as likely to attain their glycemic goals as compared to those not receiving antidepressants.

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