How does depression affect diabetes?


Diabetes is a disease that uproots your lifestyle the moment you’re diagnosed with the disease. The day to day management for a diabetes patient could leave them unsettled, as it demands a lot of time, lifestyle changes, hence taking a toll on their mental health.


diabetesThe symptoms for both diabetes and depression and the risk factors are also the same. Some scientific studies have shown that compared with non-diabetic people, patients with type  two diabetes have up to 25 percent increased risk of developing depression. The mechanisms underlying this relationship are still unclear and warrant further research.

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.Research suggests that diabetic patients who also suffer from depression have been shown to have poor control of their glucose and also their metabolic status. Such poor control can cause complications and health problems that may worsen symptoms of depression.


The silver lining to this is that both can be treated simultaneously, so they can be battled at once. Therapy has known to be effective in battling depression and helping the patient deal with their blood glucose levels much better.

In order to nip this bad combination of depression and diabetes in the bud, watch out for signs ofdepression, like feelings of anxiety, hopelessness and lethargy for a consecutive number of days. It is an indisputable that exercise helps clear the mind. And the lethargy that one often feels when they’re depressed is what leads to a lazy lifestyle when you’re diabetic, thus worsening the symptoms. Therefore, regular exercising, be it a sport or just a brisk evening walk, would do wonders in uplifting their spirits and having a healthy lifestyle, killing two birds with one stone.

Nutrition is very important in improving both diabetes and depression. What we consume is what makes us and if all we’re consuming in unhealthy junk food, then our mindset and approach will be lazy and ineffective. Eating a balanced healthy diet with a good dosage of proteins, will help the individual have a better outlook on life and a proactive approach to battling diabetes and depression.

The general mood swings that come with being depressed also adversely affect the lifestyle of a diabetic patient. So tackling that with anti-depressanttherapy would lead to a much better quality and way of life.

(Disclaimer: Writer is Dr Srinivasa P Munigoti, Consultant Diabetologist& Endocrinologist Fortis Hospital. Views expressed are personal opinion.) 

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