Diabetes and Depression

Monday, January 12, 2015

Studies show that people with diabetes have a greater risk of depression than people without diabetes. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about a possible link between the two conditions in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Depression can strike anyone, but people with diabetes may be at a greater risk.

Several studies suggest that diabetes doubles the risk of depression compared to those without the disorder. The chances of becoming depressed increase as diabetes complications worsen.

Diabetes is a serious health concern that afflicts an estimated 29 million Americans. Complications of the disease may be disabling or even life-threatening and may include cardiovascular disease, nerve damage and kidney damage.

Much of the treatment for diabetes is self-care. This includes exercise, a healthy diet, taking medications and checking blood sugar regularly. Research shows that depression leads to poorer physical and mental functioning, so a person is less likely to follow a required diet or medication plan.

Causes underlying the association between depression and diabetes are unclear. Depression may develop because of stress but also may result from the metabolic effects of diabetes on the brain.

Treating depression with psychotherapy, medication or a combination of these treatments can improve a patients well-being and ability to manage diabetes.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.