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Depression and Type 2 Diabetes—Symptoms or Disease? (Part 2)
October 17, 2007
Last week, I wrote about the relationship between depression and diabetes, and the post received some great replies. This topic is definitely worth two more blog entries, so here goes:
Why Should We Care About Depression?
The combination of diabetes and depression can be deadly. “When you add diabetes and depression,” says Patrick Lustman, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, “…each becomes more difficult to control, increasing the risks of…complications.”
Why? Well, there are effects on behavior. Depressed people tend to eat more and exercise less, which results in weight gain and sabotages efforts at controlling blood glucose levels. But an even stronger connection is stress. Depression is stressful, and stress increases blood glucose and insulin resistance. A study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that depression in diabetes correlated with high blood glucose and poor self-care, but that poor self-care played a very small role. The researchers felt the main cause was probably a mind/body effect, such as stress.
So medicine and therapy are definitely worth a try. But most depression can also be helped with self-care. The holistic treatments include sunshine, physical activity, social contact, and several others that I’ll talk about next week.
Great Reader Comments
Thanks to pepdot and paperprincess for sharing their stories of taking control of their depression. Way to go!
Thanks also to Bluebird and Beth for their advice about dealing with my Internet addiction. It’s helping.
Please share your ideas about self-managing depression with a comment here.
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