Diabetes deepens the challenges by surging depressive symptoms
The International Diabetes Federation highlights diabetes as one of the largest global health emergencies of the 21st century. Being a chronic disease, diabetes is associated with numerous neuropsychiatric conditions, especially depression.
Compared to the general population, the prevalence of depression is found to be nearly two or three times higher in patients with the problem of diabetes. With an increasing number of studies being conducted on depression and diabetes, new dimensions of the interrelationship between both the conditions have emerged.
Depression is often viewed as one of the most neglected symptoms among the patients with diabetes and is directly linked to the decreased quality of life. Overall, the relationship between diabetes and depression is believed to be bidirectional in nature.
According to a report, the widespread prevalence of diabetes worldwide was one in 11 adults and the estimated prevalence of the impaired glucose toleration was one in 15 adults. Given the above magnitude of diabetes, there has been consistent growth in the number of people suffering from depression. The two dominant hypotheses involved in the initial emergence of clinically significant depressive symptoms in individuals with diabetes include:
- The biochemical changes associated directly to diabetes or its treatment lead to alterations in the brain chemistry that leads to depression.
- As the management of diabetes can prove quite demanding psychologically, it can turn out to be a major factor for depression.
Diabetic risk in depressed patients
As defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), diabetes is a mood disorder that reunites several symptoms that alter the functionality of an individual. As mentioned above, the entire task of managing a chronic disease like diabetes and coping the repercussions can surge overwhelming feelings like sadness and depression.
Generally, depression alters one’s normal processing of emotions, cognition and behaviors. The DSM-5 describes major depressive disorder (MDD) as either a diminished, or irritable mood, decreased interest or both, with at least four of the following symptoms occurring for a period of least two weeks:
- Feeling of guilt or worthlessness
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Concentration problems
- Suicidal thoughts or thoughts about death
- Weight loss or weight gain (5 percent change in weight)
- Psychomotor retardation or activation (change in activity)
- Hypersomnia or insomnia
Due to the overlapping of symptoms, the same risk factors are likely to cause both depression and diabetes. Numerous studies suggest that people diagnosed with depression have an increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus-2 (DM2). A study authors highlighted the association between antidepressants and the glycemic control by finding that the use of multiple antidepressant subclasses increased the levels of HbA1C among adults.
Since the HbA1c test (also known as the hemoglobin A1c or glycated hemoglobin test) is an important blood test to determine the average level of blood sugar, the above finding indicates that the use of antidepressants may be a risk factor for suboptimal glycemic control. The previous studies reported that the repeated use of antidepressants is associated with the risk of diabetes.
The epidemiological study of 90,686 participants highlighted the prevalence of depression in people with diabetes, despite the fact that they had diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. In patients with undiagnosed diabetes, the prevalence of depression could possibly be due to an unfavorable lifestyle, such as lack of physical activity, unhealthy diet or stressful lifestyle. Moreover, extreme hypoglycemia in people with DM2 was associated with the severity of depressive symptoms, independent of glycemic control, insulin therapy, lifestyle factors and diabetic turmoil.
Apparently, the cropping of depression could possibly be due to antidiabetic treatment. Diabetes can lead to structural alterations in the brain, such as cerebral atrophy and lacunar infarcts, blood flow changes of both hypos- and hyperperfusion, etc. Such alterations could possibly predict the chronic inflammation in the brain, which leads to depression.
Manage depressive symptoms by implementing effective measures
Before the exacerbation of any health condition, it is important to prevent, identify and treat them before developing the problem of comorbidity. In patients suffering from diabetes, depression often remains underdiagnosed. With a multidisciplinary approach, it is possible to treat both the diseases.
If you or your loved one is suffering from depressive symptoms, contact the Texas Depression Treatment Help to know about the finest depression treatment centers in Texas. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-827-0282 or chat online with our experts to get information about the best depression treatment in Texas.