Did you know that diabetes is often linked with depression?
Diabetes remains prevalent among seniors. The 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report stated that 12 million seniors age 65 and older have been diagnosed with diabetes. At the same time, seniors are also more susceptible to depression because of increased loneliness associated with the loss of loved ones. Unfortunately, when depression co-occurs with another illness, such as diabetes, it can often go unnoticed.
According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control, depression is twice as common among people who have diabetes than it is among people who do not have the disease. In addition, the chances of becoming depressed increases as diabetes complications worsen. Research also shows that depressed adults have a 37 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Depression symptoms often overlap with signs of poor diabetes control, which can make diagnosing depression in people with diabetes a challenge. These depression symptoms may affect how diabetes patients manage their condition. For example:
- Low Motivation. Depressed people may lack the motivation to properly manage their diabetes.
- Fatigue. Depression often leads to fatigue, which leads to lack of exercise – an important part of diabetes management.
- Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness can lead to “giving up” on necessary diabetes treatment.
- Changes in appetite. You eat more or less than you used to, which can lead to unstable glucose levels that can be either too high or too low.
- Poor Stress Management. Ongoing anxiety or stress can increase cortisol levels, which complicate management of glucose levels.
Poor diabetes control can also prompt symptoms similar to those of depression. For example, if your blood sugar is too high or too low, you may experience increased feelings of anxiety, restlessness or low energy.
Talk to your doctor to find out more about the links between diabetes and depression, and take the necessary steps toward healthy living or visit our Diabetes and Nutrition Center on our website or call (303) 716-8039.