Depression is about twice as common among people with diabetes than the general population, affecting at least 15% of people with the condition.
While depression in and of itself is a problem if left untreated, depression can also have a negative impact on diabetes self-management, blood sugar control, and the potential for complications. If you are feeling depressed, be sure to tell your health care provider. There are steps you can take to feel better.
What kind of exercise is safe -- and fun -- if you have nerve damage from diabetes, called diabetic neuropathy? And how can you stay motivated after that first flush of inspiration fades?
"It depends on where you're starting," says Dace L. Trence, MD, an endocrinologist and director of the Diabetes Care Center at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. "For the person who has been doing nothing, you would certainly want to start doing something that's comfortable and enjoyable and...
Depression is a complex disease; its root causes can be genetic, environmental, and emotional. For people with diabetes, depression can develop as a result of the lifestyle adjustments they have to make to control their diabetes. Managing diabetes can be stressful and time-consuming, and the dietary restrictions can make life seem less enjoyable.
Symptoms of Depression
There are several warning signs and symptoms of depression, including:
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
Withdrawal from social activities
Inability to concentrate
Insomnia (difficulty falling and staying asleep)
Excessive feelings of guilt or worthlessness
Loss of energy or fatigue
Changes in appetite
Observable mental and physical sluggishness
Thoughts of death or suicide
If you (or someone you love) has diabetes and show signs of depression, tell your doctor immediately.
There are no lab tests to specifically diagnose depression. The diagnosis is based on reported symptoms -- including any problems with functioning caused by the symptoms.
Depression Treatment With Diabetes
Depression in people with diabetes is usually treated the same way as depression in non-diabetics. Tricyclic antidepressants are a class of drugs that work by increasing the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin, neurotransmitters in the brain that help nerve cells communicate with each other. If these chemicals are out of balance or not working properly, messages may not make it through the brain correctly, leading to symptoms of depression. Tricyclic antidepressants work by correcting the balance of these chemicals. Common tricyclics include Elavil, Norpramin and Pamelor.
Another type of antidepressant, is selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Examples of this type of antidepressant include Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. They work by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain.
Still another type of antidepressant commonly used in treating depression in diabetes are serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). These medications block the reabsorption of both serotonin and norepinephrine. Examples of this type of antidepressant are Effexor, Pristiq, Khedezla, Fetzima, and Cymbalta.
Both tricyclics and SSRIs have been associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes. This effect is more pronounced when both tricyclics and SRRIs are used together. The exact reason why the medications should increase the risk of developing diabetes is not clearly understood. Weight gain is commonly seen with the use of tricyclics and may be a factor.
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