People with diabetes are more than twice as likely as others to have depression.
A study published by the National Institutes of Health found a variety of factors, including the physical impact of diabetes on immunology and endocrine pathways to the brain, plus the psychological and psychosocial impact of having diabetes.
It’s an important connection to watch, because depression is associated with poor disease control, poor health, and diminished quality of life.
Depression can lead to poor lifestyle decisions, such as unhealthy eating, less exercise, smoking and weight gain — all of which are risk factors for diabetes, reports the Mayo Clinic. Depression also affects your ability to perform tasks, communicate and think clearly, which can interfere with your ability to successfully manage diabetes.
If you have diabetes, watch for signs of depression such as loss of interest in normal activities, feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and unexplained physical problems like back pain or headaches. If you think you might be depressed, seek help right away. Your doctor or diabetes educator can refer you to a mental health professional.
In Northfield, the Diabetes Support Group meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 to 8:00 pm at Northfield Hospital. This free support group brings people with diabetes together to share their experiences, learn how others manage their health, and encourage each other. To learn more, contact group leaders Julie Stulz at 651-245-1705 or Kelly Gueldner at 651-214-7714.