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Do you suffer from both depression and Type 2 diabetes? If so, you may have surprised if there’;s a link between the two conditions. Research shows there is a link – people with Type 2 diabetes are twice as likely as those without diabetes to have depression. Here are the reasons why – and what you can do about it.
There are several reasons why diabetes can lead to depression. Living with Type 2 diabetes can be stressful. Managing diabetes typically includes changing your eating plan and concentrating on a healthy eating plan, testing your blood sugar at least daily, taking insulin injections and / or oral diabetes medicines, and going to doctor’;s appointments more often than you have in the past. This can all add stress to an already busy lifestyle. It may also make you feel alone to have to deal with a health issue no one else in your family or circle of friends does.
Day to day fluctuations in blood sugar can also cause negative feelings and stress. When your blood sugar gets too high, you may feel like you’;re not in control of your diabetes. Finally, the complications high blood sugar can cause, like eye problems and nerve damage, can also contribute to depression.
So, what can you do to prevent depression? There are steps you can do take to help …
1. Counselling. Talking to a counselor about what you’;re going through can help. They can help you adjust to your diagnosis, manage work or family stress, and deal with the burnout that can come from dealing with unstable blood sugar.
2. Exercise. When you exercise your body releases endorphins that help you feel good, which can boost your mood and prevent depression. And as an added bonus, being active will help you better manage your blood sugar.
3. Take in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 is a healthy type of fat research has shown to be effective in preventing depression. Fish like salmon, mackerel, and herring are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Foods like flaxseeds and chia seeds also contain high amounts of omega-3.
4. Join a support group. Talking to other people with Type 2 diabetes who share the same concerns and stressors as you can be very helpful. The Defeat Diabetes Foundation can help you find a support group close to you. There are also online support groups you can join.
5. Practice relaxation. Taking time out of your day to actively practice relaxation is a good way to reduce stress. Meditation is one example of a relaxation exercise. You can also do breathing exercises, guided relaxation, or yoga – whatever works for you!