Diabetes symptoms are made worse by depression. Being diagnosed diabetic, and living with pain and other complications can cause a downward spiral. But to get help you need to know you are depressed.
The list of diabetes symptoms does not often include depression but it should. Depression among diabetics is high.
The causes are the same for diabetics as for anyone else who lives with a chronic condition. After your diagnosis you needed to know it was coming.
Depression will catch you by surprise if you were not warned. You might not even recognize that you have become depressed.
That makes it one of the most dangerous symptom of diabetes.
Why? Of all the type 2 diabetes symptoms, depression is the one that will keep you from battling all the other things that come with the disease.
Here is an example. Looking at diabetes symptoms, doctors have recently discovered a higher risk of retinopathy in diabetics who have depression. The number one cause of blindness in diabetes is retinopathy.
This news comes from from a new study you can find in the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health.
They do not know all the reasons for it, but they do know depression is a risk factor for worsened outcomes in the complications of diabetes.
is the number one cause of blindness for people between 25 and 74 years old. Blindness has always been one of the most feared diabetes symptoms.
How does it happen? Long term high blood sugar from uncontrolled diabetes leads to damage of tiny blood vessels.
As the capillaries at the back of your eyes are damaged, you make more of them, but they are weak. The capillaries leak blood into your eyes, and if those leaks are not stopped it leads to blindness.
What's the depression connection? If you are depressed your levels of stress are very high. We know that stress increases cortisol, the fight/flight hormone.
More stress equals more sugar in your bloodstream. The other problem with depression is that you will neglect good things like exercise and proper rest, and you won't take care of yourself like you should.
Neglecting diabetic care always leads to worsened blood sugar control, and that will bring on diabetes symptoms like retinopathy.
Diabetes symptoms fuel the cycle of depression. Type 2 diabetes does not directly cause depression, but the pain and other complications piled on top of a chronic condition will pull you downward before you know it.
You've stopped doing things you used to enjoy. You're eating even though you aren't hungry, especially things you know you should not eat.
Or you've lost your appetite; nothing is worth the effort of fixing it.
You wake up early every morning and can't go back to sleep, or you're sleeping long hours and waking up unrested.
TV and books don't keep your interest long enough to finish anything, and if you watch something you can't recall afterward what it was.
You feel tired all the time, and worse in the morning than the rest of the day. And you think about dying as a release from it all.
Worst of all, you do not take care of your diabetic chores. You neglect your blood sugar monitoring and even your medications.
Defeat, the response to long-term stress, is real, and it helps the downward spiral that chronic pain and diabetes symptoms piled on top of each other have started.
Trying to fight obesity while you are depressed is impossible. Here are some things you can do to help fight the obesity and depression spiral.
Talk to your doctor. You might not be depressed at all. It may be a thyroid problem or a side effect from a medication or even blood sugar that's too high or too low.
But if it is depression, you need to talk about it. It can be hard to confide in the ones closest to you about the diabetes symptoms of depression and burnout.
They are already carrying a burden because of your condition and their own fears. If that bothers you, find someone else to talk to.
It could be a doctor or nurse, or even someone on one of the forums for diabetes or depression. There are many.
But the best advice I've ever gotten was this - find someone who needs help, and do something to help them. Looking outside yourself will give you perspective.
You'll see that there are things worse than what you're going through, and even better, you'll find people who understand your problems.
People who are trying to help others have a way of finding other people who are helping, and that community is a great place to find healing.
Start looking, and start getting better. Your diabetes symptoms will get better too.
The old standby of exercise and eating healthy things is not only going to make you feel better, it will bring you a step closer to the diabetes cure.
The cure lies in front of you, and you don't have to do drastic things to get there, just little steps, small changes.
And by the way, there is nothing wrong with knowing you are going to die. We all are. The statistics on death are 100%, and it's okay to accept that. It's what we do now that matters.
So start doing things for somebody else. You will get better.
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