Type 2 Diabetes – Depression Anxiety, and the Risk of Developing Diabetes

According to the Journal of Affective Disorders, individuals suffering anxiety and depression are twice as likely as happy people to develop Type 2 diabetes. In May of 2018, the journal published an article from the Department of Psychiatry at the McGill University and the department of psychology at Carleton University in Canada.

The researchers looked at 78,025 participants 30 to 75 years of age. They assessed the emotional state of all the participants at the start of the study and compared them with either those with Type 2 diabetes or raised hemoglobin A1c levels three years later. A total of 1096 individuals developed Type 2 diabetes. Those with depression and anxiety were 2.12 times as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than the participants without either.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people suffered depression worldwide in 2017. It is the leading cause of disability and has been on the increase since 2005. The most dangerous thing about depression is it can cause people to think they cannot get better. Fortunately, this is not true. Doctors have a wide array of medications used to treat depression, and while it might take time to find the right drug for each individual, there is every reason to hope for a good outcome. Non-pharmaceutical treatments are also helpful.

When we are physically active, our brain makes substances called endorphins, which are natural mood elevators. Getting up off the couch and going to the gym is not comfortable when one has a depressed mood, but it is worth the effort…

  • taking a class in something fun like painting or making pottery can be therapeutic.
  • growing plants is therapeutic for many people. There is something about keeping a regular schedule of watering, weeding, fertilizing, and seeing good results that can be highly satisfying.
  • friends can be a big mood elevator as well, so calling someone or going out for a cup of coffee or a walk through the mall is another way to fight depression.

Anxiety involves feeling a threat when little or none exists and includes stress out of proportion to the impact of a particular event. Anxious individuals find it difficult to set aside their concerns and restlessness…

  • parks soothe us by getting us back to our roots. Our species evolved in Africa in the presence of grass and trees, so seeing them again makes us feel at home.
  • physical activity can channel all the anxiety into making us healthy. And too tired to feel anxious any more.

Stress raises blood sugar levels. If stress is temporary the blood sugar spike resolves quickly. If stress is ongoing, one needs to get help to deal with stress.