Sovereign Health Group Blog

Diabetes: Not only a threat to physical health

Posted on 08-21-2015 Posted in Diabetes, Mental Health, Mental Illness - 0 Comments


In 2013 it was estimated that 382 million people worldwide had diabetes. In the United States, 29.1 million children and adults – 9.3 percent of the American population – have diabetes. The incidence of diabetes has gone up a huge 60 percent in the past ten years in the United Kingdom alone.

There are many serious complications of diabetes one of which is an increased risk of depression, anxiety and other mental disorders. Concurrent diabetes and mental illness present in different ways. They may be independent conditions with no apparent connection but diabetes may be complicated by the development of a psychiatric disorder. In those cases, diabetes contributes to the pathology of the disorder. Some psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia can be risk factors for diabetes development.

There may be an overlap between hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and ketoacidosis (insufficient insulin to metabolize glucose) and conditions such as panic attacks. Tobacco and alcohol use can change the effects of oral medications for the treatment of diabetes and depression may prevent a patient from adhering to a proper diabetes management protocol. According to a 2011 review published in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, co-occurring mental illnesses and diabetes are linked to “impaired quality of life, increased cost of care, poor treatment adherence, poor glycemia control, higher frequency of hospitalization and higher rate of absenteeism.”

Other markers of diabetes include: weight gain or obesity, excessive abdominal or belly fat, physical inactivity and an unhealthy diet.

Type 1diabetes usually occurs in childhood, the teens or early adulthood and is currently treated with insulin. Patients must carefully monitor their blood glucose levels and maintain a proper diet. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that between 2001 and 2009 Type 1 diabetes in the under 20 age group in the U.S. rose by 23 percent.

Type 2 diabetes – the more common form of the condition – occurs when either the pancreas does not produce adequate amounts of insulin or the body develops a resistance to insulin. It’s unknown why this happens but the combination of excess weight and inactivity are thought to be contributory factors.

Sovereign Health of Florida treats addictions, mental health disorders including depression and anxiety and behavioral problems. We also promote a healthy lifestyle including exercise and proper nutrition to promote wellness. If you would like further information, please call 866-269-2493 to speak with a member of our team.

Written by Veronica McNamara, Sovereign Health Group writer

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