“Depression, diabetes and obesity are on the rise in our country and around the world. It has been estimated that diabetes mellitus type 2 affects about 246 million people in the world; nevertheless, incidence varies among countries (De la Cruz-Cano, et al., 2015). The three afflictions are closely linked in causes and treatment options. According to the De la Cruz-Cano, et al., Diabetes Mellitus and depression are two diseases that are highly prevalent conditions with a significant impact on health concerns, such as obesity. Depression can impact anyone in their lifetime, and it can be an exclusive diagnosis. However, diabetes can compound this issue, or even cause symptoms of depression to occur. Obesity is often a symptom that people will experience with these two diagnoses. How do we combat an epidemic that is so intertwined?
The age-old question of “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”, is often considered when depression and diabetes are related to obesity. The National Institute of Mental Health (2017), view the causes underlying the association between depression and diabetes are unclear, despite the advances in brain research in the past 20 years. The varying symptoms of each disease are often not identified as being connected due to lack of patient reporting. In addition, the conditions may not be connected because physicians are not probing the patient for greater details of their troubling experiences. These unfortunate variables of the increasing problem lead to patients experiencing mood disruptions, inactivity and weight gain. It’s time for the medical and psychiatric teams to start talking and brainstorming methods of more holistic approaches to assist their patients.
Let’s begin with what we know about the physical conditions of diabetes and its relationship with depression. Often, we can tackle the physical symptoms immediately. There is evidence that depression is associated with a poor metabolic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus that will present other health problems, such as hypertension and obesity (De la Cruz-Cano, et al., 2015). Since diabetes affects the way the human body uses the nutrients from digested food for growth and energy, we can enlist help from our health care providers for this medical problem. When we have energy from proper nutrition, our ability to function physically, mentally and emotionally become less of a burden and more of an asset to our overall well-being. As a result, we could potentially limit the occurrence of the life problems experienced with the symptoms of depression, and its cohort, obesity.
When depression does start to creep into our lives, despite our efforts to manage our physical symptoms, it can be beneficial to enlist the help of mental health professionals. In conjunction with our physicians, mental help can be administered from psychologists, psychiatrists, or even clinical social workers. Often, psychotherapy (talk-therapy), medication and a healthy lifestyle regimen can lead to a much happier and healthier overall well-being. If you decide to incorporate natural supplements into your daily, healthy routine, be sure to consult your physician to ensure they are an effective measure that will not conflict with your prescribed medication.
Depression, diabetes and obesity are difficult problems that can be overcome. With the proper help from professionals and healthy choices in your life, you can have many positive days in your future.