In recent research, doctors observed that male diabetics cope better and manage their diabetes more effectively than women. They not only have lesser depression and anxiety but more energy and better positive well being.
- In that same research doctors summarized that female diabetics need to develop a more positive attitude towards the disease and its management.
- This is crucial, especially in those responsible for tasks such as take care of family and cooking, which make it difficult for them to follow their own medication, exercise, take care of feet and check blood sugar and eating schedules.
- Women must develop a more positive attitude towards the disease and its management.1
Helping women cope with total care
The research is clear that there is a connection between depression and diabetes and diabetes and depression in a “chicken and egg,” relationship.Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Department of Medicine confirm, “There is a link between depression and diabetes – as depression is a risk factor for diabetes, diabetes also increases the risk for the onset of depression. Not only is depression common in patients with diabetes, but it also contributes to poor adherence to medication regimens, which often results in worsening diabetes management.”2
Recent research from the San Francisco VA Medical Center says nearly 25% of diabetics report symptoms of fatigue, depression, and problems of sleep and high rates of shortness of breath, nausea and constipation.
The researchers suggest that caring for the disease as well as secondary symptoms to create better quality of life should be part of diabetes management. 3,4
As noted in the study above and other research, many studies have shown that diabetics are at higher risk for depression and that part of that reason is that the patient may suffer from the mental fatigue of the daily caring for themselves.
This has lead researchers to suggest natural and alternative therapies that can help patients cope with their depression better.
Research suggests natural and alternative therapies can help patients cope with their depression better
In one study, investigators examining previously published studies found improvements in self-care behaviors and reductions in clinical risk in persons with type 2 diabetes who received care from licensed naturopathic physicians.
Improvements were noted in:
- self-monitoring of glucose, diet, self-efficacy, motivation and mood following initiation of lifestyle counseling for patients with inadequately controlled type 2 diabetes. Study participants also experienced reductions in blood glucose.4
At the Magaziner Center for Wellness, we thoroughly assess each patient’s physical state and treat any triggers of depression without the use of medication. To begin, we look at food sensitivities and allergies – as reactions to wheat, for example, and other elements have been linked to depression. If such sensitivities are detected, we work with the patient to modify diet and environment to eliminate the element’s negative impact. We also look at exposure to mold and other environmental irritants, such as building materials and household chemicals, which often harm the nervous system and impact mood.
Depression has been linked to problems or imbalances in the brain with regard to the neurotransmitters serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, GABA and dopamine. We analyze the urine to test the levels of these neurotransmitters, and use blood tests to look at levels of key amino acids. We also review the levels of fatty acids, namely Omega-3 fatty acids, and test for deficiencies in trace minerals such as intracellular magnesium and zinc, and vitamins including B-12, as low levels of any of these have been linked to depression. This comprehensive analysis enables us to treat the disorder using nutritional supplementation.
We rule out that the patient is not suffering from excessive tissue levels of heavy metals or chemicals such as pesticides or solvents. These substances can have an adverse impact on the nervous system and contribute to depression.
We also use Ondamed – an advanced biofeedback technology – to help identify and repair areas of cellular imbalance and tissue inflammation. Ondamed uses pulsed electromagnetic frequency to help put the body back in energetic balance and restore a sense of relaxed calm and clearer thinking.
Lastly, we encourage our patients to seek out – and stick with – stress reduction techniques to help manage, and in most cases, drastically reduce, their depression and related symptoms. Consistent exercise should be included to help stimulate mood-elevating endorphins.
1. Siddiqui MA, Khan MF, Carline TE. Gender differences in living with diabetes mellitus. Mater Sociomed. 2013;25(2):140-2. doi: 10.5455/msm.2013.25.140-142.
2. H. R. Bogner, K. H. Morales, H. F. de Vries, A. R. Cappola. Integrated Management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Depression Treatment to Improve Medication Adherence: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Annals of Family Medicine, 2012; 10 (1): 15 DOI: 10.1370/afm.1344
3. Sudore R, et al. Symptom Burden of Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Across the Disease Course: Diabetes & Aging Study Journal of General Internal Medicine DOI: 10.1007/s11606-012-2132-3 August 3, 2012
4. San Francisco VA Medical Center, University of California, San Francisco and Kaiser Permanente, news release, Aug. 7, 2012