by: Alisha Maham

Ain’t you living with diabetes and depression together?


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DIABETES is responsible for the rapid increase in blood glucose   level which may leads to depression among diabetic patients. Pakistan ranks 3rd in the prevalence of diabetes, globally after breaking records of China and India. According to the International Diabetes Federation(IDF) Atlas, 10th edition, going to be release on 6 Dec; it is evaluated that at present, approximately 537 million adults are living with diabetes; 33 million are living with diabetes in the country. Globally, there is a high risk that ratio may shot up to 643 million by 2030 and 784 million by 2045.

Diabetes is known as a silent killer that gradually leads to other health complications and drags the patients towards death. Diabetes has a disastrous effect on every organ of the body which results in the impairment of metabolic functions. Diabetes shows the multi-dimensional relationship with physiological and psychological disorders such as depression. Diabetes statistics showed the high prevalence of diabetes. The gradient line of the chronic disease keeps rising continuously. International Diabetes federation in 2015 reported that diabetes is the largest emergency of health around the globe.  In 2019, (IDF) report shows that 19 million citizens of Pakistan are living with diabetes but the year 2021 showed the red symbol for the country as it has touched the bottom line of an extremely high prevalence of approximately 33 million patients suffering with diabetes; the prevalence shows the 42 per cent elevation in last two years. Apparently, this reflects the rapid increment of ratio up to 643 million by 2030 and the risk of rise up to 784 million by 2045 if immediate action is not taken to stave off this condition.

The individuals coping with chronic disorders like diabetes tend to develop other psychological health problems like stress, anxiety and depression which ultimately deteriorate quality of life. The fear of increasing glucose level in blood also affects the sleep of diabetic patients due to inflammation in feet, excessive urination, and muscle fatigue.

Depression is more common among diabetics than the normal individuals. The latest research shows that people suffer with diabetes are more likely to develop depression.

On the other hand, depression is also a major risk factor for occurrence of diabetes. In result depression also reduces the ability of self-management of the chronic disease.

A latest survey was conducted in the district Hyderabad, where 60 diabetic patients were diagnosed. The research was based on the interrelationship between diabetes and depression. Prevalence also showed the severity between the two. The study estimated that 66 per cent of females were suffering with depression due to diabetes and 34 per cent were the males suffering with the same. 38 pc diabetics were found dealing with mild depression, 36 pc shows moderate depression and rest of 26pc were at the severity of the disease.

                      Managing Diabetes is not a science, it is an Art

Globally, the COVID-19 also adds up in worsen the health conditions of people. Pre-diabetics and undiagnosed patients got affected with type II due to stress, anxiety caused by financial issues and other domestic issues. Moreover, a heavy regular dosage of medicines is one of the causes of depression. Increased urination, unhealthy diet, urge of eating sugary foods, smoking, fear of excessive weight gain and loss, fear of wounds or injury that may get worse and turn into ulcers, insomnia, cognitive impairment, chronic pain, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, stroke and a risk of increased early mortality rate. All these reasons are responsible for the depression among diabetic patients.

Diabetes and depression can be treated together. A self-motivation is beneficial in combating two conditions together. Psychotherapy; cognitive behavioral therapy helps in effective diabetes management, meditation, morning exercise is good for the peace of mind, healthy diet, positive thinking approach, avoid things that cause the anxiety and stress. A proper medication would help stave off the condition or at least help ameliorate its most debilitating effects and to prevent its severity.