Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blood sugar and mood

"ScienceDaily (2012-01-10) -- Patients simultaneously treated for both Type 2 diabetes and depression improve medication compliance and significantly improve blood sugar and depression levels compared to patients receiving usual care, according to a new study."

In plain English, this means that people with non-insulin-dependent diabetes need to be treated both for diabetes and depression; when that happens, twice as many get stable.

This falls under the Department of the Blitheringly Obvious, because -- as anyone who has hypoglycemia, or has dealt with diabetics knows -- depression is the first sign of low blood sugar; low or unstable blood sugar leads to poor decision-making, notably poor food choices; poor food choices lead to unstable blood sugar, and round and round we go.

To break the cycle, both must be addressed. Otherwise, the cycle continues feeding on itself... er, unfeeding on itself. Or something.

As anyone with common sense who has dealt with the mentally ill knows, the first intervention is a proper meal. It's simply amazing how things improve with a little real food inside.

Unstable blood sugar worsens pain, impairs memory, and limits cognitive function. Low blood sugar specifically creates an unhappy state.

A hungry brain is not a happy brain!

Treating type II diabetes without treating depression, or treating depression without treating underlying type II diabetes, is not a recipe for success. The fact that as many as one third of these diabetic patients even get better, is pretty remarkable. Treat both, and over 60% of these people go back to cheerful, stable, productive lives -- not needing sickleave, additional benefits, or other direct and indirect expenses.

Sounds like a good cost/benefit profile to me!

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