The conventional wisdom is that having diabetes triggers depression and vice versa -- but a recent review of the research challenges that assumption, at least when it comes to type 2 diabetes. The joint University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore review found that being depressed raises the risk of type 2 diabetes by 60 percent, but having type 2 diabetes doesn't increase your odds of developing depression.
It's possible depression is also a trigger of pre-diabetes. Research is showing that depression often leads to weight gain, particularly of visceral fat, the type of belly fat that leads to insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Being depressed also causes the release of higher levels of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone. This, in turn, promotes the accumulation of visceral fat -- the more cortisol you have in your body, the more visceral fat gets laid down. Plus, inflammation is on the upswing and other systems go awry during depression, which may worsen insulin resistance and spur on type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes. But why is depression more prevalent in type 1 diabetes? Unlike type 2, in people with type 1 diabetes, it's the disease that may be driving the blues.
If you're a woman with diabetes, you're more likely to have depression than a man with the same diagnosis. However, regardless of gender, having a low educational status and living without a partner are both significantly associated with depression in people with diabetes.
Find out more about this book:The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes