Diabetes affects the emotions as well as physical health

Tue, 22 May 2012
Two new pieces of research have highlighted the emotional impact of developing type 2 diabetes, and how this can affect people�s management of the condition.

One study, from Loyola University in Chicago, examined how frequent changes in blood sugar levels, known as glycaemic variability, had an impact on the mood and quality of life of patients with type 2 diabetes. 23 diabetic women were attached to a glucose monitoring system for three days, and their control of blood sugar and blood sugar change, as well as their mood and quality of life, was measured.

Of the participants, 12 had depression and 11 did not, but that blood sugar control was about the same for both. Also, both groups experienced changes in blood sugar levels that were linked with quality of life after age and weight were taken into account, while their emotional state was also affected by their blood sugar.

The second study, from the University of Amsterdam, monitored levels of blood sugar in non-diabetics who were due to go bungee jumping to assess the effect of stress on blood sugar levels. When stress increased before and after the jump, blood sugar levels also went up, as did blood sugar metabolism, resulting in increased insulin resistance.

It is hoped that the findings will help emotions to be factored into diabetes management along with blood sugar control, as it was thought that a failure to manage diabetes could mean people become discouraged leading to a poor mood and increased anxiety, which then have a negative impact on blood sugar levels.
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