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glucose levels and depression

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by 98tillpresent, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. 98tillpresent

    98tillpresent · Member

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    hi im 17 and have had type 1 for about 12 years now. im fairly athletic and have always done quite alot of sports. Im on levemere as a long acting insulin and novorapid as a fast active one.

    My query as such is whether it is known for blood sugar levels to affect cognitive processes directly or indirectly for that matter. I have noticed for some time now that during a hypo i suddenly feel quite depressed and my mood becomes really un-elevated. This used to happen to me very frequently about 2 years or so ago, it is less frequent now but still occurs especially after a hard training session when the intensity was a little harder then i expected it to be. Honestly my HBA1C has never really been good: between 8.0 and 10.0 constantly. Im generally a happy and optimistical guy so im not in constant depression or anything like that its just that iv never come across this before.

    - Is this a complication?
    - am i to view this as a warning?
    - has anybody else had this happen?
    - or is this completely unrelated to diabetes?

    any help appreciated
     
  2. howie

    howie · Well-Known Member

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    i keep hearing people say that diabetes and depression go 'hand in hand'. i'm not gonna to accept that but, from my brief bit of research, diabetics often suffer from depression because of a number of reasons but nothing 'directly' from having DB, indirect stuff like bad control, i think there's certain hormones released during lows that can make you feel depressed and running high can have the same effect. other reasons are due to the constant stresses of controlling our BG's cos it is hard work and again can make you depressed and some diabetics are prone to thyroid activity problems which have a big impact on your 'mood' amongst many other things. not saying you have that but that's the reasons i can think of why there're coined together a lot.

    it's not a classic complication but technically i spose it's a short term one.

    probs view it as a warning that your control might not be tight enough. you must be running quite high if your hba1c is between 8-10%. we should aim for below 7.5% and ideally below 6%.

    i'm no doc but i'd put it down to having high BG levels, try getting use to running a bit lower for a few months and see how you feel.

    all best,
    howie
     
  3. phoenix

    phoenix Type 1 · Expert

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    Hypos can produce a variety of symptoms, first there are the physical ones such as sweating and shaking, cold, warmth etc these are caused by adrenaline rrelease.
    Then there are symptoms such as hunger and headaches, these are caused by glucagon which stimulates the liver to release some glucose(not always very efficiently with people with diabetes)
    The third type are called Neuroglycopenic, these occur when your brain doesn't have sufficient glucose and includes the cognitive symptoms, things such as negatism, aggression, poor judgement, depression, confusion etc (there are a huge number and variety of symptoms, different people get different symptoms and peoples individual symptoms vary form time to time, what is experienced also depends on how low the hypo is and the speed and extent of the drop)
    As long as the hypo is treated quickly (rapid sugar) then the brain is very robust and there is little evidence of longterm problems caused by hypos.

    As the previous poster says depression is linked to diabetes, just as it is to any chronic disease but that is more to do with the experience controlling it (or not) than the disease itself. I got temporarily depressed recently from hypos, not because of the hypo itself but because I kept having to keep dealing with them and it was making me wary of exercise. Luckily it was a 'blip' . I'm sure that going from a high level to a hypo level very quickly could also lead one to a feeling of being 'washed out' and hence depressed.
     
  4. 98tillpresent

    98tillpresent · Member

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    Thankyou Howie and Pheonix for your views on this. I see that diabetes can affect people differently so I guess i'll start with sorting my control and HBA1C out. Thank god that this isnt longterm or anything.

    kind regards
     
  5. Iambackwards

    Iambackwards · Active Member

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    I was diagnosed at 18 and although my control was good for the first few months, after 6 months I didn't exercise as much, stopped testing frequently and had some high sugar levels. After feeling worse I just ate what I wanted and I was having days where I'd hit sugar levels of 20 and felt terrible. Every day I would wake up feeling terrible but after getting back on track I felt 100% again.

    I really think it is important to improve your Hb1AC. Running at 8 - 10% is fairly high and I think if you lower this to 6 or lower you'll see a huge improvement in how you're feeling.

    What helped me was learning as much as possible, exercising a lot and cleaning up my diet. I also learnt a lot about improving my sensitivity to insulin so I wouldn't have to take as much because when I was taking large amounts of insulin I'd feel terrible.
     
  6. janabelle

    janabelle · Well-Known Member

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    HI, firstly it's not insulin you are taking but a synthetic analogue insulin.
    I have been type-1 for over 20 years, and tried different types of synthetic insulins. When I was put on Lantus, which like Levemir, is a newer synthetic analogue insulin. I had 41/2 years of lousy BG control, illness, anxiety and awful side-effects. It took me a long time to put two and two together and realise I was not seriously ill-Lantus was the cause of all my ailments. Since coming off it my health has improved beyond recognition.
    Many people get on fine with Lantus & Levemir, but an increasing number of people are reporting side-effects and problems with them. it makes sense that people should be first relating unusual occurances with BG control poor cognitive function or unusual symptoms to their medication rather than blaming themselves.
    Whether your high HBA1c levels are also causing you to feel unwell or depressed, your control is not great and perhaps that's another good reason to consider your medication to be at fault. With HBa1c levels that high, I'm surprised your doctor has not looked into altering or even changing your 'insulin'.
    It's worth noting that many people can be on analogues for more than 18months before they start to experience problems,either with inconsistent,unpredicatable BG control or other side-effects particularly unusual exhaustion,joint pains and poor cognitive function.
    The IDDT are a useful source of info and they also have a helpline number on their website.
    Jus
     
  7. Useless Pretty Boy

    Useless Pretty Boy · Well-Known Member

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    I think that's more to do with type 2, isn't it? And both diabetes and depression usually, when combined, go hand in hand with being overly rotund. Which comes first is a bit debatable, though I know it usually goes this way, an M.D. will say you have diabetes and are depressed about it, an M.D (H) will say that you developed diabetes as a physical symptom of being depressed.

    Which just goes to show what a holistic doctor is worth.



    But, kid, don't take this the wrong way, but you're 17, you're MEANT to be depressed. ... :wink:

    In all honesty, though, I've read a bunch of articles that list complications of diabetes in teenagers. Insulin is a hormone, and, while not wanting to run out the cliché, if you're 17, then all your hormones are out of whack. Having to regulate one independently won't help. You say you've had changes in the past couple of years which makes me think it could be due to hormonal development. It COULD be that it'll just sort itself out as you hit your twenties.

    And I know that probably doesn't help the way you're feeling. Sorry.

    All the advice you've been given is good, though. If your HbA1c is so high, you kinda need a change in diet, and I know that you probably don't do much shopping or cooking, but you should get your parents involved. A few fewer carbs, and ones that are lower on the GI scale will probably help.

    Do you have a girlfriend (or boyfriend, even... it's the 21st century after all)? If yes, great; if not, get one. Proceed then to have A LOT of sex. Usually helps me when I feel depressed. And you're not going to get better advice than that. :mrgreen:
     
  8. sugarless sue

    sugarless sue · Master

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    Any major life changing illness can trigger depression. This is a part of the grief process when faced with these things.
    As for it being for rotund type 2's!!.......................!!!
     
  9. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    I think that's more to do with type 2, isn't it? And both diabetes and depression usually, when combined, go hand in hand with being overly rotund.



    UPB.
    What a load of rubbish. Diabetes and Depression can be had by ANYONE T1, T2 etc. Has absolutely nothing to do with size or shape of the body.

    Depression can be triggered by illness, lifestyle, life events and yes the thought that you are a Diabetic.

    I was diagnosed with severe depression when I was a Diabetic and I was not 'overly rotund ?' I was a fit, fairly healthy 40+ year old in a stressfull job who basically couldn't cope with life events as posted elsewhere here ? It was only after retirement and following the 'cr*p' NHS diet that I became overly rotund, as you say. I would say fat ! Depression wasn't an issue.
     
  10. Useless Pretty Boy

    Useless Pretty Boy · Well-Known Member

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    I don't like to use the 'f' word except when describing Gerbzilla, the largest of my five gerbils. She steals food from the others.

    And yes, depression can be triggered by many things, but I've read that in the majority of diabetes cases, both it and the diabetes are down to size. Now most type 1's (so those visiting this part of the board) are thin, but type 1's are a tiny percentage of overall cases. As are vocal internet forum users, so I don't think we can really do a representative sample here.

    Sorry if I offended you.
     
  11. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Hi UPB.

    Not offended, just puzzled as to why anyone would make such a statement ? It is certainly not backed up by any of the evidence I have read or from conversations with my Endo and others ?

    I would be interested to see what it is you have been reading that led you to that conclusion ?

    As you can see I don't think there are any boundaries and I get all over the place. This area may not be visited much by T2's, but it certainly isn't out of bounds ! Maybe in the past people thought it was, that isn't the case. It is all part of this great forum.

    Like the rest of your posts.... :D
     
  12. Useless Pretty Boy

    Useless Pretty Boy · Well-Known Member

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    Hells, I can't remember where it was I read that. One of the newsheets in my clinic, I think. though I suppose that could just mean in Glasgow... this city's pretty rotund as a general rule. I suppose it could also be one of those mass-media hysterical things that became popular a year or two ago, blown out of proportion for a headline. I really can't remember.

    Should probably have citable sources before saying anything round here, I get the feeling.
     
  13. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Hi UPB.

    Citable sources.....not really. Just you have to be prepared to back up what you say sometimes.
    We call it, "putting your money where your mouth is." :D
     
  14. Useless Pretty Boy

    Useless Pretty Boy · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah.... I'm a struggling writer. I ain't got no money.

    But who on the internet can actually back up what they say? The internet exists only though virtue that people believe what they read on it, when most of the time it's less reliable than a News Corp. product. I read up on a lot of the 'alternative' dogma that gets put around here and to be honest, seeing the places that purport it to work, I wouldn't buy much of it at all.

    And not because I'm short of money.
     
  15. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Hi UPB.

    I'm a struggling retiree so I know a bit about making ends meet.

    As for the net. A lot of stuff on it is basically cr*p ! What I tend to do is discount the stuff that is just posted by well meaning (sometimes not) so called experts and have cultivated my own network of REAL experts. People who I can call on to help me if I am stuck in my research. They will usually point me to some site or subscription site where the information is factual and not just anecdotal.

    Wikepedia and other sites have their place, even Youtube at times. But if you want good solid information you have to dig deep, real deep. Most people look at the first link that comes up. I don't. I try to narrow things down and get to the more obscure but almost always definitive websites or organisations. Sometimes it is rubbish and it's back to square one, but sometimes you hit a gem. That one is noted and used for future reference.

    There is good stuff out there I assure you.
     
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