A recent article in America indicated that diabetes amongst the mentally ill is rife, and those patients who are suffering mental illness are at a greatly increased risk. Apparently, one in every five mentally ill persons in the US develops type 2 diabetes, almost double the rate of the general population.
This alarming figure has been little recognised by the healthcare system, and it is now causing many mental health professionals to re-examine their treatment plans. The findings also raise questions about the limits of psychiatric practice, and whether a greater focus must be put on confronting physical as well as mental ailments.
Recent news has focused on the links between antidepressants and diabetes, and the established relationship between diabetes and mental illness is ever-present. Some mental patients face greater challenges to control their diabetes.
The importance of early diagnosis and appropriate treatment has faced resistance from the psychiatric healthcare system, yet now the physical symptoms of diabetes amongst many patients are becoming impossible to ignore.
Many of the drugs used to treat mental illness cause ballooning weight problems that quickly lead to diabetes. Patients can quickly face diabetes related complications, resulting in major injury or death. The links between diabetes and mental illness are now clear, and healthcare systems would do well to consider one in the context of the other when treating patients.

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