Diabetes, Mood Swings and Depression : The Connection

Diabetes can strike anyone, from any walk of life.
Worldwide, it afflicts more than 380 million people.  And the World Health Organization estimates that by 2030, that number of people living with diabetes will more than double.

What is Diabetes 
When you eat, your body turns food into sugars, or glucose. At that point, your pancreas realeases insulin, which opens your cells, to allow the glucose to enter and then, allow you to use this glucose for energy. But with diabetes, insulin is not sufficiently released, hence causing  built up of sugar in the blood.

Diabetes and mood swings 
Mood swings are a fairly common experience in people with diabetes.
There could be 2 possible factors contributing to this :

  1. Rapid changes in blood sugar levels
    Some people experience increased irritable or sad moods when they have a rapid change in their blood sugars. Some see irritability when sugars go below their usual levels (eventhough within normal ranges – 80 to 130 mg/dl) whilst some others experience irritability when they go significantly below or above the normal range. However these mood swings turn normal once the sugar level goes back to the usual range.
  2. Diabetes-related distress
    Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart failure and stroke, this knowledge obviously casues a lot of worry and concern. Living with diabetes places an enormous emotional, physical and financial burden on the entire family. Managing diabetes daily, certainly brings in a lot of mental and physical stress, which obviously leads to irritability, anger or sadness. The stress levels increase especially,  when you are struggling to control your sugar levels. The very act of testing your glucose levels daily and viewing the negative outcome repeatedly can be a very daunting task, which can make the patients very anxious.

However, in some cases the mood swings aren’t just simple swings anymore, but have turned to something more serious and long-standing – Depression

1 in 4 people with diabetes develop long-standing depression.

If you are experiencing variety of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks, there are chances that you may be depressed –
sadness and pessimism, lack of interest in otherwise interesting activities, inability to enjoy yourself, lack of concentration, changes in appetite, sleep pattern, loss of libido, indecisiveness – if not treated at the right time, these could further intensify to low self esteem, abondoning of responsibilties, loss of self confidence, inability to communicate with others, suicidal thoughts.

Depression  and Diabetes is a deadly mix. It is of utmost importance that you discuss these symptoms with your medical care giver, so that he/she can start the appropriate care for you. Depression, in turn, makes it harder to find the motivation to care for diabetes: Exercising, eating right, and completing other basic tasks are difficult when you’re struggling just to get out of bed in the morning. When people with diabetes have depression, their outcomes are much worse.  The good news is that depression can be effectively treated with medications and/or talk therapy. So consult your medical care giver now and do not hide your emotional state. For best results it’s important that both these conditions are treated together, instead of fractured care.



About the author

An avid reader, a lover of words, a behavioral psychology enthusiast and a passionate writer– I am a strong believer in the immense power a beautifully crafted stream of words carry, and how these words can influence thought. With this knowledge and an intention to spread the message of love, I have created www.Wordions.com to present my writings to the world primarily themed on Love, Self-awareness and Self-Improvement.



  • Sandy July 13, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Learned something about diabetes here. Thanks for the informative post 🙂

    • admin November 6, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Thanks Sandy.

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