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Diabetes and mental health: taking care of diabetics from Psychology

Diabetes and mental health: taking care of diabetics from Psychology

April 21, 2024

An often forgotten aspect of the type 2 diabetes it is the burden on mental health that patients with this disease must face. Fortunately, there are strategies based on modifying lifestyle and some natural supplements that can help patients cope with stress related to diabetes and depression.

Before reading this article, we recommend you read our article 'How to know if I have Diabetes? Main warning symptoms' so that you know exactly the symptomatology of this condition.

Diabetes: the mind and the body

The Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder caused by an absolute or relative lack of insulin to. Diabetes mellitus type 1 usually begins in childhood with the inability of the pancreas to secrete insulin and properly regulate blood sugar. The most common type of diabetes mellitus is type 2. It usually begins in adulthood, due to poor lifestyle habits and is characterized by a lack of insulin sensitivity, which can not be overcome for the pancreas.

At present, Diabetes patients have many natural health products at their fingertips , as well as very good diets that help improve the regulation of blood sugar and at the same time reduce the risk factors for kidney failure, nerve damage, blindness, and cardiovascular events, such as stroke and heart attacks.

However, many doctors approach type 2 diabetes, focusing mainly on hormonal alterations, visual damage, nerve damage, cardiovascular problems and kidney problems, but it is rare to discuss and manage the consequences for mental health of those who live with the disease.

Type 2 diabetes affects the mind and body, so it is imperative that doctors take a holistic approach in the management of the disease.

Mental health and diabetes problems

The mental health burden that patients with diabetes face is worrisome. Compared with non-diabetic patients, the severity of depression and anxiety disorders are usually much more marked s. The combination of psychological disorders and diabetes is especially harmful because it can have a negative impact on psychosocial and medical outcomes.

Among patients with type 2 diabetes, those with depressive symptoms tend to be stressed more easily d, which leads to an increase in the negativity of the person, which, in turn, causes the affected person to end up seeing their behavior and their state of mind modified.

The Depression and anxiety can also lead to other seemingly unrelated health problems . For example, a recent study showed that, compared to healthy subjects, patients with type 2 diabetes with severe depression and anxiety have a higher prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms.

There is even a specific personality trait attributed to type 2 diabetes , known as Type D (distressed personality) , which in Spanish means "anguished personality". Type 2 diabetic patients with the Type D personality feel increasingly lonely. In addition, it increases stress and emotional distress.

Controlling stress

While it is clear that type 2 diabetes increases the likelihood of having mental health problems and managing the daily stress of life, the good news is that there are numerous strategies that can help patients better manage their psychological health and live a harmonious life


One of the best strategies is to perform yoga several times a week. The Yoga It helps to build body awareness and is very effective when it comes to soothing the nervous system . It is an activity in which numerous positions are made that integrate the body and mind.

According to a 2011 study, the practice of yoga "improves muscle strength and body flexibility; promotes and improves respiratory and cardiovascular function; promotes the recovery and treatment of addictions; reduces stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain; improve sleep patterns; and improve the general welfare and quality of life ”.

Another recent study showed that yoga significantly improved the quality of life of patients with type 2 diabetes. Previous studies have shown that yoga helps control the symptoms and complications associated with type 2 diabetes.

Practicing yoga regularly can help type 2 diabetic patients to have less psychological distress and better management of their disease.

The other advantage is the potential absence of side effects, since yoga is free of side effects when practiced correctly.

Mindfuness and mindfulness meditation

Mind training is a form of meditation that helps people to focus your attention on the present , and encourages people to have a positive attitude towards that experience. The justification for this type of meditation has been validated in the medical literature, especially for chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Similar research has shown that participation in this type of meditation can benefit the patient's ability to cope with the symptoms related to diabetes , in addition to improving the quality of life and well-being of these people.

To know all the psychological benefits of Mindfulness, you can visit our article "Mindfulness: 8 benefits of mindfulness".

Useful supplements

The most recommended is to complement yoga with a treatment based on natural medicines for help eliminate stress and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression . In any case, we should always consult a health professional to make sure what are the most appropriate supplements for each person.


One of my favorite natural medicines for type 2 diabetes is mineral chromium. This mineral has the property of increasing the sensitivity of insulin in the body . Numerous studies have revealed that chromium mineral can improve the effectiveness of blood sugar stabilizing drugs, thus optimizing glucose control. A meta-analysis showed that supplemental chromium reduces both glycosylated hemoglobin and fasting blood sugar levels.

Why are Diabetes and Depression Linked? | Sherita Golden, M.D., M.H.S. (April 2024).

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