Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do Some Diabetics Suffer from Depression

What can you learn from 145 youth, and some insight from their parents, when you ask them specific questions about depression? In a recent study, Harvard researchers learned that depression is more common among young Type I diabetics then their peers who do not battle diabetes.

Researchers interviewed kids between the age of ten and eighteen, and asked them the questions from a common psychological test, the Children’s Depression Inventory. They also administered a questionnaire called the Diabetes Family Conflict Scale. They found that:

15.2% of the youth with diabetes exhibited symptoms of depression. In the general population of ten to 18 year olds, one would expect six to ten percent of youth to report depression symptoms.
Kids that exhibited symptoms of depression also tended to have higher A1C levels, report more family conflict, and exhibit negative affect (unpleasant outlook and attitude).
The 2006 clinical guidelines published by the ADA, coach physicians and other health care providers to recognize possible indicators of depression. It reads: “Screening for psychosocial problems such as depression, eating disorders, and cognitive impairment is needed when adherence to the medical regimen is poor.”

When kids are not complying with their doctor’s advice, it is a sign that depression could be present.

It would be irresponsible to speculate if diabetes by itself is a major cause of depression. However, we all remember being a kid. We know that managing diabetes is a challenge as a routine. It also could be socially awkward is some social situations. Furthermore, your body is working harder because it is fighting the disease. That can wear down you physical and emotional health.
Adults living with diabetes have a higher risk of developing depression. The National Institutes of Mental Health created this document. It outlines some of the symptoms of depression. If you are experiencing some of the symptoms it mentions, talk to your doctor. You don’t even need to make an appointment. A phone call may actually be easier. Your doctor has listened to many people as they have battled depression. She or he has opened doors to help them. Within a few days or weeks the sorrow often starts to depart, and emotional healing starts to progress.

New Test for Diabetic Nephropathy Could Be Giant Leap

One of the big problems with kidney disease is you don't know you have it until a lot of damage has been done. It is rare for a patient or physician to identify diabetic kidney disease, or nephropathy, early on. The urine test just does not pick up the proteins that indicate damage until a lot of damage is done.

So, it is exciting news when scientists publish an article in the journal Diabetes Care outlining a new test that can predict a fair amount of diabetic nephropathy before it even begins.

It appears that they still have some fine-tuning to do, but if they can pull this off they could extend the lives of countless people by allowing doctors to treat diabetic kidney disease early on.

Meals that won't digest - diabetic gastroparesis

Diabetes can damages nerves in the strangest places. Each of us has a vagus nerve that sends signals between the brain, stomach, and intestines. One of those signals tells the stomach to push all of its contents into the intestines. When diabetic neuropathy damages the vagus nerve, the stomach can sit for a long time without passing the contents on down the line. This phenomenon is called diabetic gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis may be haunting you if you've been experiencing symptoms such as:

  •       Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux
  •        Nausea
  •        Vomiting of undigested food one to three hours after a meal
  •        Feeling full after you've only eaten a little
  •        Unexplained weight loss
  •        A bloated feeling
  •         Lack of appetite
  •         Spasms in your stomach

Sometimes these symptoms will come and go. If you identify any of these symptoms, you should visit your doctor and tell him or her about the symptoms your recognize. Your doctor can do more tests to confirm or rule out gastroparesis. If treatment is necessary, there are a few options. The most common treatment is diet modification and eating smaller meals more frequently. You will also have better success if you are willing to eliminate some fat and milk from your diet. Choosing higher fiber foods also seems to help.

Heart Images Identify Pre-diabetes Fat Deposits

According to research reported in this article, fat often builds up on the heart before the onset of diabetes. Researchers in Texas learned this while developing an exam that would allow them to take more complex images of the heart during an MRI scan.

Fortunately for many, heart disease can be reversed through diet, exercise, medications, and medical procedures. Many of these therapies also reverse diabetes, or minimize its potential to do damage. We hope these imaging techniques make it to a hospital near you. We suspect that university medical centers will be the first to adopt this complex MRI procedure.

Researching Cinnamon's Possible Diabetes Benefits

While the latest study on cinnamon shows that it does not help diabetes, it may not be time to dismiss the tasty spice altogether.

A recent edition of the the journal Diabetes Care reported on a study that tested doses of cinnamon to determine if it could help people with diabetes. The study found that cinnamon did not reduce blood sugar, improve insulin resistance, or lower cholesterol.

The study lasted for three months and involved 43 people with diabetes.

Other Studies of Diabetes and Cinnamon

There are a number of studies exploring cinnamon's role as an alternative treatment for diabetes. The results are mixed. Perhaps one of the more helpful studies appeared this summer in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It concluded that a dose of cinnamon in rice pudding at the end of a meal caused the stomach to delay emptying the meal into the intestines. The natural result of this delay seems to be a smaller blood sugar spike after the meal. This lower postprandial blood sugar reading should result in lower hemoglobin A1C scores.