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The Connection Between Diabetes and Anxiety

July 23, 2018
Anxiety Isn’t Uncommon in People With Diabetes, but How Do You Know If It’s a Problem?
 
Studies show that people with diabetes are two to four times more likely than others to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Why is that? To begin with, managing diabetes can be stressful, with the everyday hassles of testing blood glucose levels, taking medication and eating requirements. What’s more: Even if you’re diligent in doing these things, it may not mean your blood sugar levels stabilize or that you will experience positive outcomes.
 
What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia symptoms mimic symptoms of anxiety, so it can be difficult to determine whether anxiety is psychological or due to blood sugar fluctuations. The clue may be that, unlike blood sugar fluctuations, anxiety symptoms persist.
 
Symptoms of anxiety disorder include:
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge
  • Difficulty concentrating or having your mind go blank
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Problems with sleep
  • Persistent fatigue
Because symptoms of blood sugar fluctuations and anxiety can mimic each other, it’s important to speak to your doctor first to rule out a blood sugar issue before turning to a mental health provider for anxiety treatment.
 
If you experience any of the above-listed symptoms for two or more weeks, talk to your doctor. He can make the diagnosis by asking a series of questions.
 
Coping With Anxiety
If you have anxiety, your doctor can discuss treatment options with you, whether it is cognitive behavioral therapy (also known as CBT), medication, or a combination of both. In addition, there’s no reason to suffer in silence. A diabetes or anxiety support group can help you cope with anxiety, especially if you think you’re the only one experiencing it.