Is It Depression Or Just Unstable Glucose Levels?
Our mood is intricately tied to our diet. Certain foods can make us feel calm and relaxed, while others will make us feel agitated or energized.
Similarly, our blood glucose levels can make us feel slow and sluggish, even depressed or fatigued.
Let’s look at the connection between unstable glucose levels and feeling down or depressed.
Glucose and Depression: What’s the Connection?
Depression is twice as common in people who suffer from Type 2 diabetes. Diabetics also have a 20% higher chance of suffering from anxiety.
Diabetics have a certain degree of insulin resistance due to constant overexposure to glucose. Researchers have yet to discover whether the lifestyle choices that lead to these conditions are the cause of the mood disorder or vice versa.
There are five potential links between blood sugar levels and depression:
- insulin resistance in the brain
- decrease in brain cell growth
- suboptimal brain cell wiring
- chronic stress hormone stimulation
- heightened inflammation
In short: eating a lot of sugar can significantly impact your mood, particularly in the long term. Prolonged exposure can lead to mood disorders like anxiety and depression.
How Can You Tell the Difference?
It is incredibly important to identify the source of your mood disorder. While we don’t actually know what the cause of depression is, we believe it is triggered by certain life events and lifestyle choices.
When this is the case, therapy can significantly help you face your trauma constructively and improve your quality of life. Finding the right therapist as soon as possible can make a real difference.
On the other hand, if the cause of your depression has an underlying trigger in your blood glucose levels, your goal is to adapt your lifestyle to stabilize those levels and find a way to manage your mood.
Glucose monitoring can be your best course of action, as it will help you discover why you are feeling the way you are. It will also help you regulate your weight, further boosting your mood.
Talk to your healthcare professional and see what options are available for glucose monitoring.
What Can I Do to Feel Better?
You can discover a lot about the cause of your depressive mood by carefully analyzing how you feel in certain situations.
Start by taking stock of life events and trying to connect when your mood starts to take a dive. Was it caused by something that happened, or are you unable to trace it back to a specific trigger? Don’t worry if you are not sure when your feelings started: a therapist will guide you through managing your thoughts and emotions.
Monitor how the foods you eat make you feel as well. The best way to do it is to have a diet journal. Write down not only what you ate and when, but most importantly, how it made you feel immediately afterward and later on in the day. By charting how you feel at the same time, you can find the connection between your glucose levels, diet, and mood.
Eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits, lean sources of protein, and slow-release carbs can benefit most people. Of course, that’s as long as you don’t have a specific condition that will require a specific diet.
Also, aim to move your body every day, even if it’s just taking a regular walk. Movement is great for managing your mood, as well as your blood glucose levels. Getting more exercise each day can help you feel better in a matter of weeks.
Last but certainly not least, find a regular way to destress and relax both your body and mind. Whatever practice suits your lifestyle and personality is acceptable: reading in the bath, playing video games, meditating.
Remember that no matter the cause of your emotional and mental state, there are thousands of people going through the same things at the exact same time. With a bit of help, you can break the cycle and start feeling better again.
While we don’t yet fully understand the connection between blood glucose levels and depression, there is evidence to show that insulin resistance impacts our mood and outlook on life. By monitoring your blood sugar levels, you can discover the best course of treatment and take firm action to live a healthier life.
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