Diabetes is a hormone-related disease resulting in high blood sugar because of insulin abnormality. It has been well studied that diabetes is linked to several vascular diseases such as retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, atherosclerosis, and stroke. However, diabetic patients should also note depression. About 23% of Korean diabetics have depression (2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), and the chance of developing depression in diabetics is 1.4 times higher than in the general population (2012 Thessaloniki Medical School, Greece). “There is a lot of depression among diabetics who are going to the hospital,” Professor Jeon Sook of Internal Medicine Department of Kyunghee University Hospital said, “Because of the depression, the blood sugar is badly managed and the illness is getting worse.”

The exact mechanism of depression in diabetic patients has not yet been elucidated, but researchers point out that the cause of diabetes is due to self-esteem, genetic problems, and cerebrovascular problems. If you have diabetes, you should take your prescribed insulin injections or medication every day. Even though you have food you want to eat, you should not eat anything. The weakness or lack of confidence in these constraints can lead to depression.

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According to a study by Dr. Carol Kan from King’s College London, England, there is a gene commonly involved in diabetes and depression in our body, and if there are congenital defects in this gene, both diseases will work well together. The researchers analyzed 169,000 pairs of genetic data and found that 75-87% of patients with diabetes and depression had defects in specific genes. In detail, Dr. Carol Kan said that our study also suggests that genetic factors influencing link between diabetic and depression in men are different to those affecting the relationship in women.

Also, if blood sugar is high, blood becomes sticky, blood circulation is not good, and blood vessels are clogged. However, if the blood vessels in the brain that produce neurotransmitters related to moods such as serotonin and dopamine are narrowed or clogged, they will not function smoothly. This can lead to depression due to reduced serotonin and dopamine secretion. This is called ‘vascular depression’. “Unlike usual, people with diabetes who are depressed or have few words should be suspected of depression”