When diabetes shows up at your party, it doesn’t come alone. It brings along many of its friends. Some of which you may not notice at first. Two of them are high blood pressure and high cholesterol. These are quiet and may go unnoticed. All the while they damage your body without you noticing it.
These damage your blood vessels. Overtime this damage can lead to heart disease, neuropathy (nerve pain), and vision loss. Significant damage can occur before you experience symptoms.
So it is important to address these things before symptoms appear. But we, as typical humans, often wait until we’ve suffered enough in order to take action. It is a couple of other friends of diabetes that may stimulate us to take action.
Two of its other friends are really annoying. Fatigue and depression are common amongst diabetics. These two go hand in hand. They suck the life out of life. We often overlook fatigue and depression as part of the diabetes experience.
Fatigue and depression are barriers to addressing just about anything in our life. The lack of energy and the lack of motivation make it difficult to address the lifestyle aspects of diabetes.
There is hope! We can address these things along with addressing diabetes. By addressing diabetes we can often address fatigue and depression.
If you have diabetes or are prediabetic, and you're experiencing depression, the two may be related. These are not always related. In either case, address them with your doctor. It is worth talking with your doctor about any symptoms you experience.
What are some solutions?
I am glad you asked! There is solid scientific evidence that lifestyle interventions are powerful interventions for both diabetes and depression. These interventions seem on the surface to be simple. However, you've ever tried to implement them, you may have a unique perspective.
How many times if you heard your doctor say, “eat right, and exercise”? There is no shortage of people making claims of how to eat right. There are just as many gurus telling you how you should exercise.
How do you make sense of all of this? There is information overload from Internet sources. Many of these recommendations contradict each other. Some quote scientific papers to support their claims. Some are even using the same scientific papers and coming up with different conclusions. Ugh! (a very scientific term).
Many of these interventions have their place. It is sad that modern medical education does not prepare doctors for lifestyle interventions. Thankfully, some have taken it upon themselves to further their learning. A few of the many that have earned my respect are doctors John McDougall MD, Neil Bernard MD, and Joel Fuhrman MD.
These take a plant-based approach. They also disagree in many areas. So which one of their approaches is right for you? A well-informed and qualified physician can help you make the right choices.
As humans, we all share much in common. However, you are a unique individual. Your specific needs may not be the same as another person’s. Your biology, history, and social situation are unique to you.
The above mentioned doctors are a good place the start expanding your knowledge. However, it is not wise to make significant dietary or lifestyle changes without consulting your physician.
Changes in lifestyle are so powerful. This can lead to needing to change medication levels. For diabetics, hypoglycemia is a very serious risk. So, please consult your physician or other qualified health care provider before making these changes.
It can complicate the management of the medications for diabetes and depression. Most of these medications should not be stopped abruptly. If your doctor is not able or willing to work with you on these changes, find another doctor.
Let me know if you would like me to join your team!
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