The mind and body connection is very powerful. It has been found people who have good emotional health have healthy relationships as well as a healthy body. There is no doubt our mind and body have an important connection.
Researchers in the Clinical Epidemiology Unit of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, decided to look at how personality characteristics are associated with blood sugar levels.
This particular study was published in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practicein October 2011, and looked at the various personality traits in 2152 men and 3143 women between 43 and 66 years of age. Testing discovered 316 of the men and 213 of the women were prediabetic or diabetic…
- it was found that men with low antagonism, or high agreeableness, had a lower risk of having diabetes or prediabetes than those with high antagonism.
- among both men and women, the lowest risk of prediabetes and diabetes was found among those with a high capacity for feeling pleasure: who had strong feelings of happiness, and had learned to be aware of their feelings.
It has been found diabetics have a high rate of depression. Perhaps a low ability for feeling pleasure and a high degree of anger contribute to the development of Type 2 diabetes. Blood chemistry can change when people become angry or depressed, increasing the blood sugar level to help the body prepare for “fight or flight”.
Everyone feels sad now and then. When sadness goes on for months and people lose interest in things that used to make them happy, often with changes in sleep and eating patterns; then talking things over with a professional can be helpful. Sometimes just talking things out is all that is needed.
Psychotherapy aims to build up coping strategies for dealing with problems without becoming depressed.
- cognitive, or behavioral, therapy uses coping strategies such as keeping a notebook to find depressive triggers and organize a search for solutions. Patients are sometimes given assignments to plan ahead for stressful situations. Interpersonal therapy explores relationships and how they affect patients’ emotions. Groups of patients can use each other as sounding boards.
- psychodynamic therapy attempts to get to the roots of depression and deal with its causes.
Medications can be used to restore normal brain chemistry if an imbalance is diagnosed. The selective serotonin uptake inhibitors are good for improving levels of serotonin, a molecule that helps brain cells communicate with one another.
Exercising regularly and moderately can have numerous positive benefits for depression. Going for a walk can help the brain to build up endorphins, which can elevate your mood. Walking or running to the point of increasing both your heart rate and breathing not only crowds out thoughts of depression, but is excellent for the heart and helps your body to control blood sugar levels.
Treating depression needs no excuse other than to get rid of depression, but if it can help to prevent Type 2 diabetes and all its complications, it can help make for good physical health as well.