Depression is not something that should be taken lightly. Nor, should having diabetes, as both of these conditions — depression and diabetes — can be disabling independently and together.
Recently, a study looked at the connection between diabetes and depression to see if there was a cause-and-effect factor at play when it comes to developing chronic kidney disease. One could say this type of study is rather important, as according to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, diabetes is the No. 1 cause of chronic kidney disease. The more that is known about what causes these types of complications, the better.
While there were lots of limitations with this study, researchers did find that those with diabetes and markers of major depression also had an increased risk for developing kidney failure.
So just what does this mean for the person in New Jersey who is living with diabetes? Is the depression causing the kidney problems or are the kidney problems causing the depression?
At this point, there is no straight answer. Rather, the study just found, what one professor of medicine is calling, an association. However, the findings did fall in line with similar studies that have found connections between depression and things like cardiovascular health and stress hormones.
The same professor also brought up the issue of how much harder it can be for a person who is depressed to do things like check their blood sugar and get to regular doctor appointments.
Overall, while this study does not definitively answer the question of whether having diabetes and depression will necessarily lead to kidney disease, it does show how some illnesses are interrelated and how diabetes can progress and become uncontrolled, leading to other very serious complications. These complications can greatly impact a person’s life and leave them in the position of being unable to work.
Source: philly.com, “Depressed Diabetics May Face Higher Risk of Kidney Disease,” Barbara Bronson Gray, March 27, 2014