Depression Treatment Can Ease Diabetes Symptoms
> 3/6/2007 1:10:43 PM

Depression treatment with Wellbutrin appears to greatly improve diabetes control in those with both disorders. Working with type 2 diabetes patients from Missouri, a team of researchers from Washington University St. Louis School of Medicine found that the treatment with the drug resulted in better glycemic control in subjects with major depression. Their study, which appears in the March issue of the journal Diabetes Care, shows that only depression treatment resulted in better maintenance of blood sugar in the short-term.

This improvement occurred irrespective of weight loss, Reuters reported:

"This confirms our hypothesis that depression improvement can produce better glycemic control, independent of favorable changes in weight and diabetes self care," [first author Dr. Patrick J.] Lustman noted. "Improvement in depression was the key to achieving longer term improvements in glucose control."

Lustman concludes that the data "point to the importance of weight-independent physiological factors (insulin sensitivity, inflammation) that improve during depression relief and contribute to better long-term control of diabetes."

This new research provides further evidence of the importance of treating mental illness in diabetes patients. Depression, a chronic condition much like diabetes, can severely hamper effective care in many ways. The team from Washington University St. Louis showed that beyond improving the physical condition of depression sufferers, appropriate depression treatment that leads to improved moods should show increased benefits within the diabetes care process. Those doctors who treat diabetes patients should be aware of the effects that depression can have, and continue to check with their clients to make sure that they are not suffering unnecessary setbacks due to mental illness.

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