Understanding diabetes

Prediabetes, depression, and anxiety symptoms: Anxiety boosts the progression of type 2 diabetes.

Recent studies suggest a connection between the progression of type 2 diabetes, anxiety and depression. Read more if you are curious about the recent findings!

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is a significant public health problem as it is increasing quickly. Prediabetes is a well-known risk factor for type 2 diabetes, which is also becoming more common. Prediabetes is defined by blood glucose levels that are above normal but below the cutoff for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. Although not all people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes, there have been reports of rates as high as 70% of people going from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes.

It could have a significant impact on lowering the incidence of type 2 diabetes to identify predictors of the transition from prediabetes to the disease. Making healthy lifestyle modifications can boost a prediabetic person's chance of returning to normal glucose levels. People with depression and anxious symptoms frequently engage in lifestyle behaviors including smoking, poor eating habits, and physical inactivity, which may raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as prediabetes progresses. Type-2 diabetes and depressive and anxiety symptoms have a long history of association.

Although having prediabetes and experiencing depressive or anxious symptoms individually increases the risk of developing diabetes, having both at the same time may raise that risk. We are aware of only one study that has specifically looked at the relationship between prediabetes, depressive and anxious symptoms, and the risk of incident diabetes. You should get yourself tested right away if you develop rashes on your neck or any other region of your body that does not go away. This could be a sign of type 2 diabetes. If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, you must schedule a medical visit for a diabetic online doctor consultation. Even if you feel fine, it's still crucial to continue taking the medication. The majority of diabetics must take medications for the rest of their lives.


Usually without a clear-cut cause, anxiety disorders generate excessive or unwarranted concern and anxiety over everyday events. Because you don't know much about diabetes and you're unsure of what will happen next, you can feel terrified. Or perhaps you worry about diabetes' complications. By managing your health, learning about diabetes, and comprehending how to delay or prevent its consequences, you can lessen your anxiety.


Although a period of grieving is normal with the diagnosis of any chronic disease, prolonged sadness may be a sign of depression. Depression is twice as common in people with diabetes as in the general population, and it is also associated with poorer blood sugar management, health complications, and a decreased quality of life.

According to a study from medical school stress and anxiety associated with controlling diabetes can lead to depression. Depression often goes undiagnosed and untreated. Individuals with diabetes should be regularly screened by their healthcare provider for psychological distress and psychiatric disorders (e.g., depression and anxiety).

Usual symptoms of diabetes

You may experience a range of emotions when you are initially told you have diabetes, including shock, rage, despair, and fear. As you adjust to having a chronic illness, it's natural to experience these emotions and go through a number of different emotional stages.

It's critical to be aware of your feelings and communicate them to your loved ones, friends, and members of your diabetes care team. Your support team can guide you to support services that can aid you and assist you in developing good coping mechanisms.

What Is Anxiety and How Can People With Type 2 Diabetes Be Affected?

Everyone occasionally feels anxious, but those who have an anxiety disorder have overwhelming or uncontrollable worry and fear, which linger and may even get worse with time.

People who struggle with anxiety may experience intrusive thoughts, avoid distressing situations, and exhibit physical symptoms like high blood pressure. Diabetes and anxiety disorders both fall under the category of illnesses.

What Causes People with Type 2 Diabetes Anxiety?

Anxiety has many different roots for diabetics. To begin with, managing diabetes can be stressful due to the regular annoyance of checking blood glucose levels, taking medicine, and managing the condition. Bereolos asserts that even if you follow the same routine every day of the week, your blood sugar levels may vary.

Additionally, people with diabetes may be concerned about eating new foods, traveling, complications from the disease, the impact it has on their family, and healthcare expenditures, which are 2.3 times greater for those with diabetes than for those without the condition.

Can depression and anxiety be brought on by diabetes?

In a recent study, which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, it was discovered that prediabetes and abnormal blood lipid (cholesterol and triglyceride) levels were both associated with an elevated risk for major depressive disorder.


How to Support Someone Who Has Diabetes and Depression

If you know someone who has type 2 diabetes and anxiety, be encouraging and refrain from blaming, making suggestions, or trying to solve the issue. Whether they have diabetes or not, people with anxiety just want to be understood.

You run a greater chance of developing depression if you have diabetes, either type 1 or type 2. Additionally, your risk of type 2 diabetes may be higher if you're depressed. The good news is that depression and diabetes can be managed simultaneously. And managing the first one well can help with the second.

Why does diabetes cause headaches?

When blood sugar levels are excessively high, hyperglycemia may manifest as a headache. They can also happen when blood sugar levels are very low due to hypoglycemia.

These headaches could be caused by fluctuating hormone levels, including adrenaline and norepinephrine. These hormones can make you feel uncomfortable by narrowing the blood vessels in your brain.

Given that both migraine and type 2 diabetes affect the vascular system and the transmission of nerve impulses, and that people with diabetes appear to be more likely to experience migraines than those without, some scientists have proposed a connection between the two conditions.

How can I stop having diabetes headaches?

These headaches may indicate either too high or too low blood sugar levels. The first step to treat migraine may be managing your blood sugar. A second option might be over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

How are they connected?

  • Although the connection between depression and diabetes is not fully understood:
  • Diabetes management can be demanding and result in depressive symptoms.
  • Diabetes can lead to difficulties and health issues that could exacerbate depressive feelings.
  • Making bad decisions in life might be caused by depression. These include consuming unhealthy foods, getting less exercise, smoking, and gaining weight. These are all diabetes risk factors.
  • Doing work, communicating, and thinking clearly can be challenging when depressed. This can make effectively managing diabetes challenging.


If you experience symptoms of depression for longer than a few months after being diagnosed or if you exhibit other symptoms, consult a doctor.

  • being generally exhausted
  • alterations in sleeping habits
  • shifts in dietary patterns
  • Having difficulty deciding
  • feeling helpless or without hope
  • I have a headache (People with diabetes are more likely to experience headaches, including migraines, if they have extreme fluctuations in blood sugar). More research is required to determine whether hypoglycemia has a stronger association with the frequency of migraines, muscular aches, stomachaches, or other ailments.
  • having trouble restraining worries.
  • problems with falling or staying asleep at night.
  • being easily exhausted
  • finding it tough to focus.


Effective treatment for depression includes either medication, counseling, or both. People with diabetes can typically tolerate and safely use prescription antidepressants. Try to log your symptoms in a diabetes management app until you can find a doctor in your area. This way you will be well prepared for your appointment.

Author By:

Dr. Mavra Farrukh's particular interests lie in the fields of public health, rheumatology, preventive medicine, and research. Her aim is to treat an individual holistically so they can heal completely and live a meaningful life. She is actively contributing to Your Doctors Online.

Dr. Mavra Farrukh
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September 19, 2022

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