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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 31, 2014

Diabetics twice as likely to be depressed

By LAURA WILLIAMS, HCHC Diabetes Education Department | Mar 21, 2013

Diabetes can be a difficult and tiring disease to manage. Feeling down, or “blue” once in a while is normal, but if you feel this way most days, this could be a sign of depression.

Recent research has shown that 19 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes probably suffer from major depression and an additional two-thirds of us have at least some depressive symptoms.

People with diabetes are twice as likely to be depressed as other people. It is unclear which came first, the depression or the diabetes, and many researchers continue to search for answers.

The common theme between the two may be stress from trying to manage the diabetes. Another theory is that “People who are depressed have elevated levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, which can lead to problems with glucose or blood sugar metabolism, increased insulin resistance, and the accumulation of belly fat — all diabetes risk factors.”

How do you know if you are depressed?

If you have been feeling really sad, blue or down in the dumps, check for these symptoms:

• Loss of pleasure - You no longer take interest in doing things you used to enjoy.

• Change in sleep patterns - You have trouble falling asleep, you wake often during the night, or you want to sleep more than usual, including during the day.

• Early to rise - You wake up earlier than usual and cannot get back to sleep.

• Change in appetite - You eat more or less than you used to.

• Trouble concentrating - You can’t watch a TV program or read an article because other thoughts or feelings get in the way.

• Loss of energy - You feel tired all the time.

• Nervousness - You feel so anxious you can’t sit still.

• Guilt - You feel you “never do anything right” and worry that you are a burden to others.

• Morning sadness - You feel worse in the morning than you do the rest of the day.

• Suicidal thoughts - You feel you want to die or are thinking about ways to hurt yourself.

If you have three or more of these symptoms, or if you have just one or two but have been feeling bad for two weeks or more, it’s time to get help. Talk to your doctor to determine if the cause of your depression is the result of a medical condition or lifestyle factors.

Treatment for Depression

Don’t try to manage your depression alone. There is help! A support system is a wonderful way to help you handle your symptoms.

Stress Relief Techniques

• Exercise: This releases natural “feel good” hormones from the brain called endorphins. Take small steps-even 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference to improve your diabetes and your mood

• Humor: Watch a funny movie, tell a joke: Laughter is medicine for the soul and another great way to release the endorphins

Your doctor will be able to help as well.

• Medications: there are many anti-depressant medications available, so if one doesn’t work, don’t lose hope! Stay in close contact with your physician until you find a treatment that works.

• Counseling: your physician may also be able to arrange counseling for you.

Depression can affect anyone. Recognize the symptoms and get help to start yourself on the path to recovery!

Laura’s Recipe Corner: Cheesecake

1 grapeseed oil cooking spray

4 eggs, separated

2 egg whites

1/2 cup no calorie sweetener, granulated

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 pinch salt

3 cup cream cheese (or ricotta, drained)

1/2 tsp. fresh lemon peel, grated (optional)

Topping:

1/3 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp. no calorie sweetener, granulated

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with baking paper or grease with butter. Spray just a bit with grapeseed oil cooking spray.*

2. Separate eggs, and beat egg whites with salt until stiff.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat together no calorie sweetner for baking and the egg yolks until thick. Add lemon juice. Next, with the mixer on a low-medium setting beat in the cream cheese, a little at a time, until incorporated and fluffy.

4. Add a small amount of the egg whites, plus grated lemon peel if desired, and mix in gently. Next, gently fold the cream cheese mixture into the remaining egg whites a little at a time, pulling the egg whites up through the cream cheese mixture. Pour mixture into pan. Give a little shake to make it level.

5. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F; reduce temperature to 300 degrees F and bake for another 40 minutes. When the top of the cake is set, turn off the oven and keep the oven door closed. Allow to cool for another hour in the oven.** Remove and continue to cool on a wire rack.

6. Whisk together remaining ingredients (sour cream, no calorie sweetner and vanilla). Spread on top of the cheesecake.

Additional Information:

Garnish with berries if you like. Or, if you prefer, use almond extract instead of vanilla in the topping, and garnish with toasted, slivered almonds.

* If you’re making this for someone with celiac disease, be sure to double-check all the ingredients labels on the products you use. Sometimes “light” versions of dairy products contain added fillers that may have traces of gluten.

** Allowing to cool slowly in the oven helps prevent the top of the cake from developing deep cracks.

Nutritional information: Makes 12 servings. Amount per serving: Calories: 246.5, Fat 22.7gm, Total Carbs: 3.3g, Sat. Fat: 13.8g, Potassium: 100.9g, Protein 7.2g, Sodium 212.8gm.

Recipe courtesy of dLife.com

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