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What is the relationship between mental disorders and comorbid diabetes?

Jun 03
Answer from Dr. Sam Ozersky, Senior Consultant, University Health Network Mood Disorders Clinic and, CEO, Mensante Corporation.

Research has shown an increasingly clear relationship between diabetes and a variety of mental health issues (2018 Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines, Can J Diabetes 42 (2018) S130–S141).

With more than 6.7 million Canadians affected by Mental Illness and 2.2 million affected by Diabetes, the economic impacts to health systems and to the workplace are well established.

There are multiple reciprocal relationships in Diabetes & Mental Health Disorder Comorbidity:
  1. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) can severely impair cognitive functioning.
  2. Diabetes is a risk factor for dementia.
  3. Having PTSD, Bipolar Disorder or Depression increases the risk of diabetes by 50%.
  4. Having Depression alone increases both the morbidity and mortality from diabetes.
Any workplace program aimed at supporting those with a Diabetes and a Mental Illness may want to take into consideration this bidirectional relationship.

From an assessment perspective, the 2018 Diabetes Canada Clinical Practice Guidelines recommend that all individuals with diabetes should be regularly screened for the presence of diabetes distress, as well as symptoms of common psychiatric disorders.

Workplace Chronic Disease Programs focused on Mental illness/Diabetes comorbidity should also facilitate Self-management since persons with diabetes are directly responsible for 95% of their diabetes management.

Physical disease and mood management need to be integrated.

FeelingBetterNow (feelingbetternow.com) provides a unique, medically differentiated solution to workplace mental health that takes into consideration Chronic Disease Comorbidities.

The integrated Personalized Action Plan for “Self-care” is based on medically approved Clinical Practice Guidelines and grounded in a trinity of early detection, treatment and prevention.

Full Article Link: https://www.benefitscanada.com/microsite/question-of-the-week

Dr. Sam Ozersky, MD

Sam is Mensante's founder and CEO. He speaks and writes extensively about the critical relationship between mental health and the workplace.