Greater glycemic variability linked to negative moods, lower quality of life

Women with greater glycemic fluctuations have lower quality of life and negative moods, according to a study published in the journal Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.

Researchers from Loyola University Chicago and other institutions followed 23 women with type 2 diabetes. The women wore a continuous glucose monitoring system for 72 hours and answered questionnaires.

The questionnaires asked participants questions about their quality of life and mood, covering topics such as depression, anxiety and anger.

Measurements gathered from the glucose monitor included glycemic control shown by glycated hemoglobin and 24-hour mean glucose. Researchers also measured glycemic variability shown by 24-hour standard deviation of the glucose readings, continuous overall net glycemic action, and Fourier statistical models to generate smoothed curves to assess rate of change defined as “energy.”

The researchers found that the 24-hour standard deviation of the glucose readings and the continuous overall net glycemic action measures were significantly associated with health-related quality of life after adjusting for weight and age.

Women with diabetes and co-morbid depression also had higher anxiety, more anger, and lower quality of life than those without depression.

Fourier models indicated that certain energy components were significantly associated with depression, trait anxiety, and overall quality of life, according to the paper.

Correlation between anxiety and glucose levels

Finally, the participants with higher trait anxiety tended to have steeper glucose excursions.

The impact of glycemic variability on mood and quality of life has not been studied until now. Past studies have linked poor glycemic control is linked to depression and worse quality of life.

The researchers recommend a larger study in the future to assess the blood glucose fluctuations and how they affect mood and quality of life.

People with diabetes are at greater risk for depression, according to the American Diabetes Association. Poor diabetes control can cause symptoms that look like depression as well.

Common symptoms of depression include loss of pleasure, change in sleep patterns, early to rise, change in appetite, trouble concentrating, loss of energy, nervousness, guilt, morning sadness, and suidical thoughts.

Source: Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, American Diabetes Association

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