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The PCOS Solution

Depression and insulin resistance: Which came first

Saturday, January 16, 2016
image credit mensaticMaybe this is you, maybe someone you know is caught in this catch-22: Someone who feels depressed, and also has poor blood glucose regulation, maybe even pre-diabetes.

If you’re feeling depressed you’re probably not exercising, because it’s really hard to motivate yourself off the couch when you’re feeling down. And you’re probably not eating well, either. Maybe even chasing sugary foods as a way to manage your mood? And all that extra sugar plus immobility leads to poor blood glucose regulation. 

Scientists have noticed the connection: that people with depression are more likely to have insulin resistance (poor blood glucose regulation that can lead to diabetes). And people with insulin resistance are more likely to be depressed. This is certainly the case with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) where underlying insulin resistance seems to contribute to a low mood.

But which came first? Does one cause the other, or is their dual presence coincidental? And how do you get out of this tangle?
First, if your blood glucose regulation is out of control, you’re probably not exercising. Movement automatically eases insulin resistance and also creates endorphins, neurotransmitters that boost happy feelings. But being active is incredibly challenging when your depressed mood dissuades you from even getting out of bed.

So here’s the problem: You need to get off the couch to overcome your depression and insulin resistance. But the very nature of depression is likely to deactivate your intentions, keeping you inactive, unmotivated, and hurtling towards diabetes.

What’s the way out of this tangle? You’re going to have to somehow get yourself out the door and moving. A tough ask when you can barely get yourself out into the day.

The key to escape from this trap could be in getting help to shift your mood enough to get you started, and support to help you keep the momentum going long enough to overcome the insulin resistance and the depression. Then your symptoms for both conditions are likely to ease. You’ll be on an upward spiral: Happier as well as feeling more energetic and motivated.

So if you’re stuck in the depression and insulin resistance merry-go-round and want to get off, the best way could be to reach out for some professional prescribing to help your brain think more positively. Natural remedies that change how your brain works chemically could be the key to uncoupling the connection between your mood and your blood glucose regulation.

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy reading about natural mood boosters.

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Olwen Anderson @olwenanderson


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