Diabetes as a Co-Morbidity of Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is more popularly known as a Manic Depressive Syndrome. It is characterized by unusual shifting of moods, as well as activity and energy levels. This type of depression is not to be taken lightly as a severe case of manic depression can lead to suicide. Usually, there are a number of medical conditions that co-exist with bipolar disorder, one of which is diabetes. Currently, with the advent of technology and medicine, bipolar disorder is treatable and diabetes can be controlled.

The Link between Diabetes and Bipolar Disorder
Currently, there have been no other causes discovered for bipolar disorder except genetics. Heredity has been the only observed cause for this type of depression. Diabetes is just one among several medical conditions that can occur in a person with bipolar disorder.

Studies have shown that people who have bipolar disorder have an increased risk of developing diabetes after a period of time. The percentage of patients with diabetes mellitus (Type 1 Diabetes) was higher in those who had manic-depressive disorder than those patients who did not suffer from the disorder. Because the two medical conditions almost always develop in the same patient, researchers have hypothesized that diabetes and a bipolar disorder overlap in terms of pathogenesis (the method of which a disease is caused).

Effects of Treatment
Studies have shown that treating bipolar disorder can increase the risk of acquiring diabetes. It was found that patients taking antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of bipolar syndrome increased their risk of developing diabetes. Reports also showed that diabetes developed in patients who gained weight, were hypertensive and had substance abuse issues. Substance abuse often happens to patients with bipolar disorders but the exact cause for this is not known. As for cases of readmission to medical facilities, there were fewer patients who came back because of their diabetes as compared to those who had to be readmitted because of bipolar syndrome.

Effective Treatment for Both Diabetes and Bipolar Syndrome
Medical researchers have suggested that in treating both conditions, a patient would require a team that is knowledgeable in several medical disciplines. It is also strongly advised that people who have both of these conditions change their diet to healthier eating and exercise regularly in order to prevent the worsening of both conditions.

Those patients who are already on the brink of developing diabetes are strongly urged to change their diet and start regular exercise. Since substance abuse is relatively common in manic-depressive patients, taking in substances such as alcohol is strongly discouraged.

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