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Type 2 diabetes and depression: what is the link?

02 May 2022
4 min read
Volume 33 · Issue 5


George Winter explores the link between type 2 diabetes and depression and the suggestion that diet can play a role

Around one million people in the UK have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (T2D); 42% of people with T2D do not receive annual health checks; and the NHS spends at least £10 billion annually on diabetes – equivalent to 10% of its budget – with 80% spent on treating complications (Whicher et al, 2019). However, as the Parliament of Western Australia (2019) reports, T2D ‘can go into remission and it need not be a life-long progressive chronic illness. Some practitioners argue it is reversible.’ Such reversal can be attained through low-carbohydrate or carbohydrate restricted diets. Thus, Hallberg et al (2019), for example, note that before insulin's discovery in 1921 low-carbohydrate diets were commonly prescribed for diabetes, and low-carbohydrate diets can reduce reliance on anti-glycaemic medications like insulin while conferring improvements in glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), weight, inflammation and cardiovascular risk factors (Athinarayanan et al, 2019; Unwin et al, 2019).

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