A recent study shows that antidepressant medications can lead to type 2 diabetes. A team of researchers from the University of Southampton reviewed medical records and case studies and determined that two were connected, although neither was proven to cause the other.
One possible was the two could be connected is that people who take antidepressants are more likely to gain weight than those who do not take them. Weight is often associated with diabetes. Another possible link is that antidepressants could raise blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of diabetes.
One of the researchers, Prof Holt said:
“Some of this may be coincidence but there’s a signal that people who are being treated with anti-depressants then have an increased risk of going on to develop diabetes.
“We need to think about screening and look at means to reduce that risk.”
“Diabetes is potentially preventable by changing your diet and being more physically active.
“Physical activity is also good for your mental health so there’s a double reason to be thinking about lifestyle changes.”
Dr Matthew Hobbs of Diabetes UK, said:
“These findings fall short of being strong evidence that taking anti-depressants directly increases risk of type 2 diabetes. In this review, even the studies that did suggest a link showed only a small effect and just because two things tend to occur together, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is causing the other.”
“But what is clear is that some anti-depressants lead to weight gain and that putting on weight increases risk of type 2 diabetes. Anyone who is currently taking, or considering taking, anti-depressants and is concerned about this should discuss their concerns with their GP.”
Future studies may be able to determine the exact link between the two, and hopefully pave the way for new treatments, and exams.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.