Type 2 diabetes is a serious threat to healthy eating habits. Type 2 diabetes can be caused by ADHD impulsivity, poor executive functioning, and dopamine-seeking behavior. This article will show you how to keep healthy and decrease your risk of this potentially fatal condition.
ADHD and Diabetes: The Rise of Chronic Conditions
Type 2 diabetes, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is a chronic condition with a steady rise in diagnosis rates.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that diabetes affects 34 million Americans, 95 percent of which have Type 2 diabetes. This serious condition can lead to blindness, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and other complications.
High blood sugar and Type 2 Diabetes risk increase when there is a family history, obesity, or a sedentary lifestyle, or a family history. A prolonged high blood sugar level can affect the body’s ability to produce insulin, a hormone the pancreas has to help lower Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune reaction that causes the body to stop producing insulin.
How ADHD Brain Influences Your Eating Habits
Although the link between ADHD, Type 2 diabetes, and Type 2 is not well-established in research, it makes sense, given our neurological understanding of ADHD. The ADHD brain craves dopamine stimulation. This is provided with simple carbs and high-sugar foods.
Eating disorders are four times more prevalent in people with ADHD. could be a precursor for Type 2 diabetes. Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D., is a psychologist specializing in ADHD and eating disorders. Some patients come to me for weight problems or binge-eating disorders. ADHD patients are at higher risk for obesity due to their tendency to eat more, even if they don’t enjoy it, and their impulsivity.
Olivardia says ADHD patients are often determined to eat well, but their executive function may be impaired. They have trouble planning. They may forget to freeze the lean meat and not exercise enough. Type 2 diabetes is linked to sedentary lifestyles.
Another link between Type 2 Diabetes and ADHD is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. This health condition, which hormonal imbalances and irregular periods can cause, and infertility, is another. Women who have ADHD are at greater risk of developing PCOS. This condition is also linked to increased diabetes risk.
The Research on Type 2 Diabetes and ADHD: What Does the Evidence Say?
Only a handful of studies have linked ADHD and Type 2 diabetes. There has been a positive association between ADHD and Type 2 Diabetes in children, adolescents, and young adults. According to a Swedish study, Type 2 diabetes was twice as common in adults with ADHD than those without it. Men with ADHD were also more likely to be affected than those who didn’t have ADHD. A study in Sweden found that people with ADHD over 50 were 72 percent more likely than their non-ADHD peers to develop Type 2 diabetes. Men with ADHD were also affected slightly more than women.
A 2019 meta-analysis of literature about Type 2 diabetes, ADHD, and metabolic syndrome found no correlation between the two conditions. Type 2 diabetes is a condition that can be caused by Type 2 diabetes. HTML3 There is no correlation between ADHD and Type 1 Diabetes.
These are the Three Types of Diabetes
Diabetes mellitus is medically known as diabetes mellitus. There are three types of this condition:
- T1DM is a form of diabetes that results in the body not producing enough insulin to control high blood sugar levels.
- T2DM is a form of Type 2 diabetes. The body starts to resist insulin’s effects or stops producing enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels (glucose).
- Gestational diabetes is a third type of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy and is considered a risk factor for Type 2. Studies have shown a correlation between gestational diabetes, but not causation, and ADHD offspring.
Treatment of Diabetes: Particularly Tough for ADHD Brains
ADHD patients can find it challenging to develop effective treatment plans for Type 2 diabetes. This is because they need constant vigilance. Olivardia says that there are many things you need to do to treat diabetes. You need to monitor your blood sugar levels before and after eating and pay attention to what you eat. This must be done daily. You must bring your medication, a blood glucose monitor, insulin, or insulin meter when you travel.
Olivardia says that ADHD symptoms can adversely affect diabetes management. One of my patients had high blood sugar levels and rushed to the ER. Because he hadn’t tested his sugar for days, he was just steps away from a diabetic crisis. He had to try his blood sugar five to six times per day. Later, he told me he didn’t realize it had taken so long.
Valerie, a Seattle-based recruiter, was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant. Her undiagnosed ADHD was managed with caffeine. She says, “I would wake up and have two cans of Dr. Pepper to crush the day!” She and her son now take the same ADHD medication but in different dosages. Two years ago, she was diagnosed with diabetes.
A diabetes diagnosis can help people with ADHD live healthier lives. Sally, a 58-year-old UK clinical nurse specialist, says that having diabetes has been an enormous help. “I’m an all-or-nothing person. When I realized sugar was toxic for me, I cut it out of my diet. My blood sugar levels went from very high to normal in just eight months.
Duane, a high-tech consultant, and worker from Montreal, Quebec, is also a positive story. At 320 pounds, he was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. He was later diagnosed with ADHD. Duane’s ADHD medication had another benefit: it decreased his carbohydrate cravings.
Duane lost 100 pounds in just two years. He also started a regular exercise program and learned how to eat better. Duane even stopped taking diabetes medication for a time. It is all about routines and habits to keep my ADHD under control and manage my diabetes. I don’t have willpower, so I stick to the same routine week after week.”
Recognizing Diabetes Signs
For people with ADHD, it can be hard to recognize the signs of diabetes. Many people don’t notice the signs. Some people see increased thirst, blurred vision, fatigue, or bruises that take a long time to heal. Studies have shown a link between cognitive impairment and diabetes, particularly in older adults. This could be confounding in ADHD diagnoses later in life.
Start implementing these healthy lifestyle habits if you are at high risk for Type 2 diabetes.
Make healthy food decisions. Choose foods low in fat and calories and high in fiber. Avoid high-processed foods like white bread, snacks, and sweets for all children.
Carefully read food labels. Look for the following ingredients to avoid excess sugar: dehydrated cane juice, high-fructose corn syrup, dehydrated cane sweetener; dextrin, dextrose, maltodextrin, sucrose, molasses, and malt syrup — all codes for sugar.
Move more. Regular exercise is good for your brain and heart. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you exercise 150 minutes per week, 30 minutes per day, and five times per week. If impossible, you can also aim to do two 15-minute sessions during the day. Start your day by walking briskly at lunch and doing a cardio workout for 15 minutes.
Lose weight, especially if overweight. This can help with blood sugar and cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.
This one-minute test by the American Diabetes Association will help you determine if your risk for pre-diabetes (a common precursor of Type 2 diabetes) is present. Talk to your doctor about a diabetes-ADHD connection to keep your health in check.