advertisement
Home » News » Panic Attacks Hinder Diabetics

Panic Attacks Hinder Diabetics

Psychosocial issues accompanying the diagnosis of diabetes may compromise an individual’s ability to manage the disease leading to more severe health complications and a poorer quality of life. Early identification and treatment of psychological issues such as panic disorder, depression, anxiety and personality disorders that may accompany the diagnosis of a chronic disease can significantly improve quality of life.

Panic Attacks Hinder Diabetics Lead author Evette Ludman, Ph.D., a researcher with Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, said her group’s previous work showed depression was associated with more poorly controlled glucose, more diabetes symptom, and lower functioning. “But because panic and depression so often go hand in hand, we weren’t certain that patients who have panic, independent of depression, would also have with these indicators.”

For the new study, which appears in the November issue of General Hospital Psychiatry, a survey was mailed to 4,385 patients with diabetes. Of those participants, 193 (4.4 percent) reported having panic episodes that caused a definite change in behavior. Among the 193 patients, 54.5 percent also had symptoms of depression.

Respondents were asked about recent panic or fear “spells” and if these feelings forced them to change their behavior. Participants were also given questionnaires that measured their diabetes symptoms as well as their level of functioning and disability.

Of those with panic disorder, the average HbA1c levels — a measure of long-term glucose control — were 8.1 percent compared with 7.7 percent for those without panic episodes. (Usual treatment goal is to keep levels below 7 percent.) Also, those with panic episodes reported having an average of 4.2 diabetes symptoms compared with 2.4 symptoms in those without panic.

Panic disorder is characterized by recurrent panic attacks, followed by persistent worry about having another attack.

The authors say that panic symptoms might be a consequence of diabetes itself. Panic episodes may contribute to poor outcomes by interfering with self-care and patients’ ability to follow their treatment regimens.

The authors and diabetes experts agree that if physicians treating patients with diabetes can better recognize and treat the symptoms of panic episodes and depression, they can improve the patients’ quality of life.

“I think most careful clinicians have noted that there are patients who do not cope well with their diabetes and have a variety of neuropsychosocial issues including panic disorder, depression, anxiety and personality disorders,” said John Buse, M.D., division chief of the Diabetes Center at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “The key really is to very carefully assess patients who are not doing well in their management of diabetes or other chronic illness.”

Source: Health Behavior News Service

Panic Attacks Hinder Diabetics

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Panic Attacks Hinder Diabetics. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2006/11/17/panic-attacks-hinder-diabetics/417.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.