Mild Depression can leave diabetics disabled

Diabetes, depression and disability. These three conditions have more in common than just the same first letter.

Diabetics are twice as likely as everyone else to suffer from depression. And diabetics with even mild depression have a higher risk of disability, according to the latest research.

Mild depression can lead to mobility problems, poor care and the downward spiral of a worsening quality of life, according to the study of 1,064 patients tracked for five years.

Four or more battles with mild depression will triple your risk of poor function and boost your risk of quality-of-life problems by 250 percent, according to the study in Diabetes Care.

Even a single bout of the blues -- including mild depression -- can boost your risk of poor functioning during daily activity by 50 percent.

I know that  mild depression is a natural reaction to diabetes. After all, the disease is life-changing -- and often life-ruining, not to mention potentially life-ending.

And the complications that come with diabetes, such as vision loss, pain and more can cause you to fall even deeper into a funk.

But don't let this happen to you or your loved ones.

First, depression can lead to poor self-care. When you're battling the blues, you're less likely to eat right and take the steps you need to get healthy (and that's true in diabetics and non-diabetics alike).

And second, depression can lead to stress and inflammation, worsening existing health problems including diabetes and everything that comes with it.

The good news is you can often get control of both diabetes and depression at the same time with some basic dietary changes, good nutrition and weight loss.

You'll feel better, need fewer meds (or even get rid of them altogether) and get the disease under control. You'll suffer from fewer problems and complications -- and you'll have fewer reasons to be depressed.