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Behavioral Health


Behavioral health is virtually synonymous with mental health, but it broadly encompasses all aspects of mental health disorders, health education, psychotherapy, and substance abuse. With a dedication to providing holistic care, Kashif Latif, MD, and the team at AM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center in Bartlett, Tennessee, offer a range of behavioral health services to support your diabetes management and help you stay healthy and well. To learn more about behavioral health services, call the office or schedule a consultation online.

What is the role of behavioral health in diabetes education?

The cornerstone for managing diabetes is education, and behavioral health is a central part of diabetes education. But that does not mean you delve into mental health issues during your classes.

In this case, behavioral health is the guiding force behind helping patients make dietary and exercise choices that keep their blood sugar under control. Changing your lifestyle requires time, attention, and internal motivation to eliminate old dietary habits and replace them with new ones. The skills and methods to make changes is part of behavioral health. Identifying the social and emotional aspects of your life that may sabotage your efforts, then learning new ways to manage them represents another part of diabetes education that’s grounded in behavioral health.

How are eating disorders associated with diabetes?

Diabetes is considered to be a risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Treatment for diabetes starts with diet-focused goals such as carbohydrate counting, portion control, and restricting calories to lose weight.

For many patients, the emphasis on diet leads to a variety of eating problems. Some patients feel deprived and start binge eating. Others are so focused on losing weight that they develop eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Another eating disorder, dubbed diabulimia, occurs when patients purposefully don’t take their insulin so they can lose weight. This problem primarily affects patients with Type 1 diabetes since they must take insulin, and insulin often causes weight gain. It’s estimated that as many as one-third of women with Type 1 diabetes have restricted their insulin, which poses a serious danger to their health.

How is diabetes associated with mental health problems?

When patients first learn they have diabetes, or years later when the effort to continuously manage their blood sugar seems overwhelming, it’s common for them to become depressed or anxious.

People with diabetes are 2-3-times more likely to have depression than those who don’t have diabetes. It’s important to be aware of this connection and to reach out for support when you feel overwhelmed.

The team at AM Diabetes & Endocrinology Center cares about your mental and emotional well-being as much as your physical health. Call the office or schedule an appointment online when you need behavioral health services.

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