Mood disorders, like diabetes and obesity, found to be risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Are Mood Disorders And Metabolic Syndrome related?
by: G. Katie Dashtban, Psy.D. Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist

Metabolic Syndrome is characterized as a cluster of several health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity. According to Wikipedia, The word “syndrome” means a set of medical signs and symptoms that are correlated with each other and often with a specific disease. It derives from the Greek language, which translates to “concurrence “.

Patients often don’t know they are candidates for this syndrome, because they are likely to look at each of their conditions as a single problem. For example, most patients are told by their physicians that their blood sugar is at the cusp of being considered a diabetic, and that if they exercised more and ate less sugar promoting foods (starches, simple carbohydrates) they can reduce their blood sugar and be on the good side again. However, metabolic syndrome is not one disease, rather, it’s a combination of different kinds of diseases, including psychiatric mood disorders.

Over the last decade, several bodies of research are showing that there is a strong correlation between mood disorders and metabolic syndrome. Patients diagnosed with major depressive disorder are at increased risk of becoming overweight, and patients with bipolar disorder may have increased risk of abdominal and overall obesity. Conversely obese persons seeking weight-loss treatments may have increased rates of depression and bipolar disorder.

Furthermore, it has been proposed that the central nervous system, very similarly to the pancreas, is affected by chronic abnormalities in metabolic processes. The phrase “Metabolic Syndrome Type II” has been used in the literature as a neuropsychiatric syndrome in which alterations in metabolic networks define the course of the disease.

What all of this means to the general population is two folded. First, recognizing that symptoms of diabetes, heart failure, obesity, and high cholesterol are not independent from one another, but instead each are different manifestations of the same disease. Secondly, mood disorders can and sometimes are part of the same disease and they can increase the risk of fatal heart disease and stroke.

In conclusion, seeking professional help for the treatment of depression, anxiety, unexplained irritability and similar mood issues might prove to not only improve your quality of life, it might even help save your life.

I am Dr. Katie Dashtban, Licensed Clinical Health Psychologist. I am co-founder of Feeling Good Wellness Center and the founder of Medical Psychology Services, with offices in Santa Cruz, Mt View and Fremont. Visit or like my Fb page at

This service is provided by Dr. Katie Dashtban, Psy.D.

Katie defines her role as a psychologist as one who holds a guiding light, while her patients choose the turns in this maze we call life. In her practice, Katie refrains from offering advice, but instead helps her patients overcome obstacles that cause emotional suffering, and shows them tools to use when deciding on the desired changes in their lives.