In South Africa, mentally ill patients are suffering from diabetes and being obese in addition to getting the risk of dying young as compared to the general population. So, research is increased by linking diet with the mental health. Regarding this, some reports say that even though sugar will be potent, it is a much-overlooked culprit. There is a rapid boost in the number of obese individuals particularly in individuals with severe mental illness. In general, patients who are suffering from severe mental illnesses such as bipolar, depressive order, and schizophrenia, tend to intake lots of sugar along with other unhealthy foods, which are said to be a major cause of obesity and several other health-related problems.
Obese And Over-Consumption Of Sugar:
The big part of this problem is that individuals don’t know how much amount of sugar they consume and how much sugar is exactly in their daily diet. As per the research published in the medical journal of 2009, people affected by severe mental illness are probably overweight, have high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol as well. Almost all the chronic conditions are found to be associated with the lack of physical workout and bad diet. The major cause of obesity is nothing but the over-consumption of sugar. Being overweight is also a risk factor responsible for heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancers too.
Addiction Of Sugar:
Is sugar a type of addiction? There is a little evidence available to prove that hypothesis. Unlike other abuse substances, sugar is actually not an addictive as we have no sugar receptors in our brain just like we have for cannabis or nicotine. For mentally ill patients, there is a lack of self-control and judgment because of their psychiatric condition, which leads them to intake excess sugar.
If patients exercise moderately, they can able to control their eating habits in addition to sugar consumption. In fact, many psychiatric drugs increase weight and in turn, increase the risk of getting diabetes too. Antipsychotic medications, which are primarily used for the treatment of schizophrenia, will interfere with the ability of the body to process carbohydrates that lead to uncontrolled sugar levels that in turn cause type-two diabetes.
Drugs Prescribed For Mental Illness:
Most of the mentally ill people are prescribed antipsychotic drugs along with those who are living with severe depression and bipolar disorder. Even though the information is limited for Southern Africa, the UK spends nearly 10% of it’s on antipsychotic drugs for psychiatric medications. They are widely utilized all over the world. According to the research being done by Market Company, the world spent about 14.5 billion dollars on antipsychotic medications. This alone makes access to get nutritional assistance by the mental health patients. In the public sector of South Africa, dieticians are often a low priority when it comes to the mental health agenda. However, private psychiatric institutions will often facilitate sessions with the nutrition health experts. The links between those illnesses are very complex. Even though sugar is not an addictive substance technically, most of the patients consume it in excess and behave like an addict would do with the narcotic substances.