5 Important things to know on How Type 2 Diabetes Relates with ADHD

Sara Anderson

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Chris Riley
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Chris Riley

Chris is the Founder and CEO of USA Rx. Chris has led the USA Rx team to continue to push for further transparency and more savings options in the U.S. prescription marketplace for the Diabetes community. With COVID-19 transforming and normalizing how consumers view and use digital health, Chris led the transformation of the USA Rx brand to a digital health marketplace.

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Last Updated on June 4, 2023

Like most other diseases, type 2 diabetes and ADHD, attention deficit hyperactive disorder are chronic conditions that steadily increase their grasp both in the US and globally each day. While these two medical conditions have devastating effects on the afflicted, combined, they could pose even more challenges, especially if they aren’t kept in check.

According to the CDC, more than 34 million Americans have diabetes, and 95 % of these individuals have type 2 diabetes. If the malady is left untreated, it could lead to severe health issues like kidney disease, heart problems, high blood pressure, nerve damage, and even amputations.

The risk of developing diabetes is increasing exponentially, and it’s even more pronounced in individuals with a family history of obesity, diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle. You can manage diabetes when you deal with it on its own; however, having ADHD can make things a little more challenging.

While the connection between type 2 diabetes and ADHD hasn’t been fully established yet, the possible connection found makes some scientific sense, given ADHD’s neurological understandings.

 People affected by ADHD tend to crave dopamine delivered through simple carbs and foods with high sugar content. This could cause problems for people who’re predisposed to have or those who already have ADHD.

If you are affected by ADHD, the chances are that you’ll be more likely to eat less healthy meals and snack on high sugar content even when you do not want to. 

Your ADHD may make you less likely to plan on various areas of your life, including your diet and exercising. You may also be more likely to eat sugar-filled food to help lower your anxiety. Doing this puts you more at risk of developing and even increasing the diabetic effects on your body.

Five things to know on how ADHD relates to diabetes

1.Individuals with ADHD are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes

According to the study researchers published in the journal of clinical psychiatry, young children and adolescents affected by ADHD are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The possible reason why this happens is more likely because people affected by ADHD are more likely to stress-eat than those who don’t have the condition.

Combining this with other factors like their genetic predisposition to developing Type 2 diabetes, family history, and lifestyle, one can conclude that the possibility is highly likely. But how exactly does this come about?

There are two symptoms for individuals affected by ADHD that often play a huge role in this equation: stress and anxiety. Individuals affected by ADHD are more often stressed and anxious. If they are not under treatment, sometimes even when they are, they could turn to snacks to alleviate their anxiety.

Snacks and foods rich in sugar trigger the release of dopamine chemicals that signal a positive reward, making you feel more relaxed and happier. This chemical helps alleviate some of the stress and anxiety that accompanies ADHD; however, one problem this only provides a temporary solution.

Repeated uptake of sugar-rich foods and snacks could sooner or later lead to obesity, a diabetes precursor. Visiting a physician for an ADHD test as soon as you discover one or more ADHD symptoms could help reduce your chances of developing this condition.

2.Diabetes can, at times, also cause ADHD.

Unfortunately, the relationship between Diabetes and ADHD isn’t one way. There is also a likely chance that individuals affected by diabetes can also develop ADHD.

Individuals who have type two diabetes may sometimes find a hard time dealing with their condition, leading to emotional problems like anger and inattentiveness. Their medical condition could also cause them to become more anxious and forgetful, which later develops into ADHD.

How do you resolve this?

You could resolve this issue by visiting a psychiatrist who could perform an ADHD test to determine whether you have ADHD. They could provide you with tips that could help you manage your anger better, reduce your frustrations, and help you become more attentive. Doing this could help you keep your diabetes in check.

3.Gestational diabetes and later ADHD development

Studies have shown a relationship between gestational diabetes, a situation where diabetes develops during pregnancy but disappears a few weeks after birth, and the later development of ADHD in children.

Various factors, such as the degree to which doctors controlled the mother’s blood sugar levels, exercise, and the mother’s lifestyle choices, especially on a diet that could influence later ADHD development in children.

The conditions that could increase the child’s risk of developing ADHD may include:

  • High blood sugar in the mother
  • The use of insulin for more than two months during the mother’s pregnancy
  • Poorly controlled or unmanaged diabetes

The factors are estimated to increase the child’s risk of developing ADHD by up to 23%. However, these studies don’t explicitly imply that the child will develop ADHD, but you could try and make the necessary changes that are required to prevent this.

4.polycystic ovarian syndrome

Another connection that has been made between Diabetes and ADHD is a polycystic ovarian syndrome. This condition refers to a hormonal disorder that affects mature women who are in the reproductive bracket.

Women with this condition have prolonged menstrual cycles or excessive male androgen hormonal levels. They may also have problems with their metabolism, which may affect their appearance and overall health.

This syndrome can be caused by several factors, including high levels of androgens or insulin. Women with this ADHD may consume high sugar food, which increases their insulin levels. This may cause them to develop insulin resistance. When their insulin levels rise higher than they typically would over a long period, they become more susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes.

5.ADHD medications and type 2 diabetes

If you have type 2 diabetes and ADHD, it would be best to bring your doctor to light on this information before taking any ADHD medication. ADHD medication, some asthma medication, and antipsychotics could increase your blood sugar and trigger a diabetic coma.

Generally, it is believed that the risks of these medications, when used to treat your ADHD, greatly outweigh their benefits. Thus, informing your doctor could help provide you with better alternatives on how you could go ahead with your treatment.


Going for an ADHD test is essential and necessary, especially if you have one or both of the conditions stated above. Doing this could not only save your life, but it could also help you prevent either condition since one is brought on by the other.

Sara Anderson of The Ezcare Clinic, a medical clinic that provides world-class healthcare services. Sara has been associated with the healthcare industry for over five years and specializes in medical content.

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