A Cautionary Tale about Diagnosis (and Wellbutrin)
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A cautionary tale about diagnosis (and Wellbutrin)

The following story illustrates the importance of thinking widely about mood symptoms, not just about whether it's bipolar or unipolar, or whether to treat with this or that medication. Thanks to Mr. J' for sending it, to remind me and all of us -- JP

MJ writes: 
I noted a post about wellbutrin and blood sugar and wanted to add my  experience.   I had late-onset type one diabetes with a sort of  stepped progression (gradual loss of pancreatic function) that took  place over years.  Amidst decisive and incorrect non-diagnosis, I  adjusted to intermittent thirst symptoms (the body adjusts and they  vanish) and eventually felt fatigue/irritation/depression which are  shared symptoms of both depression and diabetes.  By this time, I'd  estimate my blood sugar was in the 500s each day. The wellbutrin (in  combination with high blood sugar) seemed to cause uncontrollable jaw  clenching and this symptom lasted during approximately 2 months of taking Wellbutrin.  I discontinued the medication for two weeks or so and the jaw clenching improved dramatically yet remained (along with mild  head-injury-like symptoms) through final diagnosis w/ diabetes several weeks later and beyond. Unexplained liver damage (no alcohol consumed  or involved ) was  also noted on onset.  I can document this.  

I  have no complaint with Wellbutrin.  I've heard it's an excellent drug.  There are warnings out there not to take it during periods of  uncontrolled blood sugar, yet I believe this information is a bit too hard to come by.  Since the symptoms of untreated diabetes can mimic  depression and trigger one to take Wellbutrin, I'd like someone to  benefit from my experience. 


Published November, 2006

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