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The Surprising Relation Between Diabetes and Stress

By Pratima Sharma , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Mar 09, 2015
The Surprising Relation Between Diabetes and Stress

Diabetes is said to be a silent killer and is indeed so. Stress being one of the contributing factors, averting it can keep you safe and protected from developing the autoimmune disease.

Quick Bites
  • Stress increases release of adrenalin in blood.
  • Intense panic can releases hormones like cortisol in body.
  • Stress increases blood sugar levels.
  • Stressful conditions can make matters worse for diabetics.

Diabetes is considered a silent killer and is quite rightly so. Apart from raising sugar levels in the blood, which is manifested by unexplained fatigue and a general feeling of malaise, diabetes also destroys major organ functions. For example, it is known to affect the kidney, vision and cardiovascular health. Diabetics are therefore, advised to control blood sugar levels proactively and vigilantly through medications and insulin shots. What most affected individuals forget, however, is to steer clear of stress as it plays a crucial role in aggravating the disease. Therefore, how does stress affect diabetes?

Stress and Diabetes Relation

Stress and Diabetes: The Relation

  • Stress or intense panic will result in the release of stress fighting hormone called adrenalin in the blood. This adrenalin would counter the impact of the excitement by raising the heart and pulse rate. Regrettably,  the adrenalin also jacks up the blood sugar levels in the blood to surprisingly high levels. This is because the body needs to prepare for more energy reserves to combat the associated harm or damages associated with the situation. Therefore, if you have your blood sugar levels checked immediately after a stressful episode, the results will scare you.
  • Similarly, encountering stress will also release hormones such as cortisol and ephinephrine. These hormones are responsible for raising blood sugar levels to provide for enhanced energy requirements in dealing with the situation successfully.

Stress and Diabetes Relation

  • The body will never be programmed to accept the fact that you are a diabetic and already have high blood sugar levels. Hence, exposure to stressful situations will further spike the levels irrespective of the level at which it already is. Therefore, the consequences can be quite severe. Although, detecting the correlation will require some time, there is a straight and direct connect.
  • Moreover, people with diabetes will not have the standard sugar control mechanism in place that’s present in normal and healthy individuals. Therefore, when they find themselves in stressful situations with the blood sugar jumping up, there will be no way to control it. Therefore, matters can go out of control.

The basic purpose of finding answers to questions such as “how does stress affect diabetes” is to understand the importance of ways that help in managing stress. You should indulge in regular moderate physical activity, practice meditation and encourage positive thinking  to keep anxiety and stress at bay.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more on Understand Diabetes.


Written by
Pratima Sharma
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial teamMar 09, 2015

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