Stress and diabetes

Stress is a common feature of our lives and it has been related to many diseases of modern society. Today, we are going to discuss the relationship between stress and diabetes.

Stress and its types

It is a normal response of the person to life events.

Eustress: is beneficial stress pushing the one to do his best. For example, a clerk is afraid of being fired. He will do the best he can in his work.

Distress: This is bad stress and a harmful one. An example, the same clerk will stay away from light and will hesitate before doing any work.

Is there a connection between stress and diabetes?

Unfortunately, yes.

The relation between both issues goes in both directions… What does this mean?

It means that prolonged stress can lead to diabetes. At the same time, diabetes causes stress to the patient and further increases the blood glucose…etc.

It is a vicious circle that should be broken to stop deterioration and complications of both.

How stress causes and affects DM?

Repeated stress leads to excess secretion of stress hormones, namely, cortisol, adrenaline, growth hormone as well as glucagon….why?

Because the body needs glucose in order to deal with the stressor and the stress hormones affect the metabolic reactions of the body to release the needed glucose.

Thus, repeated or prolonged exposure to stress can cause diabetes, especially in vulnerable people.

This also explains why diabetic patients may have uprise in the glucose level upon exposure to stress.

Another aspect of the causal relationship between stress and diabetes is that stress causes specific lifestyle changes that facilitate the appearance of DM. For example:

Eating unhealthy fast foods.

Excessive smoking.

Drinking beverages and alcohol.

Less body movement and muscular excercises.

How diabetes causes stress?

Through its complications…how?

Acute complications of diabetes are considered as stressors for the body. Thus increase the stress hormones.

On the other hand, complications are causing mental stress to the patient making him worry about his prognosis or needed time for healing or financial troubles.

Again, stress hormones will increase the blood glucose level.

After we had explained this vicious circle, we should break it.

Diabetes and stress management

There are various stress management techniques, for instance:

  • Meditation in nature.
  • Lowering mental stress by avoiding its causes.
  • Practicing exercise.
  • Talking about stressors with a friend or a psychiatrist.
  • Accept issues that you can’t change.
  • Listing to music and practicing personal hoppies.
  • Try relaxation exercises like yoga.

How to reduce stress diabetes?

Here, we are going to discuss another aspect of the issue. Diabetes can cause stress secondary to lack of knowledge about it or being stressed by choosing the best diet…etc

At this time, the patient needs to get rid of this particular stress, the following tips can help:

  • The patient can attend lectures for health education about diabetes in hospitals or diabetes support groups.
  • Prepare a list of food elements that are allowed to diabetic patients and make them always available at home.
  • Keep a notebook or schedule to organize the times of meals as well as the diabetes medications.
  • A regular check-up is helpful in order to pick up any complication as early as possible.
  • Try different relaxation techniques such as meditation and muscle relaxation exercises.

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