Stressful experiences have been implicated in the onset of diabetes in individuals already predisposed to developing the disease.
A number of research studies have identified stressors such as family losses and workplace stress as factors triggering the onset of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Stress is a physical and mental reaction to perceived danger. Conditions that seem uncontrollable or require emotional and behavioral change tend to be perceived as a threat.
When the body and mind sense a threat, they get ready to either run or fight.
Whether the threat is real or imagined, the body prepares for survival by turning up some bodily functions while turning others down.
In either case, over time these changes are serious and over time are harmful.
What is Stress?
Stress is difficult to define or measure. Some people thrive on a busy lifestyle and are able to cope well with daily stresses.
Other people feel tensed or stressed by the slightest change from their set daily routine.
Most people fall somewhere in between, but may have periods when levels of stress increase.
Telltale signs of stress building up include:
1.Not being able to sleep properly with worries going through your mind.
2.Being impatient or irritable at minor problems.
3.Not being able to concentrate due to many things going through your mind.
4.Being unable to make decisions.
5.Drinking or smoking more.
6.Not enjoying food so much.
7.Being unable to relax, and always feeling that something needs to be done.
8.Feeling tense. Sometimes ‘fight or flight’ hormones are released causing physical symptoms.
A.Feeling sick (nauseated).
B.A ‘knot’ in the stomach.
C.Feeling sweaty with a dry mouth.
D.A thumping heart.
E.Headaches and muscle tension in the neck and shoulders.
It is widely recognised that people with diabetes who are regularly stressed are more likely to have poor blood glucose control.
One of the reasons for this is that stress hormones such as cortisol increase the amount of sugar in our blood.
High levels of cortisol can lead to conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome, which is one of the lesser known causes of diabetes.
Cushing’s Syndrome And Diabetes
Recent studies have shown that a relatively high number of diabetic patients may have unsuspected Cushing’s syndrome (CS).
Cushing’s syndrome is a hormonal disorder caused by prolonged exposure of the body’s tissues to high levels of the hormone cortisol. Sometimes called hypercortisolism,
Hypercortisolism refers to a range of conditions characterised by an excess of circulating corticosteroids.
Link Between Stress and Blood Sugar
Stress is a major contributor to diabetes, but a lot of people don’t understand what stress is or what to do about it.
When you’re threatened with job loss or eviction or the breakup of your marriage or children problems or the thousands of other potential threats in modern society, you can’t fight, and you can’t run. You just sit there and worry.
The stress isn’t over in a few hours either; modern stresses often act on us 24/7, week after week.
Dealing with Stress
Get Active — Exercise
The healthiest way to deal with stress is with physical activity. Stress tries to help us survive the only way it knows how, by getting us to move. If you don’t exercise, most of the glucose your body puts out will turn into abdominal fat. That’s why stress and inactivity are a lethal combination.
So get out and run or swim or bike or walk your dog. Consider exercise that makes you stronger and tougher — kick-boxing, weight-lifting. You’ll wind up feeling more confident and therefore less stressed.
We decide for ourselves. When we can decide what’s important to us, when we connect with other people to live in ways that are meaningful to us, we will have less stress and better blood sugar control.
Once you’re in the habit of being physically active, try to incorporate regular exercise into your daily schedule.
Activities that are continuous and rhythmic—and require moving both your arms and your legs—are especially effective at relieving stress.
Walking, running, swimming, dancing, cycling, and aerobic classes are good choices.
Pick an activity you enjoy, so you’re more likely to stick with it.
Instead of continuing to focus on your thoughts while you exercise, make a conscious effort to focus on your body and the physical (and sometimes emotional) sensations you experience as you’re moving.
Adding this mindfulness element to your exercise routine will help you break out of the cycle of negative thoughts that often accompanies overwhelming stress.
Most people suffer from stress at some time in their lives.
An understanding of the causes of stress and learning to avoid stressful situations will help alleviate some of its negative consequences.
Some people also find it useful to use one of the many techniques or other approaches to relaxation to help manage stress themselves.
For more great Health and Nutrition Tips refer to the website positivehealthwellness.com.
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