Stay Stress Free, Beat Diabetes!

Diabetes affects a large section of population globally. As per the statistics given by The World Health Organization (WHO) more than 350 million people are currently living with diabetes. These figures are expected to double in next 20 years.

The main goals of World Health Day 2016 are to increase the awareness about diabetes. The health experts believe that diabetes and psychological stress have a bidirectional relationship. This means people who already have diabetes suffer a tremendous amount of stress and those who live a very stressful lifestyle are likely to develop diabetes. The relationship between diabetes and stress is well known since the 17th century. Centuries ago a British Physician named Dr. Thomas Willis noted that diabetes often appeared among patients who had experienced significant ‘stress, sadness or long sorrow’. In the later years, several observation studies revealed that mental stress is one of the major contributing factor for development of type 2 diabetes along with unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity and smoking.

How Does Stress Increase Risk of Diabetes?

The link between stress and diabetes is a complex phenomenon. The experts are still trying to unwind the real mechanism for the link, however from available evidence it can be concluded that,

 

 

 

  • Stress increases the activity of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, leading to various endocrine abnormalities, such as high cortisol level and low sex steroid levels that antagonize the actions of insulin.
  • Stress triggers hyperglycaemia (increase in blood sugar level), a major symptom and a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

Stress Management and Diabetes Prevention

Experts recommend 3 approaches of stress management for diabetes prevention

1) When possible, remove or minimize the source of stress

2) Change your response to the stressful situation

3) Modify the longer-term effects of stress

Do you think you can follow any of the above stress management approach and save yourself from life threatening diabetes?

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