Stress and Diabetes Mellitus

Stress and Diabetes Mellitus

Stress can raise Diabetes Mellitus and make it harder to regulate them. Stress is the physical and emotional response to events that threaten or challenge people in various ways. For example, it can be a response to an unpleasant event like having network issues during your job interview or an event like preparing for your sister’s wedding. The possibility or the situation that is the source of stress is called a stressor.

It is essential to keep in mind that people’s minds and bodies may react to the same stressor differently. It is a by-product of the fact that everyone responds differently to triggers and their bodies are unique. Stress is a bodily response to protect you from danger and ensures the body’s well-being. Also, as a result, the human body, when under stress, releases stress hormones (mainly adrenaline and cortisol). It coincides with an energy spurt to function effectively.

Stress and diabetes

When you have Type 2 diabetes, any kind of stress can cause changes in your blood sugar levels. Mental Stress, like worrying about work or family, typically increases blood sugar levels. If you experience physical stress, like if you are sick or injured, you may also see an increase in blood sugar levels.

Both “good” stress, like receiving an award or doing something exciting, and “bad” stress, like difficulty at work or home, can raise your blood sugars, which is why it’s important to monitor yourself and your stress level.

According to research, stress can cause blood sugar to spike, regardless of whether it’s related to the job, relationships, or any other aspect of life. Stress and glucose have a close two-way link, which is crucial to understand. It’s also vital to comprehend how stress affects people and develop appropriate stress-coping mechanisms to maintain constant blood glucose levels.

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Effect of Stress on Type 2 Diabetes

Stress can raise blood sugar levels and make it harder to regulate them. As a result, you may need a higher dose of diabetic medication or insulin for type 2 diabetes. Low blood glucose that occurs after too much medicine or insulin is a frequent concern for people with type 2 diabetes. Epinephrine and glucagon are released quickly in reaction to low blood sugar. Cortisol is released more gradually.

These hormonal reactions to low blood sugar may last for 6 to 8 hours, during which time it may be challenging to control blood sugar levels. This phenomenon of low blood sugar followed by high blood sugar is known as the “rebound” or “Somogyi” reaction.

Can stress cause diabetes?

Stress alone doesn’t cause diabetes. But there is some evidence that there may be a link between stress and the risk of type 2 Diabetes. Researches show that high of stress hormones might stop insulin-producing cells in the pancreas from working properly and reduce the amount of insulin they make. In turn, this might contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Overeating when you’re stressed could also be a factor in how people develop type 2 diabetes. Some people react to stress by eating more and this can lead to them putting on a lot of weight.


Can Stress Cause Diabetes?

Stress alone doesn’t cause diabetes. However, some evidence establishes a connection between stress and diabetes. For example, a study on Swedish women demonstrated stress’s direct and indirect effects on diabetes. The study’s findings support perceived stress to be considered alongside other modifiable risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, researcher think that high-stress hormone levels can prevent insulin-producing cells in the pancreas from functioning properly and reduce the amount of insulin production. It, in turn, can contribute to developing type-2 diabetes.

Another psychological point of view is that people often tend to overeat, among other things, when stressed. But unfortunately, overeating also leads to unhealthy weight gain, a significant risk factor for diabetes.

How to prevent Stress and Diabetes

  • Reduce Screen Time- Studies have shown that excessive usage of smartphones can cause increased stress levels. Another study showed that increased screen time could also cause lower psychological well-being levels in children and adults. Furthermore, research has shown that excessive screen time can also lead to poor sleep quality, contributing to higher stress levels. So, it is best to cut down on your screen time to reduce stress.
  • Self Care- Sufficient self-care is vital in keeping your stress levels under control. For example, reading, cooking, exercising, walking, getting a massage, etc., can help improve mental health and decrease stress levels. Another way is aromatherapy, meaning that some scents have a calming effect on the mind. Studies point out that aromatherapy improves sleep quality and hence helps in decreasing stress levels and anxiety.
  • Reduce Caffeine Intake- Caffeine has a direct and indirect effect on stress. As per studies, excessive caffeine consumption can cause stress and raise anxiety levels. Furthermore, research suggests that caffeine prevents you from getting good sleep, adversely affecting your stress levels. Different people have different levels of caffeine tolerance. Hence, you should decide how much caffeine you should have so that it does not make your stress levels bad.
  • Practice Yoga- Yoga is one of the ancient and most effective techniques to reduce stress. As a result, people worldwide have been using Yoga as a tool for stress management. Yoga helps to calm the nervous system and improve stress response. Furthermore, several studies show that yoga improves psychological well-being and reduces stress and anxiety levels. As per a study, yoga can enhance the secretion of a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid, which elevates your mood.

How to prevent Stress and Diabetes by lifestyle changes

  • Increase Physical Activity- An excellent way to reduce stress is to move more and sit less. As per a study, regular physical activity is helpful in anxiety and depression. In addition, another study has shown that regular physical activity and exercise elevate overall mood. In contrast, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to poor mood and increased anxiety. Exercise and physical activity should not bother you too much as you do not have to do it daily if you can’t. A six-weeks study showed that you do not need to exercise daily to improve your stress. As per that study, exercising just twice per week can decrease stress levels. An excellent way to increase your physical activity is to walk or jog to the nearest grocery store.
  • Healthy Eating Habits- What you eat has a significant effect on your overall stress levels. Studies how that eating large amounts of processed foods and sugar leads to higher perceived stress levels. Also, research has shown that not eating nutritious food can cause a deficiency of vitamin B and magnesium which help in elevating mood. Stress can also cause you to overeat, which is harmful if you have diabetes.
Diabetes healthy food
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  • Supplements- Some nutrients are necessary for managing stress levels in the body. For example, magnesium is an essential element that plays a vital role in stress management. As per a study, magnesium supplements can be helpful for people who experience chronic stress. Research also shows that other supplements like ashwagandha, vitamin B, and Rhodiola can also help manage stress, especially in women. However, you should eat these supplements only after consulting with your doctor. That will help you avoid any side effects.

Hypoglycemia and Depression/Anxiety

Low blood glucose levels lead to the production of adrenaline, which is the fight-or-flight hormone. If adrenaline stays for a long time, it leads to stress. In case the blood sugar level frequently becomes low (less glucose, more adrenaline), the stress can lead to depression or anxiety. If a person with unhealthy glucose levels doesn’t monitor their food and medicine properly, it can lead to hypoglycemia. There is a well-researched connection between diabetes and depression or anxiety. A study found associations between severe hypoglycemia and depressive symptoms.

Furthermore, these depressive symptoms lasted even when people resolved hypoglycemia.  But researchers agree that hypoglycemia can cause symptoms of depression and anxiety. One possible reason is that a person with a low blood sugar level might constantly worry about their condition, which can add to the stress.

Stress is your body’s natural response to feelings like nervousness or threatening situations. However, your body’s natural reaction can be disastrous if you have diabetes. Extended stress levels can work against all your efforts to reduce diabetes complications. So, to manage your diabetes effectively, you must reduce your stress levels.

There can be various ways of doing this. Some of these include: 

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  • Regular exercising
  • Yoga
  • Spending time in nature
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Cutting back on alcohol and tobacco
  • Engaging in hobbies
  • Going to a psychotherapist for mindfulness-based stress reduction etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the last stages of diabetes?

There is no such thing as the last stage of diabetes or the final stages of diabetes. However, when diabetes ails you for a long time or the amount of sugar in your blood increases to very high levels, it may lead to end-stage complications or advanced complications of diabetes. These complications may include albuminuria, chronic kidney diseases, heart failure, chronic artery diseases, or stroke. Therefore, you must take all steps and preventive measures to mitigate the effect of diabetes on the body and prevent it from progressing to higher levels.

Can stress cause diabetes 2?

Stress alone is not a cause of diabetes. However, high levels of stress increase the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. High levels of stress can decrease the production of insulin. As a result, the glucose build-up continues in the blood unchecked. It may lead to type 2 diabetes in the long run. One should practice stress-relieving techniques to lower the risk of becoming diabetic.

Is coffee good for diabetics?

As per a review of studies, coffee might play an essential role in lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That is because coffee improves sugar metabolism in the body. However, adding sugar or cream to coffee may adversely affect blood sugar levels. Therefore, the best type of coffee for people with diabetes is decaffeinated coffee, as it has the goodness of all other components of coffee. Furthermore, you should also ensure that you consume coffee in moderation as it contains caffeine, and excess caffeine consumption may lead to side effects and increase stress.

Does type 2 diabetes get worse with age?

Diabetes is a progressive disease. Diabetes peaks in individuals in the age group between 65 and 74. A probable reason for this may be that you may put on more weight and exercise less as you get old, making it easier for diabetes to develop.

What is the miracle fruit that cures diabetes?

Jamun is widely regarded as the miracle fruit for diabetes. Since diabetes causes issues for two significant reasons- increased blood sugar levels and decreased insulin levels. Jamun targets both these causes together and hence helps cure diabetes. Jamun possesses antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties, which slow down the breakdown of sugar into starch.

As a result, it prevents sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. At the same time, Jamun seeds are helpful because they increase the amount of insulin in the body, either by increasing its secretion or preventing its degradation. In addition to controlling diabetes, Jamun plays a crucial role in purifying the blood, easing digestion, improving immunity, and increasing hemoglobin.

Can lack sleep lead to diabetes?

Yes, lack of sleep not only makes you tired and irritated and impacts your body’s ability to regulate and break down blood sugar. Research has shown that even one night of sleep deprivation causes your body to utilize insulin inefficiently. The ineffective response to insulin by the body’s cells leads to more insulin secretion by the pancreas. As a result, the cells fail to absorb the blood glucose, and the insulin level keeps rising. As a result, it can raise your fasting blood sugar levels above what they should be.

Do diabetics get angry easily?

Yes, diabetes is known to cause mood swings. Higher blood glucose is generally associated with feelings of sadness. Diabetes is also associated with lower self-control, which leads to aggressive behavior.

How do you calm down diabetes?

There are a variety of ways in which you can manage your diabetes. Exercising regularly, eating a balanced and nutritious diet, reducing stress, and cutting back on alcohol and tobacco are good habits to start with. When you do these things together, they help manage diabetes effectively and help prevent it.

Can metformin cause anger issues?

Yes, metformin causes mood changes, irritability, anger, and sadness. It is especially true for females over 60 years of age who take the drug for 1-6 months.

This article will help you understand how your continuous hustle that leaves you stressed might not be great for your overall well-being. You will also discover how you could develop habits to stay healthy with real-time health status and proper guidance.

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