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Article by Dr. Sheri Colberg, Phd, FACSM

 

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TYPE 2 DIABETES AND STRESS


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Stress comes in different forms and the term describes the process which forces the body to adapt or react to a difficult situation. It can take the shape of a physical response, caused by illness or injury. Or it can manifest itself as mental anxiety over such issues as work-related problems or trouble concerning a spouse, partner or child.

When the body is under stress, many hormones are released which oppose the action of insulin. The purpose of these hormones is to release energy, in the form of glucose and fat, which is made available to the cells of the body. By increasing levels of blood sugar, this process provides fuel for what has been traditionally referred to as the 'flight or fight' response.

This phrase refers to human instincts dating from prehistory. When humans perceived a significant threat long ago, their bodies prepared for either a fight to the death or a desperate flight from certain death by a clearly superior adversary. Stress is the modern equivalent of this choice.

Young man with a stressful look on his face sitting at a table.Stress hormones include adrenaline and glucocorticoid, which are steroid hormones secreted by the adrenal glands, and growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland.

Many people who are under stress turn to fattening food, like snacks between meals, as a source of 'comfort'. This pattern of 'comfort eating' can often play havoc with blood sugar levels, which is especially dangerous for persons with diabetes. People under stress often forget their medications such as insulin.

People under stress may also increase their intake of alcohol and this, too, is very dangerous for those with diabetes.

There is no medical evidence that stress causes type 2 diabetes. But it sometimes "unmasks" diabetes by causing blood glucose levels to rise. This is often seen after a heart attack or stroke, where raised blood sugar levels may be encountered for the first time.

Many sources of stress are difficult or impossible to predict, such as illness or injury. But mental stress can be sometimes minimized by changes in lifestyle, such as ensuring adequate exercise, leisure time and sleep. Relaxation techniques and exercises may also help.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes usually comes as a shock and can certainly create stress by itself. Necessary changes in lifestyle habits like diet and exercise while learning to manage the condition often contribute to the worry of coping with chronic illness. And there is evidence that mental stress can elevate glucose levels.

Woman stressed out at work.But the stress caused by diabetes can be greatly reduced by learning how to effectively manage and control type 2 diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity.

Some persons with type 2 diabetes, especially older individuals, may experience  hyperosmolar hyperglycemic nonketotic state (HHNS), a potentially fatal Diabetic coma which can be brought on by elevated sugar levels. Tragically, a female British naval officer recently died from HHNS after being mistaken for being drunk and left alone "to sleep it off," instead of being diagnosed and treated for this condition. For more information about HHNS click on Diabetes and Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic NonKetonic State.

At the very least, "comfort eaters" with type 2 diabetes usually gain weight and develop obesity, which further exacerbates their condition. One way to reduce stress is to map out the day, identifying clear times for exercise and relaxation. Plan meal times carefully. If insulin-dependent, avoid injecting and eating 'on-the-run.' Try to "work around" areas of life that are stressful so you can move on and leave them behind.

The Insulite Diabetes Advanced Management System is a scientific breakthrough that could improve your health by raising the insulin sensitivity of your cells. Greater sensitivity can result in a huge improvement in the efficient processing of glucose and insulin, which may reduce the amount of insulin you require to manage your diabetes.

By lowering insulin intake and dependency through more effective management of your diabetes, you are likely to experience better long-term health and a greater sense of well being. You may also reduce your risk of developing such serious, insulin imbalance-linked complications as the need for amputation, failing eyesight and kidney disease.

 

 

"I have been using the Insulite System for about 6 months. I have noticed that my eating habits seem to have transitioned very naturally.... no starvation or denial, I don't crave junk food or sweets anymore!! I have been able to lose about 20 pounds, slowly, safely, and permanently. This is a "for life" program and everyone that has a weight problem should try it!!"
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PR
  Bakersfield, CA

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A.E.
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Dr. MJ Lewis
  Ewa Beach, HI

Insulin Resistance Articles

"I have been using the Insulite System for about 6 months. I have noticed that my eating habits seem to have transitioned very naturally.... no starvation or denial, I don't crave junk food or sweets anymore!! I have been able to lose about 20 pounds, slowly, safely, and permanently. This is a "for life" program..."
Kat Healy
  Jamestown, VA
"I have been on the Insulite System for approx 3 months. I have lost 33 lbs, my liver functions are normal and my A1C came back at 5.1, down from 8.03 months ago. I was taking 10 Glucovance pills daily, now I take only 2 pills in the AM. My blood sugar is normal, my energy is higher than it has been in years and I feel great. Insulite along with a change in my diet has changed my life.

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