Stress and Diabetes


Stress is a natural feeling that is created in the mind, and is the way the body responds to a particular threat. Stress triggers physiological, emotional and chemical reactions in the body through a complex signaling pathway between neurons and body cells-either mental or physical. Physically it can be injury or illness and mentally problems in personal or professional life.

In our lives reason of stress can be many - family, job, finance, relationship or illness. If someone is having stress, it may cause following symptoms:
  •          Changes in eating habits- Loss of appetite or binge eating
  •          Disturbance in sleep
  •          Weight gain or loss                                              
  •          Anxiety - Becomes nervous easily
  •          Muscle tension
  •          Feeling depressed
  •          Increased irritability-Anger
  •          Common problems like constipation, diarrhea, indigestion
  •          Loss of interest in sex
  •          Feeling weak
  •          Sweating

Stress & Diabetes

Managing the stress with diabetes is essential as it can alter the blood glucose levels. Generally mental stress raises the glucose level in diabetics but with type 1 diabetes it show the varied reactions, like in stress there glucose levels can go down and it may leads to hypoglycemia.

The relationship between diabetes and stress has other causes like:

  •   Lifestyle changes
  •   Fear of diabetes related complications in future
  •   Frustration of having diabetes
  •   Depressed about following the diabetic diet
  •   Worry about blood glucose levels
  •   Distress of insulin dependence
  •   Lack of family support
  •   Challenges in social group
  •   Increased Financial burden
  •   Medication

How can Stress Be Harmful?

Diabetes management can get disturbed by stress due to elevated blood glucose levels, provoking negative thoughts, difficulty in decision making, or changing eating habits. Continued stress also leads to elevated levels of Cholesterol, raises Blood Pressure and increases Heart rate. These all work together to push a Diabetic person into vicious cycle of poor control and increasing complications. So Stress management should be an inherent part of any Diabetes management plan.

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