Could Stress Give You Diabetes? It's Not Just The Overweight Who Are At Risk, Doctors Warn
The popular image of a patient with type 2 diabetes is someone who's overweight, with a couch-potato lifestyle. It's a stereotype that makes salesman Dave Dowdeswell furious. The father-of-two, now 48, developed the condition at the age of 44 when he had a 32 in waist and weighed only 12 st - almost ideal for his 5 ft 9 in height. As a keen windsurfer and diver who also walked his dog every day, he was physically fit. There was no family history of type 2 diabetes, and he doesn't even have a sweet tooth. In fact, Dave ticked none of the normal risk-factor boxes, such as being overweight or having a waist of 37 in or more. So how did he become one of almost three million people in the UK with type 2? His doctors believe the trigger was stress. In the 12 months before he began to feel unwell, he had witnessed his 19-year-old daughter Gemma being knocked over by a car and breaking her neck after a family meal out; his thriving paint-spraying business had collapsed because of falling trade and teetered on the verge of bankruptcy, and his beloved bulldog died. Then, in November 2010, Dave unexpectedly lost his 70-year-old father to cirrhosis of the liver. 'That really hit me for six. He went into hospital and never came out,' says Dave, who lives in Portsmouth. 'He went downhill so quickly and I couldn't believe it when he died. We were close and it hit me so badly.' Within a week Dave started to feel ill himself. 'I was suddenly needing to get up two or three times a night to have a pee. 'I was also drinking around two pints of orange juice in one go, and I couldn't wait to finish a meal so I could have a drink of water or orange juice as I felt so thirsty. 'We were on a scuba-diving holiday in Egypt at the time, but my wife Adriana said: "As soon as we get home, I think yo Continue reading >>
Can Childhood Stress Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
Can Childhood Stress Cause Type 2 Diabetes? To date, studies on the link have been small, but many doctors and patients alike feel that emotional and family stress can lead to the development of the disease. Sign Up for Our Living with Diabetes Newsletter Thanks for signing up! You might also like these other newsletters: Sign up for more FREE Everyday Health newsletters . Aaron Snyder, 35, of San Diego, a certified trainer and nutritional lifestyle coach and author of The New Diabetes Prescription: The Diet, Exercise, and Mindset Revolution, believes that childhood abuse played a role in his developing type 2 diabetes. I was an emotional eater since the age of 7, was extremely overweight and neglected, he recalls. This [was] perpetuated until my older brother, the abuser, moved out of the house when I was 13." As a consequence, Snyder was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 23. During those 10 years, I continued to suffer from emotional eating , depression, and anxiety that I have since overcome. Now, Snyder says he's been able to control his diabetes with diet and exercise and is 100 percent off of his medications. Synder is not alone in believing that theres a link between childhood stress and type 2 diabetes. Many adults who experience profound family stress as children may also be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life, a recent review of numerous studies published in the journal Discovery Medicine found. (There is, its worth noting, a clear link between depression , anxiety, and other kinds of emotional stress experienced in adulthood and the onset of type 2 diabetes.) As an endocrinologist, Paul Strumph, MD, former vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in New York, says hes not s Continue reading >>
How Stress Can Actually Cause Diabetes
Your busy life might be screwing with your bodys chemistry. Heres what to do about it Its not just donuts that can put you at risk: High stress levels may cause type 2 diabetes, research suggests. Psychologists interviewed more than 1.5 million Swedish men to see how well they coped with stress. The men were then tracked for 25 years to see if they developed diabetes. The guys with poor stress management were 1.5 times more likely to get the disease than those who were more resilient. Chronic stress screws with your bodys ability to regulate your blood sugar, says study author Casey Crump, M.D., Ph.D. Thats because high levels of cortisol, the hormone that plays a part in your fight or flight response, trigger high blood sugar. So when youre in a constant state of anxiety, your body cant bring your blood sugar back down to normal levels. Bad habits may also play a role, says Dr. Crump. People who are stressed are more likely to eat unhealthy foods and have lower physical activity levels, he says. Those behaviors contribute to weight gain, which can also cause insulin resistance. (For a fat-burning workout you can fit into the busiest of schedules, try THE 21-DAY METASHRED . You can do it in 30 minutes without even leaving your home.) Of course, you probably cant quit your high-pressure job and move to Fiji. But if you manage daily demands better, you can trick your body into thinking you did. Related: 19 Ways to Live a Stress-Free Life Schedule one relaxing activity into each busy day, even if its just a 15-minute walk, says Adelaide Fortmann, Ph.D., the manager of diabetes care research at the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute. Youll bring your cortisol levels down, and your blood sugar with it. Continue reading >>
Can Stress Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
The idea that stress can cause type 2 diabetes is not new but recent media coverage of Dave Dowdeswell from the UK who, along with his doctors, believe the only explanation for his diabetes is extreme stress, has prompted discussion around this idea as another possible explanation for why many fit and otherwise healthy people can develop type 2 diabetes. At 44 Mr Dowdeswell, a keen windsurfer and diver, was not overweight and had no family history of diabetes. However, in the 12 months prior to his diagnosis of type 2 diabetes he had experienced a series of traumatic life events. His doctors believe the extreme stress he lived through could have been the trigger for diabetes. One theory is that the stress hormone cortisol may alter the body’s sensitivity to insulin. While scientists are not in agreement over whether this means stress itself is a direct cause of diabetes or just a risk factor, there are some compelling arguments and research is continuing in this area. A recent contribution to the debate comes from research funded by the Department of Defense in the US that find links between post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and an increase in type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity. The study is still in its preliminary stages and other factors are being investigated as to why some people develop PTSD in the first place (such as stress response genetics) but initial findings make a definite link between war-related stress and depression on poor general health outcomes. In 2013 a 35 year prospective follow-up study of 7,500 middle-aged men in Sweden found a strong link between stress and diabetes risk. Levels of stress were graded by the participants and it was found that men who reported permanent stress had a 45% Continue reading >>
Here's How Stress Can Cause Diabetes
Researchers established that people who suffer from work strain and/or emotional stress are more likely to develop diabetes than those with relatively lower stress levels. Stress may increase your chances of getting diabetes. ~ The growing burden of diabetes represents a global health challenge with considerable consequences in terms of illness and discomfort, health care costs and overall loss of economic productivity. Projections show that the global prevalence of diabetes continues to increase, with Africa facing an alarming acceleration in numbers. The origins of this debilitating condition are multi-factorial with genetics and poor lifestyle choices now fairly well-established as major contributors. This increase is strongly linked to greater urbanisation and the adoption of detrimental lifestyle choices that include sedentary behaviour, smoking and poor dietary preferences. More recently, however, stress has also emerged as an important contributor to the onset of diabetes and therefore deserves some consideration. Benjamin Franklins famous quote Time is money provides an apt metaphor describing contemporary Western societys problem with the perceived lack of time and the mad rush suffered almost daily. Of concern is that time wasted (and palpitations!) while sitting in a traffic jam or the rush to pick up the kids from school can trigger psychosocial stress that may elicit the development of diabetes in the long-run. Stress can best be defined as a highly coordinated physiological response mediated by the nervous system followed by corresponding changes in behaviour and cognition in response to environmental challenges. This response allows for adaptation to a changing environment. Environmental stressors can be physical or psychological in nature, each acting o Continue reading >>
Does Emotional Stress Cause Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus? A Review From The European Depression In Diabetes (edid) Research Consortium
Specialty: Psychiatry, Epidemiology, Endocrinology Institution: Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases (CoRPS), Tilburg University Address: Tilburg, Netherlands Author: Nina Kupper Specialty: Psychology, Biology Institution: Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic Diseases (CoRPS), Tilburg University Address: Tilburg, Netherlands Author: Marcel C Adriaanse Specialty: Epidemiology, Psychology Institution: Section of Prevention and Public Health, Department of Health Sciences and EMGO Institute for Health and Care Research, VU University Amsterdam Address: Amsterdam, 1081 HV, Netherlands Abstract: According to the World Health Organization, approximately 220 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes mellitus. Patients with type 2 diabetes not only have a chronic disease to cope with, they are also at increased risk for coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy. The exact causes of type 2 diabetes are still not clear. Since the 17th century, it has been suggested that emotional stress plays a role in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus. So far, review studies have mainly focused on depression as a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Yet, chronic emotional stress is an established risk factor for the development of depression. The present review provides an overview of mainly prospective epidemiological studies that have investigated the associations between different forms of emotional stress and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Results of longitudinal studies suggest that not only depression but also general emotional stress and anxiety, sleeping problems, anger, and hostility are associated with an increased risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. Conf Continue reading >>
Does Psychological Stress Cause Diabetes?
Abstract Many patients believe that their diabetes has been caused by stress or an adverse life event. Whereas there is strong evidence that psychological stress is related to a deterioration in glycaemic control in established diabetes, there is much less evidence that psychological stress can cause diabetes in humans de novo. It seems more likely that psychological stress produces a deterioration in glycaemia in the non-symptomatic patient which in turn makes diabetic symptoms and the diagnosis evident. The pathogenic mechanisms which have been suggested to relate psychological stress to diabetes are described and reviewed. Continue reading >>
5 Ways Your Stress Can Worsen Your Diabetes
Stress aggravates diabetes. Stress raises blood sugar levels, activates fat cells, impairs glucose tolerance, increases insulin resistance and impacts blood pressure. It’s a Catch-22: Diabetes gets you stressed out and the stress worsens your diabetes. Do you sometimes feel like your entire life is centered on your diabetes? When you’re snacking, you’re thinking about your blood sugar level. When you’re exercising, you’re nervous to work your body too hard. When you’re at work, you make sure you have a snack on you at all time or extra insulin shots. When you’re at home, your spouse and children try to not eat their favorite sweets around you. The stress of constantly thinking about diabetes can take a toll on your body. We know that stress is not just bad for our mental health, but also bad for our physical health. This includes your diabetes and its often undiagnosed companion, hypertension. It’s not bad to be a little more conscious or concerned about your health—but high stress levels can negatively impact your body and potentially worsen your condition. High stress can worsen your diabetes in 5 different ways: 1. Stress raises blood sugar levels Why does extra tension in your body cause your blood sugar to go up even if you haven’t eaten anything? There are a number of factors that go into this, but a primary reason is that stress triggers the body to release cortisol, which is a hormone that helps the body get through tough situations (the fight-or-flight situations). When cortisol comes out to play, your heart rate and breathing speed up. This also sends glucose and protein stores from your liver into the blood to make energy immediately available to your muscles. In other words, your body releases sugar into the blood so that the energy can g Continue reading >>
Stress And Diabetes
Stress, both physical and mental, can send your blood sugar out of whack. If you have diabetes, try these tips to keep stress under control. WebMD Feature It's hard to dispute that most of us live life at breakneck speed. It's the nature of a fast-paced society, where numerous family, social, and work obligations can easily overpower your precious time and resources. But for people with diabetes, both physical and emotional stress can take a greater toll on health. When you're stressed, your blood sugar levels rise. Stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol kick in since one of their major functions is to raise blood sugar to help boost energy when it's needed most. Think of the fight-or-flight response. You can't fight danger when your blood sugar is low, so it rises to help meet the challenge. Both physical and emotional stress can prompt an increase in these hormones, resulting in an increase in blood sugars. People who aren't diabetic have compensatory mechanisms to keep blood sugar from swinging out of control. But in people with diabetes, those mechanisms are either lacking or blunted, so they can't keep a lid on blood sugar, says David Sledge, MD, medical director of diabetes management at The Ochsner Clinic Foundation in Baton Rouge, La. When blood sugar levels aren't controlled well through diet and/or medication, you're at higher risk for many health complications, including blindness, kidney problems, and nerve damage leading to foot numbness, which can lead to serious injury and hard-to-heal infections. Prolonged elevated blood sugar is also a predecessor to cardiovascular disease, which increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. "In diabetes, because of either an absolute lack of insulin, such as type 1 diabetes, or a relative lack of insulin, such Continue reading >>
Diabetes Management: How Lifestyle, Daily Routine Affect Blood Sugar
Diabetes management requires awareness. Know what makes your blood sugar level rise and fall — And how to control these day-to-day factors. Keeping your blood sugar levels within the range recommended by your doctor can be challenging. That's because many things make your blood sugar levels change, sometimes unexpectedly. Following are some factors that can affect your blood sugar levels. Food Healthy eating is a cornerstone of healthy living — with or without diabetes. But if you have diabetes, you need to know how foods affect your blood sugar levels. It's not only the type of food you eat but also how much you eat and the combinations of food types you eat. What to do: Learn about carbohydrate counting and portion sizes. A key to many diabetes management plans is learning how to count carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the foods that often have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. And for people taking mealtime insulin, it's crucial to know the amount of carbohydrates in your food, so you get the proper insulin dose. Learn what portion size is appropriate for each type of food. Simplify your meal planning by writing down portions for the foods you eat often. Use measuring cups or a scale to ensure proper portion size and an accurate carbohydrate count. Make every meal well-balanced. As much as possible, plan for every meal to have a good mix of starches, fruits and vegetables, proteins and fats. It's especially important to pay attention to the types of carbohydrates you choose. Some carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, are better for you than are others. These foods are low in carbohydrates and contain fiber that helps keep your blood sugar levels more stable. Talk to your doctor, nurse or dietitian about the best food choices and Continue reading >>
Managing Stress When You Have Diabetes
Stress can hamper your diabetes care. For instance, if you have so much on your mind that you skip meals or forget to take your medicines, that will affect your blood sugar level. Life will always have challenges and setbacks, but you have the power to choose how you respond to it. Use these six tips as a start. 1. Keep a positive attitude. When things seem to be going wrong, it's easier to see the bad instead of the good. Find something to appreciate in each important area of your life, such as your family, friends, work, and health. That perspective can help you get through tough times. 2. Be kind to yourself. Do you expect too much from yourself? It's OK to say "no" to things that you don't really want or need to do. 3. Accept what you can't change. Ask yourself these three questions: "Will this be important 2 years from now?" "Do I have control over these circumstances?" "Can I change my situation?" If you can make things better, go for it. If not, is there a different way to handle it that would be better for you? 4. Talk to someone. You could confide in a trusted family member or close friend. There are also professionals who can listen and help you find solutions. Ask your doctor for recommendations if you'd like to see a psychologist or counselor. 5. Tap the power of exercise. You can blow off steam with hard exercise, recharge on a hike, or do a relaxing mind-body activity like yoga or tai chi. You'll feel better. 6. Take time to unwind. Practice muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, or visualization. Your doctor may know of classes or programs that teach these skills. You can also check for apps that do that. Continue reading >>
How Stress Hormones Raise Blood Sugar
In this excerpt from “Think Like a Pancreas”, certified diabetes educator Gary Scheiner describes why this happens and what to do about it. (excerpted from Think Like A Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin by Gary Scheiner MS, CDE, DaCapo Press, 2011) Last weekend I decided to stay up late and watch a scary movie. It had something to do with super-gross vampires who get their jollies by eating the flesh of unsuspecting hotel guests. Anyway, after the final gut-wrenching, heart-pumping scene, I decided to check my blood sugar. I’ll be darned – it had risen about 200 mg/dL (11 mmol) during the movie. With blood that sweet, I felt like the grand prize for any vampires that might happen to be lurking in my neighborhood. As you may be aware, the liver serves as a storehouse for glucose, keeping it in a concentrated form called glycogen. The liver breaks down small amounts of glycogen all the time, releasing glucose into the bloodstream to nourish the brain, nerves, heart and other “always active” organs. The liver’s release of glucose depends largely on the presence of certain hormones. Of all the hormones in the body, only insulin causes the liver to take sugar out of the bloodstream and store it in the form of glycogen. All the other hormones—including stress hormones, sex hormones, growth hormones and glucagon—cause the liver to secrete glucose back into the bloodstream. Growth hormone is produced in a 24-hour cycle and is responsible for the blood sugar rise that we sometimes see during the night or in the early morning. The other “stress” hormones, particularly epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol, are produced when our body needs a rapid influx of sugar for energy purposes. The glucose rise I experienced during the scary Continue reading >>
Can Stress And Depression Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
Can Stress and Depression Cause Type 2 Diabetes? Can stress trigger the onset of type 2 diabetes in someone who is not obese? I have been active most of my life, but slowed down in my desk job over the past few years. I was diagnosed with type 2 in 2006, and the only link that seems plausible to me is that at that time I was suffering from deep depression, which was later diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder. Name Withheld Mary de Groot, PhD, responds: Over the past 20 years, we have learned that people with diabetes are twice as likely to experience depression as people without diabetes. When people with diabetes have depression, it is more difficult to manage blood glucose and to stick to treatment plans like medication and regular exercise. Studies have shown depression to be associated with diabetes complications and even early death. Most recently, a series of studies in which individuals were followed over a period of 10 to 20 years found that people who have a history of major depression have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. We do not yet know definitively how depression, stress, and diabetes are related. But here's the good news: Depression can be successfully treated in people with diabetes. There are a number of antidepressant medications that have been found to be effective. It is important to talk with your doctor about these medications and which one or ones may be the best for you. It is also important to keep in mind that antidepressant medications need time to take effect (typically two to six weeks), should be taken as prescribed (daily), and should be changed or stopped only on the advice of your health care provider. It is not uncommon for patients to be prescribed more than one medication before finding the right Continue reading >>
How Stress Affects Blood Sugar Levels
Two types of stress can change blood sugar levels: Physical stress Mental or emotional stress Each type of stress affects blood sugar levels differently. Physical stress generally causes blood sugar levels to increase. Physical stress includes: Illness Surgery Injury Mental or emotional stress has mixed effects, depending on the type of diabetes you have: Type 1 diabetes: Mental stress can increase or decrease blood sugar levels. Type 2 diabetes: Mental stress generally increases blood sugar levels. Stress also can affect your blood sugar levels indirectly by causing you to forget about your regular diabetes care routine. When you're stressed out, you might: Exercise more or less Eat more or less Eat less healthy foods Not test your blood sugar level as often Forget or delay a dose of medication and/or insulin mental stress can affect your blood sugar levels Use your diabetes logbook to discover if mental stress affects your blood sugar levels, especially if you have type 2 diabetes. Some people with type 2 diabetes are very sensitive to stress. It causes the body to produce especially high levels of stress hormones, which drive blood sugar levels up. follow these steps to find out if your blood sugar levels are affected by mental stress: Rate your stress level on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 indicates the lowest stress level and 10 the highest; record your stress level in your logbook. Test your glucose using your home monitor and enter the result. After a week or two, study your results to see if there is a pattern or relationship between your stress level and your blood sugar levels. 3 ways to reduce mental stress Teach yourself to relax when under stress using deep-breathing exercises or techniques you learn in a stress-management class. Evaluate your schedule and de Continue reading >>
Stress: How It Affects Diabetes And How To Decrease It
Diabetes management is a lifelong process. This can add stress to your daily life. Stress can be a major barrier to effective glucose control. Stress hormones in your body may directly affect glucose levels. If you’re experiencing stress or feeling threatened, your body reacts. This is called the fight-or-flight response. This response elevates your hormone levels and causes your nerve cells to fire. During this response, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream and your respiratory rates increase. Your body directs blood to the muscles and limbs, allowing you to fight the situation. Your body may not be able to process the glucose released by your firing nerve cells if you have diabetes. If you can’t convert the glucose into energy, it builds up in the bloodstream. This causes your blood glucose levels to rise. Constant stress from long-term problems with blood glucose can also wear you down mentally and physically. This may make managing your diabetes difficult. Stress can affect people differently. The type of stress that you experience can also have an impact on your body’s physical response. When people with type 2 diabetes are under mental stress, they generally experience an increase in their blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes may have a more varied response. This means that they can experience either an increase or a decrease in their blood glucose levels. When you’re under physical stress, your blood sugar can also increase. This can happen when you’re sick or injured. This can affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Keeping track of additional information, such as the date and what you were doing at the time you were stressed, may help you determine specific triggers. For example, are you more stressed on Continue reading >>