Here's how stress can cause 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 Franklin’s famous quote ‘’Time is money’’ provides an apt metaphor describing contemporary Western society’s 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 psycholog Continue reading