Research Links Stress Hormone to Diabetes
Stress has long been known as a “silent killer” for its contributing role to many chronic diseases, including the six responsible for the most American deaths each year. Yet evidence is mounting that the nation’s growing problem with high-pressure living can exacerbate conditions like diabetes, making a once-manageable disease even more challenging to live with.
Research has found that both physical and mental stress can cause a cascade of hormonal reactions in the body that directly and indirectly impact blood glucose and insulin. When under pressure, our bodies produce cortisol, commonly referred to as “the stress hormone.” Elevated cortisol levels may increase risk factors for type 1 and 2 diabetes through their relationship with the body’s ability (or inability) to process blood sugar by way of insulin. What’s more, the added stress that comes from living with these diseases — including physical complications, special dietary concerns, and the financial burden of expensive prescriptions — can worsen symptoms, causing even higher stress levels, in what can become a vicious cycle.
The unfortunate reality is that the issue of stress and its impact on our health is unlikely to dissipate, given the combination of lifestyle factors, economic and societal pressures affecting today’s American. An annual survey conducted by the American Psychological Association has found a statistically significant uptick in the nation’s stress levels — even well ahead of the hectic holiday season. And it’s definitely impacting our collective health, with stress-relate Continue reading