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Stress and Type 2 Diabetes

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Are you under a lot of stress? Well, one of the health complications if that stress is not managed well is Type 2 diabetes (adult onset diabetes).

Type 2 diabetes is a disease where the body's cells stop using insulin properly (also referred to as insulin resistance). This form of diabetes may be controlled with medication but generally can not be cured. Long term complications of Type 2 diabetes are an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, stroke, and various visual problems.

Stressful life events, such as broken relationships and important examinations, appear to predispose some people to Type 2 diabetes, with insulin-dependency. An image showing a woman using an insulin pump Epidemiologist Dr. Nicola Robinson, of the Diabetes unit at the Middlesex Hospital medical school in England interviewed a group of newly diagnosed diabetics who were dependent on insulin , and found over half had a stressful change in their lives in the last six months. In the previous thirty months, over three quarters of these patients had one or more such events, far more than experienced by the population at large or even by their own siblings.

While stress does not cause diseases by itself, it is known to predispose one to infections, ulcers, and heart disease. It is now apparent that one should include Type 2 diabetes on the list. Under stress, the body reacts by raising levels of blood sugar for fuel for the fight or flight response. To carry that sugar into the muscle cells to give us extra strength in a crisis, the pancreas pours out high quantities of insulin. In some individuals, especially when the challenge is severe or when support is lacking to handle a crisis, stress can definitely push the body towards true diabetes.

Once Type 2 diabetes begins, further unresolved stress will also push one towards renewed demands for insulin. The results of these findings confirm what many family doctors had known intuitively all along: the support of close family and friends can offer a great deal of therapeutic value.

Here's an action tip:
If you are under a lot of stress, make sure you ask your doctor for a test of your blood sugar. If you are already a diabetic, be prepared to increase your dosage of insulin when you are severely stressed, and remember to not bottle up your stresses inside. With the help of friends, family, and appropriate medical professionals, you can take a lot of the stress out of diabetes, and a lot of diabetes out of the stress.

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