How Do Diabetics Cope With Distress? Facts You Need To Know!

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Diabetes and stress appear to be connected in several important ways. Namely, stress can both contribute to and be impacted by diabetes. For instance, a person might feel that their stress levels increase when having to plan meals and measure their blood sugar, especially in the beginning stages of a diabetes diagnosis.

The Affect Of Stress On Diabetics!

However, stress can also arise in a person’s blood sugar and glycated hemoglobin levels. Research has also connected high stress of life stress to an onward risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Stress Affecting Diabetes

How Does Stress Affect Diabetes And Blood Sugar?

Research has been talking about the primary link between diabetes and stress since the 17th century. Recent research suggests that people with depression, stress, anxiety, or a combination of these conditions are at a higher risk of developing diabetes. It was found by scientists that various stressors can increase the risk of a person developing diabetes, which includes stressful life events or traumatic experiences as well as general emotional stress, anger and hostility, work stress, and disturbed sleep.

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands have given a suggestion about possible explanations for how many types of stress can give rise to diabetes. These consist of lifestyle factors, effects on hormone levels, and effects on the immune system. These discussions on how stress affects diabetes are only theories. Few researchers have even found conflicting evidence that diabetes and stress are similar. For these reasons, researchers have to continue to study these two conditions to determine if and how they are similar.

Stress Affecting Factors

Stress Affects Lifestyle Factors:
When stress goes high, it may cause a person to engage in unhealthy lifestyle habits. These unhealthy lifestyle habits can increase the of developing diabetes which includes low exercise levels, consuming unhealthy foods, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption.
Stress Affects Hormones:
Another discussion is that emotional stress can affect the hormone levels of a person. Primarily disrupting how well insulin works. Stress can arouse the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system. This causes hormonal changes which include higher cortisol levels and lower levels of sex hormones. The hormone levels affect insulin levels.
Cortisol is generally known as the stress hormone. As well as it can stimulate the production of glucose in the body and increase the blood sugar levels of a person. People who have abnormal hormone levels may notice their waist-to-hip ratio increasing. A developing waist-to-hip ratio means that the size of the waist becomes larger than the hips. This is a significant risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Stress Affects The Immune System:
Chronic stress might affect the immune system. According to one study, particularly the immune system response to chronic stress is a similar response to one that is connected to the development of Type 2 diabetes.

How Can You Tell If Stress Is Affecting Your Blood Sugar Levels?

For determining if stressful events are causing an increase in blood sugar. You can measure your blood glucose throughout the day. You can note how you are feeling and when they last late. Then, you can show your reading to your doctor for analysis. If your doctor notices that stress might be affecting your blood sugar, you can explore different techniques to help people control your stress level.

How to Reduce Stress Levels?

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes take care of their minds just as much as they do their bodies. Your stress can be a contributor to your diabetes as well as a consequence of it. You can find many effective ways to relieve stress. The strategy that works well for one person might be different for the next person. Exploring various options can help a person find a strategy. The strategy may work best for them.

A study in 2018 that took place in a clinic in Iran established that taking part in social-related stress management training could develop blood sugar control in people who have diabetes. The techniques of stress management may help people to manage their levels of hemoglobin.

Doctors generally use glycated hemoglobin levels to assess and control the blood sugar of a person over the past three months. Developing glycated hemoglobin will never increase the risk of experiencing complications that are related to diabetes. People who have diabetes and stress may have lower glycated hemoglobin levels if they practice the techniques that reduce stress.


Scientists have studied mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques in people who have diabetes. As per the study of 2018, 29 people with diabetes received mindfulness sessions and education, while 30 people in the control group did not. People who had already received the training had improvements in their mental health outcomes and diabetes management measurements, which included fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin.

About Tim Mathew

Tim Mathew is an Endocrinologist specialized in general endocrinology, diabetes, and lipid metabolism. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in a science-related discipline and completed a medical school program in New York. Once Tim Mathew quoted that Endocrinology is both a challenging and rewarding medical specialty, so he wants to specialize in it. To know more about Tim Mathew kindly go through our about page.

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