Does stress cause diabetes?

One of the largest world health emergencies is diabetes and India ranks in the top ten countries with the highest number of cases. The cause of diabetes could be hereditary, a sedentary lifestyle, an unbalanced diet, stress, anxiety, or other concerns. It is safe to consider it as a metabolic imbalance rather than a disease. An imbalance that results from no care. Additionally, stress can aggravate persisting conditions of diabetes.   

How can stress affect diabetes?

Stress is bad in so many ways. Not only does it hamper normality, but also increases toxins in the body. Let’s take a brief look at what stress can do:

  • Stress releases adrenaline and cortisol in the body. While both chemicals enhance body functionalities at normal levels, chronic stress releases them in excess. The extreme levels can disrupt brain function and lower insulin production, thereby surging diabetes.

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  • Stress and diabetes go hand in hand. Excess stress can lead to eating disorders, thereby increasing blood sugar levels. This in turn can stop your body from warding off other diseases and cause abnormalities.

  • Stress also becomes a major factor in sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep causes insulin resistance and creates conditions for increased diabetes.

  • Stress is directly related to mood disorders and affects our emotional health. These conditions lead to anxiety, anger, and depression and build up sugar in the bloodstream, causing diabetes mellitus.

How to get rid of stress and cure diabetes?

Since stress and diabetes are both known to invite other health issues, this World Diabetes Day, let’s all make better efforts for our well-being.

“Health is not mere absence of disease; health is being established in the self; health is the dynamic expression of life.”

-Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

  • Know the cause

Regular meditation can help you increase your awareness and presence of mind. It can help you reason out your thoughts with logic and practicality. Being aware will relieve stress and anxiety, and make you mindful of your choices and decisions. 

  • Control emotions

Analyze your emotions and learn to tackle them. There are moments when you feel angry, upset, or depressed due to external situations. Keep a journal and express your emotions(release your emotions). An emotional balance will control your blood sugar levels and help restore normalcy. 

  • Resort to activity

Being active and indulging in yoga and other forms of exercise can help you relieve stress and help control diabetes. Tackle diabetes naturally with yoga, or take swimming lessons, or plan a regular cycling activity to make your cells active and working. As you do that, do not forget to enjoy every moment. Even a smile or laugh can de-stress you, clean your toxins and control your blood glucose.

  • Communicate

Find a group that can help you and vice versa. Research suggests that sharing a problem helps find measures to curb the problem and look for solutions actively. A support group can help you track your progress in managing stress and controlling diabetes resulting from it.

  • Eat right

Mindfulness helps in knowing what you put on your plate and the benefit of it. In fact, your food intake is a major part of your lifestyle and since diabetes is a lifestyle disease, you must eat right. Resort to nutritious food, fruits, and vegetables that produce insulin naturally and controls your stress hormones and regulates blood sugar levels.

  • Breathe in and breathe out

Pranayama, or deep breathing, helps calm our senses. They improve the interaction between the pancreas and the pituitary gland. Since the pancreas produces insulin and regulates blood sugar levels, deep breathing helps control stress and diabetes. Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, Kapalbhati, and Bhastrika Pranayama help greatly in the process. 

Stress often creates a delusion that our cravings matter and makes us constantly worry. With Sudarshan Kriya, you become calmer, your blood circulation improves, and oxygen flow increases in the body, raising energy levels and immunity. The body’s response to external stimuli and internal worries improve, thereby curbing stress and preventing any cause for diabetes. 

Written by: Supriti Tripathy

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