How Does Stress Affect Your Risk of Diabetes?

Diabetes is no joke. It affects the lives of nearly 29 million people in the US each year and increases their risk of serious complications, from blindness and amputations to stroke. Type 1 diabetes is an immune disorder that’s usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence. Type 2 diabetes can take years to develop and multiple factors contribute to an adult being diagnosed.

The vast majority of diabetes patients, 90-95%, suffer from type 2 diabetes. If you’re concerned about type 2 diabetes, it’s important to consider your overall health, lifestyle practices, and current quality of life.

Dr. Susan Biegel has over 25 years of experience in treating people at risk for and affected by diabetes. She’s learned that a preventive approach is critical when it comes to lowering your risk of being diagnosed and lessening or reversing your symptoms if you’ve already received a diagnosis.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes happens when your cells don’t interact with insulin - a hormone that your pancreas produces - as they should. When this happens, your blood sugar is prevented from being used as energy.

Consequently, your pancreas goes into “overdrive” to make up for the problem, but it can’t.

The result is rising blood sugar levels, which lead to prediabetes and finally to full-blown diabetes.

What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?

The most common risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being:

There’s good news if you’re at risk for type 2 diabetes: There’s much that is within your power to either inhibit or completely stop the arrival of diabetes at your doorstep. You’ve likely heard the most common ones, which are losing weight, eating a healthy diet, and upping your exercise.

Can high stress put me at greater risk for developing diabetes?

It shouldn’t come as a complete surprise to you that stress, which is connected to many health problems, can also contribute to type 2 diabetes, but it’s a risk factor that isn’t talked about as frequently as others.

According to the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Mary Vouyiouklis Kellis, a member of the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, and a provider at Cleveland’s Solon Family Health Center, “Stress puts your body into a flight or fight mode. As a result, your levels of hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, rise. This can impact your blood glucose levels.”

Additionally, stress causes you to produce more of the hormone cortisol, which stimulates your appetite. This is a factor that could lead to being overweight, which also raises your risk for type 2 diabetes.

What can I do to effectively lower my stress levels and my diabetes risk?

Fortunately, you have options for reducing your stress that will not only help you lower your risk for diabetes, but reduce your chances of being diagnosed with other conditions like heart disease. Stress reduction techniques that Dr. Biegel encourages her patients to explore include:

The best thing about this medicine is that everything on this list is fun and enjoyable. Treating stress is an important gift you give to yourself.

Team up with Dr. Biegel to examine and lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes

Dr. Biegel’s time at both the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and the Loma Linda University Medical Center instilled in her the importance of preventive care in cultivating wellness. Loma Linda is one of the world’s five Blue Zones, or areas where residents enjoy an exceptionally high quality of life and live to advanced ages.

Dr. Biegel offers some of the most advanced care to Inland Empire community members who are looking to lower their diabetes risk or manage their condition. Call our office today or request an appointment online at our website.

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