Can Stress cause Diabetes?

Nowadays, people of all age groups are under stress for one or the other reason, be it a school going child, or a teenager, or an adult.

We all know that stress can have a profound effect on our health in many ways. It is indeed one of the triggering factors for Diabetes.

Diabetes is a hormone disorder which occurs because of any abnormality in the production or the function of a hormone called Insulin, and Pancreas secretes that.

pancreas and insulin
Pancreas and Insulin

The primary function of Insulin is to increase the uptake of glucose into peripheral tissues (like skeletal muscle and liver) so that the blood glucose levels do not rise.

There are several other hormones like:

  • Cortisol
  • Glucagon
  • Growth Hormone
  • Epinephrine
  • Norepinephrine

which have effects opposite to that of Insulin on blood glucose. They increase the production of glucose and, thereby, increase blood glucose levels.

Both the sets of hormones play an essential role in maintaining normal levels of glucose (Glucose Homeostasis) in the blood. Any imbalance between them results in high blood sugars [Diabetes].

  1. Stress is a stimulus for increased secretion of the hormones like Cortisol, Epinephrine and Norepinephrine, which raise a person’s blood glucose levels.
  2. In such a scenario, if excess Insulin is secreted from Pancreas, the blood glucose remains normal.
  3. If adequate Insulin is not produced, the blood glucose shoots up, and the person develops diabetes.
  4. If the person already has diabetes, his blood glucose control becomes very difficult, requiring increased doses of his medication or the addition of Insulin injections.

How Does Stress Affect Diabetes?

Thus, everyone needs to keep their stress in check, which is a challenging task, given the competition for everything in our daily life.

A healthy balanced diet, proper physical activity in the form of walking and jogging, yoga and meditation will help in reducing the stress levels and improving our physical and mental health.

how to reduce stress

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