Diabetes, especially type II diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus (DM), is one of the most common medical conditions across the globe. And is forever on the rise. There are various factors that cause diabetes. But did you know that stress can be one of the factors that can contribute to this medical condition?
On Stress Awareness Month (April), The Channel 46 has collaborated with Dr Anjali Kumar, MBBS, MD & Former CEO at Just Diabetes, who advises you on the relationship between stress and diabetes, and lists 16 ways to keep stress-induced diabetes under control.
Stress & Diabetes
According to medical experts, stress has a deep impact on metabolic activity. The primary result of the fight or flight response is energy mobilisation. Stress is responsible for stimulating the release of a host of hormones, which can lead to a rise in blood glucose levels. Due to the relative or absolute lack of insulin in an individual with diabetes, an increase in glucose levels as a result of stress cannot be effectively metabolised. Not just that, it may be abnormal to regulate these stress hormones in diabetes.
Although some human studies have claimed that stress can precipitate type I diabetes, certain animal studies have indicated that stressors of different types can precipitate and sometimes even prevent various experimental models of diabetes. Human studies have also shown that stress can also cause the stimulation of hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or have no effect on the glycemic status. The presence of autonomic neuropathy, which is common in type I diabetes, serves as the root cause of this confusion. There are only a few human studies related to the role of stress in the onset and course of type II diabetes. However, there are several animal studies that claim that stress produces hyperglycemia in type II diabetes.
Read Diabetes Diet Myths
7 Ways To Manage Stress When You Have Diabetes
Stress is an integral part of life. It is often a challenge to remove stress completely. However, you can definitely make a consistent and conscious effort to keep it under control. Here are 7 ways to manage stress better by keeping a close eye on your blood sugar levels.
- Eat right
- Follow a regular fitness routine
- Check blood sugar regularly
- Keep a positive attitude at all times
- Don’t try to change what you cannot change
- Be nice to yourself
- Discuss your stressors with near and dear ones, or seek professional help
9 Other Stress-Busting Ideas To Keep Stress-Induced Diabetes Under Control
1. Practice How To Stay Calm
Apart from a regular exercise regimen, try yoga and meditation. Using essential oils like rose, lavender, and frankincense, to name a few relieves stress. This proves to be helpful for those with stress-induced diabetes and those with insulin resistance.
2. Take Sufficient Rest
Taking rest is essential for leading a healthy life. Hence, ensure that you get at least 8 hours of sleep every day. This is because lack of sleep raises the risk of various health conditions, including stress-related diabetes. Apart from increasing stress, lack of sleep can also raise appetite hormones like ghrelin and cortisol, which induces hunger, thus, making you crave unhealthy sugary snacks, caffeine, and refined grain foods.
Sleep is also closely related to metabolic processes. Studies indicate that our natural circadian rhythms can play an active role in triggering high blood glucose or increasing the risk of diabetes. What’s more, lack of enough rest, sleeping at the wrong times, and poor quality sleep can adversely affect the secretion of insulin. On the other hand, enough restful time at night curbs stress responses, balances hormones, and also replenishes you with the energy required for you to stay pumped up throughout the day.
Read 8 Foods For Gut Health Diet By Nutritionist Dr Anjali Kumar
3. Diet Mantra For Maintaining Normal Blood Sugar Levels
High Protein Food
- Free-range eggs
- Raw dairy products
- Wild fish
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Virgin coconut oil
- MCT oil
- Nuts and seeds like chia, almonds, flax, hemp, etc.
- Grass-fed Butter
High Fibre Foods
- Fresh Vegetables like green leafy vegetables
- Whole pieces of fruits (not juice) like apples
- Sprouted beans or peas
- Ancient Grains
- Almonds, chia & flax seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sweet Potatoes
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Green & herbal teas
- Fresh herbs
- Spices like cinnamon
4. Skip Anything Made With Refined Flour & Added Sugars
Consumption of refined flours and added sugars contributes to a host of health conditions, including diabetes
5. Choose Natural Sweeteners
Natural sweeteners like raw honey, organic stevia, dates, pure maple syrup, and blackstrap molasses are always a far better option than refined sugar
6. Watch Your Portion
Take a small amount of everything that you eat, including natural sweeteners
7. Consume Grains In Their Whole Form
Try including whole grains whenever possible as opposed to flour form because it tends to spike blood sugar more
8. Have Enough Liquids
Remember to incorporate enough liquids in your daily diet like water, seltzer, herbal tea and coffee (in moderation)
9. Drink In Moderation
Stick to one alcoholic drink per day for adult women and not more than two for adult men
Disclaimer: Please consult a healthcare practitioner before undertaking any lifestyle change.
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