Stress. When one hears the word, the picture that comes to mind is that of a busy individual, racing against time to meet deadlines, juggling ten things at a time. With the kind of fast-paced lifestyle, almost all of us are stressed out. Too much stress takes a heavy toll on our bodies.
Stress plays a direct role in the level of the sugars in our blood than any other disease.
Imagine yourself walking back home from work. You are on a deserted street and suddenly out of nowhere appears a ferocious looking dog, ready to charge at you.
What will your response be? You will prepare to fight or to take flight!
This situation is the typical ‘stress’ situation. Suppose you decide to run, your body will prepare for it in a particular way. The entire energy from the body is sent to the muscles required for running. The adrenal glands pump out hormones that will spike the blood sugar levels to meet the energy requirement. The other organs and cells of your body will avoid using the sugars so that it can be used by the muscles of the leg. So you run away from the dog and reach home safely! After such a close shave, you surely feel like eating or drinking something good. More often than not, it is something sweet or junk that makes you feel good.
This is the stress we face in real life too. The only difference being that in our day to day lives, the stress is more mental than physical. Moreover, the stress lasts long. Seven days a week.
Fear of losing our jobs, dealing with a sick family member, dealing with relationship problems all these are the stressful events that are seemingly never-ending.
Remember, the body is dealing with this stress in the same way as it did with the dog situation. Imagine the havoc being played! The blood sugar levels shoot up due to the hormones and since the glucose is not being used up, the levels remain high persistently! The other organs, over a period of time, keep themselves permanently closed against sugars. They become insulin-resistant. The pancreas in the end gives up and stops producing insulin. What is the point in producing something that is not being utilized?
Also when you are stressed, the feel good hormones make you crave for comfort foods. These foods are usually junk foods, the unhealthy ones. Though these foods help in making you feel calm for a while, you are soon back to square one, this time with a little bit of fat around your tummy!
All this forms a complex cycle and you end up being diagnosed as a diabetic!
People who are not diabetic, have a complex mechanism to keep the spiraling sugar levels under check. These mechanisms do not work for diabetics. So one can very well imagine now, how dangerous stress can be for a diabetic person.
One needs to learn how to handle stress to keep it and its bad effects at bay. Staying calm and taking stock of the situation before reacting is extremely crucial. Yoga, meditation, regular moderate physical exercises help to keep stress away. This, in turn, will prevent diabetes, and in case you are already diabetic, your sugar levels will stay under control!
Stress is not something to be taken lightly. The implications of stress are severe enough for it to be called ‘life-threatening’