Your emotions can cause or impact diabetes

by Olife Team


Written by Olife content writer Radwa El Samahy

According to the International Diabetes Federation, over 10,000000 adults in Egypt have diabetes, which is an 18.4% prevalence of diabetes in Egyptian adults. When you find out that you are either diabetic or pre-diabetic, you may tend to focus on treating the physical angle, which makes sense of course, but bear in mind that it also affects the emotional part just as equally. 

It’s very commonly known that blood sugar levels, high or low, affect a diabetic’s emotions drastically. But did you know that it goes the other way around too? 

Since the 17th century, it has been discovered that negative emotions and stress play a big role in the development of type 2 diabetes, focusing mainly on depression as the biggest risk factor, which in turn is triggered by chronic emotional stress. However, depression is not the only trigger, there are other general factors such as anxiety, sleeping and eating disorders, anger and hostility.  

Emotions present a huge effect on the blood sugar level. Feelings of stress or anxiety often lead to the release of two hormones that can cause a rise in the blood glucose level; Cortisol and Epinephrine. For someone with diabetes it is already difficult enough to regulate blood sugar through nutrition so you can only imagine what happens when you add negative emotions to that equation. 

This however, can be managed through keeping track of stressful events and their impact on the blood sugar level in a “Stress Journal”, which helps you analyze and manage the stresses you experience, as well as understand their causes and effects in detail, the levels of pressure at which you operate most effectively and how you can improve the way you manage stress. 

Here is how to do it: 

Be persistent with the details you record throughout your day, or after any stressful event:

  • Date & Time
  • Elaboration of the event
  • How you’re feeling using a scale from 0-10 (0 being most unhappy/stressed and 10 being happy/calm)
  • How well and effectively you are functioning at the moment 
  • Cause/Trigger of the stress. 
  • Symptoms you are experiencing. 
  • The current level of your blood sugar. 

Deep breathe in, deep breathe out. 

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