Chronic stress does not discriminate with age or sex and may cause serious health issues. Chronic stress can wreak havoc on not only your mind but almost every organ as well as the immune system.
Managing diabetes on top of chronic stress can be challenging as diabetes can also be stressful due to complications and the constant need to control blood sugar levels.
Diabetics with chronic stress can face serious health problems. Whilst the kidneys are already under pressure from diabetes combining this with chronic stress can lead to serious health issues including severe kidney damage.
This can lead to needing to take medication for life, dialysis or a kidney transplant. Kidney function impairment can also lead to other problems including high blood pressure, damage to the nervous system and issues with the heart.
Another major organ that can be affected by chronic stress is the liver. This can be damaging to the digestive health of a diabetic which plays a large role in controlling blood sugars.
When the liver is responding to a stress trigger it creates extra glucose (blood sugar) to give you a release of energy. When under chronic stress this process keeps producing glucose, so much that your body can not keep up with the rush.
This can be damaging to a diabetics health causing their blood sugar levels to rise and have hyperglycemia which ravages through the nerves and other organs in the body. Left untreated this could be life threatening.
Stress Hormones Cause Damage
Stress hormones including cortisol can also be damaging to a diabetic’s health as they raise blood sugar levels. This process starts to take place when you get stressed, by arranging for the body to make sure it has enough energy available to get through anything.
This process causes insulin levels to fall and glucagon and adrenaline levels to rise, leading to more glucose being released into the liver. Insulin levels from the pancreas then affects the abilities of the thalamus which can cause sensory and alertness issues. Long term excess cortisol can be damaging to both mental and physical health.
In stressful times the hormones produced can also lead to immune system to weaken or malfunction. This can lead to inflammation in the body due to excess cortisol being produced. Weakening of the immune system can make the body more prone to sickness or infections.
Whilst under chronic stress certain bodily functions can be temporarily disabled or affected. To a diabetic these functions are needed to keep blood sugar levels even as well as keep your general health and well being under control.
The cardiovascular system can be affected by chronic stress and cause an array of problems including increased heart rate, boost in stress hormones that are released and also high blood pressure.
All three of these issues can wreak havoc on a diabetic’s health.
The musculoskeletal system can also be affected greatly by stress. This can cause the muscles to tense and become tight causing cramps and spasms leading to intense pain. Muscle cramps can be a worry as this can lead to damage or injury if you engage in physical activity which is needed to help control blood sugar levels in a diabetic.
Lack of exercise or physical activity can lead to obesity and high blood sugar levels. Over eating and poor food choices due to stress may also lead to obesity and also affect the absorption of essential nutrients when digested.
When under chronic stress people often forget to take proper care of themselves. Skipping meals, forgetting to record blood sugar levels and not exercising can play a large role in the poor health of a diabetic.
This can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate which can contribute to hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic episodes. It is important to take care of yourself and keep a healthy lifestyle to keep diabetes under control.
Using de-stressing methods including practicing relaxation techniques, calming activities and multivitamin supplements can help to control your chronic stress and improve well being.