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How can stress contribute to Diabetes ?

June 20, 2015 | Author : Dr. Dhanya V. Nair

How Can Stress Contribute To Diabetes

A recent global study conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington has revealed that while Diabetes rates have increased by 43 % all over the world, this rate has increased by 123 % in India. This is growing concern because Diabetes is associated with other complications such as heart disease and stroke, retinopathy (degradation of retina), kidney failure or urinary tract infection, swelling in foot accompanied by sores (which do not heal), peripheral neuropathy which results in numbness due to nervous system damage, and autonomic neuropathy which results in loss of sex drive, digestive issues and dizziness.

Diabetes is a condition in which the body produces more sugar than it can consume. This can happen under two circumstances. The first situation is where the patient suffers from Type 1 Diabetes in which his/her Insulin production is less than the optimum amount that can regulate the glucose levels in blood. In this case the Pancreas mostly suffers from an autoimmune disease in which the pancreatic cells destroy themselves due to reasons unknown, and this disease is prevalent in patients by birth. On the other hand the Type 2 Diabetes is a condition where an individual's sugar consumption/ glucose release in blood surpasses the amount of insulin present in the body. In this case either the Pancreas is unable to make enough insulin or the body is unable to utilize the insulin being produced by it. This is also known as insulin resistance.

Today's lifestyle and economic growth has brought about a spurt in faulty eating habits. According to the National Restaurant Association of India, 50% of the Indian population is eating out at least once in every three months and eight times in every month in metros.(source: ASSOCHAM). Under stress, people often develop a subliminal need for instant gratification which the quick -fix food mixes and junk food can easily meet. Stress at work place or today's fast paced lifestyle has given people very less time to sit back, relax and take care of their health. A global Survey across 12 countries done by Towers Watson reveals that one third of people across the world are experiencing stress due to excessive pressure at work and under staffing is the most cited reason for stress at work place.

This can have serious implications as stress is perhaps the most ignored lifestyle disease and a condition that inadvertently lead to Diabetes. In case of acute stress, the hormone Cortisol provides various benefits to the body that allow the body to cope up with sudden injury and allostatic overload. Cortisol along with adrenaline -the other flight and fight hormone- increases blood pressure and increases the production of glucose to pump up the body with all the extra energy it needs. However, these false signals can be detrimental for the body in the long term. Once signaled to do so, the body keeps converting glycogen from the Liver to glucose, unless prolonged psychological stress is reduced. In an typical scenario of intense pressure, such as coping up with trauma, this mechanism is extremely crucial for survival. But unnecessary stress symptoms generated in long term psychological stress tend to produce a false alarms resulting in too many catabolic processes that consume energy, increase glucose levels and lead to fatigue. This is why, a Diabetic individual often complains of dizziness and fatigue. When the body is unable to flush out this excess glucose, the glucose gets deposited in blood vessels. If these vessels belong to the peripheral nervous system, this prolonged deposition of glucose can cause numbness and swelling of foot or erectile dysfunction. Similarly, if glucose accumulates in the blood vessels near the heart, it can cause them to constrict, thereby predisposing an individual to heart attacks. Since bacteria also feed off glucose, Diabetics also do not heal soon from cuts, sores or abrasions. Severe peripheral neuropathy (numbness of foot) with unhealed sores can even lead to amputation of limbs.

It is thus safe to presume that by controlling stress and the Cortisol level in blood, one can prevent severe complications that arise due to Diabetes. A high level of antioxidants in the diet can help regulate high cortisol levels. Ezenus contains the maximum antioxidants as per a study published by World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences where Ezenus has been compared against other herbal marketed products in India. Ezenus also fulfills 50 % of Vitamin C requirement in a day. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which is instrumental in reducing Cortisol levels. Ezenus is sugar free, it tastes great and ideal for Diabetics who are tired of insulin injections or side effects like 'sinking feeling' resulting from strong Diabetes Medicines often prescribed by medical practitioners.

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