Job stress doubles Diabetes risk in women

By Charlotte Summers

According to new research conducted by scientists at the Institute for Work and Health and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, women who perceive that they have no control over their employment and report sever stress from their job have a significantly increased risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic physical illness; stress has been known to contribute to the development of diabetes in a number of ways. When an individual is stressed their body triggers the fight or flight threat response, it increased levels of glucose in the blood, increases heart rate and blood pressure, pupils dilate and the immune system is put onto high alert, all in the event that the person may have to fight or flee in order to survive.

If an individual subjects themselves to psychological stress for prolonged periods of time, their body’s natural capacity to return itself to a state of calm and harmony is reduced. As a result digestive problems can arise, blood pressure stays very high increasing the chances of stroke and heart disease and insulin resistance occurs which significantly increases chances of being diagnosed with diabetes.

The Canadian research team found that there was a distinct gender difference in how men and women respond and are affected by work place stress. 7,443 working women living in Ontario province, Canada’s none of whom had previously been diagnosed with diabetes were observed for 9 years.

The preliminary findings show that 19 percent of diabetes diagnosed in the women was caused by low job control; this was significantly higher than smoking, alcohol intake and low physical activity.

This research highlights the importance of having adequate stress management techniques such as mindfulness meditation which has been found to significantly reduce blood pressure, improve sleep, diet and reduce insulin resistance. In addition, mindfulness has been shown to improve diabetes management for individuals who have previously been diagnosed; mindfulness can considerably reduce their chances of developing diabetes related complications.

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