Stress and type 2 diabetes

Stress is known to be linked to physiological health issues, and a study has recently shed light on the way it can affect type 2 diabetes.

140 men and women with type 2 diabetes were tested for biological markers that indicated their stress levels. They then underwent two mental stress tests, and gave both a blood and saliva samples.

Over a period of time, the participants also collected saliva tests from home, to get a reading over time.

The study was also carried out with 280 non-diabetic individuals as a control group.

The blood and saliva tests were taken in order to measure for the stress hormone known as cortisol. When the data collected was analysed, it was found that those with type 2 diabetes had higher levels of cortisol and of a molecule called interleukin-6, which has links with inflammation.

Those with type 2 diabetes also performed less well on the stress tests, with heightened blood pressure and heart rates.

Unfortunately, the study does not point to any causation. Does the type 2 diabetes cause people to be less able to deal with stress? Or does being unable to deal with stress make people more at risk of type 2 diabetes?

Stress management techniques could potentially help to prevent people from developing type 2 diabetes, or help those with the condition to manage it better.

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