As you might have seen on my 17 Reasons To Avoid Stress infographic, scientific research has connected a large number of diseases and conditions to chronic stress. Several previous studies have shown a link between chronic stress and diabetes, but now a new study has demonstrated this link even more clearly.
Recently, the University of Gothenburg concluded a 35 year comprehensive study of 7,500 men who live in Gothenburg, Sweden. In this study, men who indicate incessant stress had a much higher risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes than men who said that they have no stress in their lives.
A Clear Link Between Stress And Diabetes
This large population-based study was originally started in the 1970s. Throughout the study, researchers closely monitored the health and well-being of men who were born between the 1915 and 1925 in Gothenburg. Because of this unique study and the sample size, medical researchers are now confident of showing that chronic stress can significantly increase a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Over the course of the study, a total of 6,828 men who had no prior history of diabetes, history of stroke or coronary artery disease were thoroughly analyzed. 899 of the participants had developed diabetes at the time of the follow up evaluation. Participants were asked to fill out a survey at the beginning of the study that asked them to grade the level of stress they experienced on a six-point scale. The researchers measured the amount of stress based on various factors such as anxiety, irritation, and difficulties sleeping, all of which may have been related to working or domestic conditions. Of the participants in the study, 15.5 percent of the men indicated incessant stress over a one year period or over a five year period. The 15.5 percent also indicated that the stress was related to conditions either at work or at home.
The results of this comprehensive study conclude that men who indicated chronic stress were 45% more likely to develop diabetes than men who indicated that they have had no permanent or periodic stress. With this in mind, it is clear that the link between stress and the risk of developing diabetes is statistically significant. Researchers adjusted the numbers to compensate for factors such as age, physical inactivity, socioeconomic status, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, and the use of medication that can lower blood pressure.
The lead researcher, Masuma Novak, reports that in today’s society, stress is not yet considered a preventable cause of the development of diabetes. But, this study truly shows that there is some sort of link between chronic stress and the potential to develop diabetes. It seems likely that lowering stress levels can help to prevent this harmful disease from developing, in addition to having many other benefits for our health.
Techniques To Lower Stress
Sometimes stress is inevitable, but long-term chronic stress can lead to a host of health complaints like hormone depletion, adrenal fatigue, diabetes and more. Knowing a few simple ways to reduce stress can help us to avoid these dangers to our health. Here are a few tips to consider when it comes to reducing stress.
One simple way to reduce stress is to meditate. Just a few minutes of meditation per day can play a big role in easing anxiety. Sit up straight and place both feet on the floor. Once in place and the eyes are closed, recite simple positive mantras to relax and rid oneself of negative thoughts.
Breathing deeply is another method of stress reduction. For those who are stressed, taking a short 5 minute break to focus on breathing can ease tension in the body.
In addition to these methods, taking the time to become attuned to one’s body can be a helpful stress reducer. One can do this by mentally checking the body to see how stress affects each daily activity. With this, it is important for one to pay attention to where he or she is particularly tight. Loosening these parts of the body can help relieve stress. These are just some of the ways one might become more relaxed in order to prevent diseases in the long-term.
References & Further Reading
University of Gothenburg (2013), “Permanent stress can cause type 2 diabetes in men, study suggests”, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130207114418.htm.