Too much holiday hustle and bustle can be a prescription for stress, anxiety and even depression. Many people feel bad during what is supposed to be one of the happiest times of the year.
All the holiday fun takes a lot of work. Shopping, baking, decorating, partying, traveling – the additional activities and needs take up time and money, putting pressure on already busy schedules and limited finances. People often eat more, drink more and sleep less. Sometimes, this season bring up feelings of loneliness, loss and grief. It can all be too much for our overloaded psyches.
Besides dampening the joy of the season, too much stress can affect our health. According to “Psychosomatic Medicine,” stress can produce secondary symptoms equivalent to complications from diabetes, hypertension or arthritis. Seventy percent of individuals who are stressed experience physical symptoms, lower productivity at work and disruptions in their family and social lives. Unfortunately, many physicians may misdiagnose the patient’s problem and prescribe medications for the symptoms, rather than recognizing the underlying problem. And of course, medications themselves can lead to unfortunate side effects.
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A new treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes could be on the horizon. Researchers recently discovered that Yohimbin, a medication that spent several years in de-registered status, is actually successful at blocking the damaging effects of gene variants that inhibit insulin production. If it becomes a clinical drug, personalized treatment may finally be available for patients who are battling type 2 diabetes.
So, what is it that affects my glucose levels and why is it so hard to manage diabetes? In this case, we're talking type 1 diabetes; mine seems to be extremely stubborn and "brittle" by nature. Honestly, sometimes balancing this chronic condition is downright exhausting. Some days it's a scientific equation, weighed and measured, a standard protocol. Other days, it's a roller coaster, a compounding tidal wave, a boxing match.
Virtually anything from the stress of a long checkout line to the first signs of menopause can trigger hormone imbalances, which reveal themselves through mood swings, fatigue, migraines, memory problems, and a lackluster sex drive.
Women are better at coping with problems than men, right? Not when it comes to being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. According to a new survey, that diagnosis had a greater negative impact on women's emotional outlook and adherence to diet and exercise than the same diagnosis given to men. The survey was conducted in September 2011, and included 831 completed responses from 458 women and 373 men.
Living with diabetes, you are already hyper-aware of food, but the holidays seem to heighten that awareness. Faced with your aunt's delicious homemade cornbread and your grandma's famous sweet potato casserole, you may find yourself digging through your closet for your old carbohydrate-counting books and guessing at your insulin adjustments. Who wants to go through the holidays with the added stress of high blood sugars and associated mood swings, especially when your family is already driving you nuts? No, thanks.
Reducing stress for a person with diabetes is an absolute must. According to medical evidence, stress can increase glucose levels in people with diabetes, making them more susceptible to long-term physical complications such as eye, kidney, and nerve disorders.
Imagine if you could keep diabetes at bay for another three or four years with lifestyle changes. Would you change what you ate? Would you commit to an exercise program, maintain a food journal, and join a support group? Imagine if you could take these simple steps and save money. How quickly would you say "Sign me up"?
Jeff and Natalie Kolok live in northwestern Vermont with their three children: Naomi, 16, and Johanna and Nicholas, each ten years old. Both Johanna and Nicholas have type 1 diabetes, Johanna since age four and Nick since age six.
Few studies have looked closely at female sexuality and diabetes. What are the special issues that arise? In this interview, Eileen Walko, MD, and Daryn Stier, MSW, LCSW, poignantly discuss what all women with diabetes should know.
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