If you take a look at Michigan, you'll find we have a big challenge when it comes to the prevalence of type 2 diabetes and of pre-diabetes. Several lifestyle habits can put adults at greater risk of developing type-2 diabetes, but did you know stress is one of them?
Type two diabetes happens when your body doesn't produce enough insulin, or is unable to use insulin the right way. It's mainly lifestyle-related, but beyond food, exercise, sleep and smoking, stress can play a major role.
"Stress puts your body into a flight or fight mode, so as a result your hormone levels like adrenaline and cortisol rise and this can impact your blood glucose levels," explains Cleveland Clinic Dr. Mary Kellis.
Dr. Kellis says that folks who have pre-diabetes are particularly vulnerable because any increase in blood glucose levels can be difficult to lower, and, over time, will increase a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Another problem with stress is that the increase in cortisol can make us want to eat more than we should.
Dr. Kellis said that people who "stress-eat" are more likely to gain weight, and carrying too much weight is one of the biggest risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Another often overlooked risk factor is sleep deprivation.
In addition to making us crave carbohydrate and sugar-loaded foods, a lack of sleep can make us less likely to want to exercise, which will also eventually lead to putting on more pounds.
Dr. Kellis says that keeping an eye on lifestyle habits and being aware of your personal risk factors can help lessen your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
"Eating healthy is very important; eating protein; reducing fine sugars; sugary sweets; beverages; and to make sure you add protein, whole grains and vegetables to your diet as well as fiber and to make sure you exercise," says Dr. Kellis.
Dr. Kellis says that even if you don't do vigorous exercise, it's important to at least try to get up and walk, especially after meals. She also recommends working on reducing stress by practicing yoga and meditation.