What in the world has stress to do with diabetes? And why more prevalent in women?
Okay, there is some new research in this area and there are some important general facts and considerations.
General stress factors for women
Let’s first take a look at the general facts around stress and diabetes. In the most general way the medical community has told us that stress is the cause or an aggravating factor in about 80% of disease.
That alone tells us that stress increases the risk of illness. More specifically, the stress hormones cause the liver to immediately push more glucose into the bloodstream.
Why does that happen? Because in a situation of danger our automatic survival response is to fight or run for our life. Therefore our survival brain wants to make sure there is enough fuel for the muscles to help us survive. In today’s world even a mild level of stress in the office without the need to run or fight will unfortunately increase the amount of sugar the liver puts into our bloodstream. Over time that will cause an environment to support the development of diabetes type II.
Women appeared to be a bit more susceptible to these low levels of constant stress. They also tend to help themselves to some little treats to have some sweetness in their stressful lives. Biologically, women have already more body fat than men and their love for sweets combined with stress make it worse. Obesity is also a factor in diabetes type II.
Another important factor in the amount of stress we feel in a work situation depends on the amount of control we have on the job. Women on average have less control and lower pay at work. That also makes them feel more stress than men in similar positions despite the progress which has been made thus far.
New research supports these general factors
Canadian researchers followed over 7000 workers for 12 years to analyze their working hours and health. They found that the amount of working hours did not have any effect on men. But women who worked over 45 hours per week had a 51% higher chance to get diabetes when compared to women who worked only 35 to 40 hours per week (Mahee Gilbert-Ouimet, Institute for Work & Health, Toronto). This clearly shows how women are at greater risk when it comes to stress and health.
Increased risk of diabetes is another important reason to learn and use the only “real-time” stress management method available today. You can use SciStress techniques anytime and anywhere at work or at home for an immediate effect of reducing stress and improving your performance.
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Fred and Judy
Fred George Sauer, MS, MS Eng, Stress Reduction Coach, Business Process Improvement & Productivity Specialist
Judith Lynch-Sauer, PhD, RN, Clinical Professor of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
Fritz George Sauer Founder of SciStress
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