5 Tips to Reduce Stress
"Chronic stress alters the ecosystem of the body, mind and spirit like oil pollutes water." Leslie E. Korn PhD
Now more than ever before, our stress is through the roof. In fact, stress has become the new normal. Stress has us burned out, over worked, crabby & SICK; But we've been functioning this way for so long, we've learned how to adjust and get by with the weight of the world on our shoulders. We say yes to everything even when we don't want to, volunteer even when we really don't feel like it and we've barely slept or made time to eat... because... somebody's gotta do it, right?
But how does this stress relate to diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is the loss of beta cell function of the pancreas (the organ that releases Insulin), due to chronic, prolonged stress & a high glycemic diet. So basically, type 2 diabetes is the result of chronic prolonged stress (in addition to other determining factors, imbalances, weaknesses, deficiencies etc).
Under chronic stress, a hormone called Cortisol is release from the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are the little sack-like structures that sit on the top of the kidneys. Cortisol interferes with the production of insulin. Thus excess stress leads to high cortisol output which reduces insulin production and the cells ability to use it.
In normal hormone cycles, cortisol output is higher in the morning than it is at night. However, under chronic stress (and unhealthy food choices), cortisol output can remain high throughout the day and even shoot higher at night leading to insomnia and exhaustion the next day. Elevated cortisol often drives type A behavior: Impatience, irritability, and workaholism. Overtime, the experience of relentless chronic stress (family, financial, work, health, or accidental stressors) can deplete cortisol all together leading to fatigue and depression.
According to Dr. Leslie E. Korn, author of Preventing & Treating Diabetes Naturally, The Native Way, diabetes usually occurs at the end of a stream of events:
Excess refined carbohydrates (Sugar sweetened beverages, fruit juices, pastries, white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc),
Greater excess of refined carbohydrates, fatigue, coffee, depression, diabetes, pain.
With tapped out cortisol, individuals feel tired in the morning, often wanting to sleep in.
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
~You wake up sleepy not feeling like getting up but you force yourself to anyway
~10am coffee break
~Sleepiness after lunch
~Another late afternoon coffee break (or other sugar break)
This pattern tells us why without the reduction of stress, prevention and control of diabetes is impossible.
Leslie Korn, PhD suggests that in order to reverse this pattern, one needs to withdraw from negative stimulants like stress and coffee, feel just how exhausted one truly is, and slowly rebuild ones health through nutrition, including stress modulating adaptogens, exercise, and stress reduction therapies.