Unfortunately the condition of diabetes often also goes hand-in-hand with a diagnosis of anxiety. The frequency of this situation has given rise to many opinions and hypotheses as to why this situation occurs however still no one is certain if the anxiety is a biologically related effect or an emotional reaction which is a direct response to the diabetes diagnosis.
There is however little doubt that the two conditions are often associated whether or not the cause is clinical or emotional and for many sufferers of diabetes the effects can be multiple.
On the surface anxiety tends to indicate that a person has a problem coping with everyday issues, however this is most certainly not the case and anxiety can manifest in many different ways including a broad range of signs and symptoms.
Some of the more common physical issues arising from anxiety include:
- Irritability and Impatience
- Sleep disruption
- Stomach ache
- Feeling tense and accompanying muscle tension
- Brain fog
- Lack of concentration
Because the range of problems is often diverse this can also result in patients being treated with drugs which, rather than dealing with the source of the anxiety, are specific to each individual symptom. The end product of this kind of treatment can mean that in addition to diabetic medications patients might be prescribed anything from painkillers through to antidepressants. Yet many of the symptoms of anxiety, such as fatigue and disruption to sleep patterns, in themselves are self perpetuating and ultimately might result in the patient feeling more disoriented and stressed. In turn this can aggravate other problems linked to anxiety such as confusion. When these patients, who are often responsible for maintaining their own health through dietary controls and medication, become even more confused then clearly their primary condition may deteriorate accordingly and a cyclical situation develops.
The number of people diagnosed with depression and anxiety is on the increase irrespective of whether an individual has diabetes or not. Yet unsurprisingly the number of people suffering from such problems is higher in patients who have already been diagnosed with an ongoing condition and studies have shown a correlation between anxiety and diseases ranging from Parkinson’s Disease through to diabetes.
This situation appears to have simulated an increasing amount of research linking the diagnosis of anxiety with sugar levels and malabsorption and there is no doubt that whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes or not, it affects the efficacy of the brain and overall mood. Just as relevant are the indirect historical links between mood, particularly those of the negative variety, and digestive disruption, so here we can at least start to see why someone suffering from anxiety will produce many of the physical symptoms listed above.
Because anxiety and the arising state of mind makes it more difficult to manage the condition of diabetes then it is important to not only remain in control of your primary condition, but also of your anxiety. And, when it comes to diabetes there are three primary factors to be taken into consideration:
- Eating well and regularly helps maintain sugar equilibrium
- Negative moods cause digestive disruption
- Anxiety perpetuates negative moods
These findings provide us with clear indications that it is necessary to break the cycle of anxiety and this is achievable by employing some simple tactics.
Although relaxation techniques have sometimes been considered as something of a fluctuating trend, research is now emerging which evidences that there are positive benefits not only in mood but also in respect of digestion. These benefits might only be temporary but they can clearly be of assistance to individuals who are trying to reduce symptoms and restore equilibrium to their digestive function. By regularly practicing a relaxation technique (check how Shiatsu can help you) which you find personally effective and performing it daily, you have a much better chance of not only reducing anxiety itself but also of improving digestive function and indirectly breaking the cycle and influencing a more positive mood.
All diabetics are told to eat sensibly and regularly and, unfortunately, for many people it becomes a restrictive rule rather than a choice. Understanding what your body needs, irrespective of whether you have diabetes or not, may go a long way to developing a mind-set which is underpinned by a desire to do right by your body, rather than feeling you are in a constant state of denying yourself something.
When you are aware you are in a negative mood then do something to try and lift your spirits. Commonly you will hear that physical exercise has many benefits when it comes to lifting depressive moods and reducing anxiety. However what is sometimes forgotten is that many people regularly participate in physical activity and still suffer from emotional distress. This can occur more frequently when excessive exercise is performed. The presumption that someone is not getting physical exercise simply because they are anxious or depressed is made all too often and sometimes it is necessary to look to the opposite end of the scale. Frequently the old adage, ‘when the body is tired exercise the mind, and when the mind is tired exercise the body,’ holds a lot of truth. Reducing the amount of excessive exercise and simply doing nothing can help your body heal. Conversely walking away from the computer or TV and going for a stroll can have equally beneficial results. For some people stimulating the mind might also help counteract the effects of the spoon-fed entertainment we often use to fill up free time and it might be a crossword puzzle that helps you eliminate the stressful effects. Listening to music is also considered to have many benefits over mood and is known to have temporarily relieved symptoms for many people and particularly those suffering from degenerative neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease.
Doing the opposite of what we do regularly often can help our body recover from different forms of stress. By taking time out to identify where our excesses lie, be it in exercise, eating, inactivity or a simply a failure to ‘switch off,’ can help in amending our behavioral patterns and doing something completely different which reduces both physical and emotional symptoms.
Because anxiety can not only arise from diabetes but can also affect your effective management of the condition, it is essential that you make efforts to get it under control wherever possible. Some people might find that professional therapy is of benefit, other people will be more reliant on contemporary medications. However there are personal steps you can take to reduce the impact of anxiety and which will mitigate the effects on a day-to-day basis and which will assist in maintaining your overall health, attitude and managing your condition.