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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kirti Tare

How Stress causes high blood sugar levels?

Updated: Apr 21, 2018

Imagine, if any war like situation arises in a country, the army needs to be alert, ready to attack or defend,  financial securities are tightened. The natural harmony and peace of the country is at stake and to balance it, every effort is taken by the administration. When such situation is withdrawn, the emergency is called off and slowly everything gets back to normalcy. But imagine the situation where the country is constantly at war front! The economic instability comes to halt, debts increase, development stops, the situation goes out of control and at times the country needs extra help from other countries and all the harmony equilibrium is lost. Exactly similar condition happens when we get stressed!  Stress is the gap between reality and expectations!  Then, is this stress bad? No, definitly some stress is required for our body to work, for  proper growth and development. Similarly our body makes all the necessary biochemical physiological changes for adaptation to stress and this process goes on continuously throughout our life. As we grow, the body's coping up mechanism starts getting overburdened with the increasing stress in life. Its ability to bring the body to a state of bio chemical equilibrium gradually decreases and that gives rise to Lifestyle diseases. The body starts recognising any stressful condition as a war like situation. It produces certain hormones like cortisol which allows him to run faster, react more quickly, cuts down the blood supply to digestive tract slowing down the digestion, sends more blood to muscles for quick actions, heightens our senses. If this happens for short term, the feedback mechanism in our body sets it back to normal or non stressed state, the state of equilibrium. But in case of constant stressful conditions this mechanism of 'Ready for War' is continued for too long time as the body gets stressed too often or  stays stressed for too long and its sensitivity to the natural feedback mechanism is reduced. By way of Neuro adaptation our body tries to make the best of a bad situation. It achieves a new sort of balance by altering our brain chemistry and even our behaviour. We start over reacting to any situation, crave for sweets, tend to sleep more, binge on food,  try to pamper our body and mind in an unhealthy way by eating sweet, junk, spicy and  addictive food. This can lead to serious health issues. This condition is called 'allostasis',  the state having adapted to chronic stress by making physical and chemical changes in the body. The cortisol levels are elevated, insulin levels increase, body needs more energy which it gets by craving for sweets, stores more fat resulting in high blood sugar level. This is pre-diabetic stage where insulin in the blood is raised to facilitate carbohydrate uptake by the cells of our body as and when required. The elevated insulin gives rise to low grade inflammatory condition all over the body. Any part in our body may suffer with serious inflammatory conditions like asthma, arthritis gastritis etc. The gastric lining is inflamed which interferes with digestion, the food remains insufficiently digested. It may get absorbed through the intestinal walls, travels to liver. This undigested food puts overburden on the liver,  gets circulated in the blood, lymphatic system and remains in the organs. This undigested food is called as 'Aam' (having properties similar to toxins) in Ayurveda. This is called a pre disease condition which may lead to a variety of lifestyle diseases like obesity, cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, neuro degenerative disorders like Parkinson's , Alzheimer's etc  This can be reversed in its predeceased stage by removing the  accumulated Aam or toxins in our body by the process of  detoxification, diet and Lifestyle changes, meditation to protect our body from irreversible unhealthy situation.

Related Articles: Digestive Disorders, Panchkarma

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