Chronic Stress

Chronic stress affects our organs and creates a magnitude of health problems. In the United States, researchers have found that 90% of office visits to the doctor can be attributed to some stress related symptoms. Some of the effects of chronic stress are heart attack, high blood pressure, digestive problems, asthma or trouble breathing, ulcers, muscle tension and hair loss in women. An overload of stress in our body basically upsets the balance in our bodies and weakens our immune system. Glucose sugar levels RISE when under stress in people with diabetes, making them more susceptible to long-term physical complications such as eye, kidney or nerve disorders. Patients with type 2 diabetes who incorporate stress management techniques into their routine care can significantly reduce their average blood glucose levels, according to a new study by researchers at Duke University Medical Center. This is the first large study to show that a simple, cost-effective treatment can have a meaningful therapeutic effect on the control of blood sugar, said the researchers. Such stress management techniques include instructions on how to identify everyday life stressors and how to respond to them with such techniques as progressive muscle relaxation and breathing exercises. The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Richard Surwit. Other authors on the study include: Mark Feinglos, M.D., Miranda Van Tilburg, Nancy Zucker, Cynthia C. McCaskill, Priti Parekh, Christopher L. Edwards, Ph.D., Paula Williams and James D. Lane, Ph.D., all of Duke University Medical Center. Contact: Dr. Richard Surwit (919) 684-5712

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