Causes of Diabetes: The Role of Anxiety, Depression, and Stress


As stress, anxiety, depression, and diabetes are all on the rise at the same time in the United States, one cannot help but question if there is a connection between these conditions. In recent years, numerous studies have confirmed this hypothesis; tension and mental health issues are inextricably linked to diabetes. However, the underlying cause of all these conditions is tension, which tends to generate all other complications.

Diabetes, Psychological Health, and Stress

The body experiences stress when we feel threatened. These hazards can be physical, such as being injured or ill, or mental, such as difficulties in relationships, the workplace, or finances. Regardless of the source of tension, as soon as it enters our lives, our bodies immediately prepare for a fight or flight response.

In order to accomplish this, our sympathetic nervous system is initially stimulated, allowing for the rapid release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones then release the stored glucose energy, rendering it available to our cells as blood sugar. With this additional energy, our body is better equipped to respond to the stressor.

However, if the stress response is prolonged over multiple days, weeks, or months, our cells can become overwhelmed by constantly elevated blood glucose levels, resulting in insulin resistance and ultimately type 2 diabetes. Simultaneously, excessive cortisol and adrenaline activate the brain’s fear system and promote inflammation, inciting anxiety and depression. 

Due to their shared origin in chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and diabetes tend to co-occur in patients. In fact, 42% of people with type 2 diabetes experience anxiety and 28% suffer from melancholy.

A Repetitive Cycle

As these conditions develop simultaneously, they can mutually support one another. The dread of complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage, for instance, can trigger excessive stress and anxiety when a patient is diagnosed with diabetes. This dread may cause patients to feel overwhelmed, thereby promoting depression.

People with depression frequently choose to self-medicate with fatty and sugary comfort foods, which exacerbates their diabetes. This cycle causes diabetic patients with depression to experience more severe diabetes complications, which in turn can increase their tension and anxiety levels. 

Therefore, if you have diabetes, it is imperative that you discuss anxiety, melancholy, or chronic stress with your doctor.

Chronic Stress, Anxiety, and Depression Symptoms

Here are some signs to look out for if you believe you may be experiencing chronic stress:



Digestive concerns

Chronic ache

Chronic illness or infection


Having trouble resting

Reduced libido

alterations in appetite


Accelerating cardiac rate



Low self-esteem

If you exhibit these symptoms, your risk of anxiety and depression is likely to be elevated. Here are some anxiety symptoms to look out for:

Anxiety, anxiety, unease, or agitation


Tense nerves


dryness of the pharynx

cardiac symptoms

Breathlessness or hyperventilation

Cold, sweaty, tingling, or unresponsive hands and feet

unable to maintain composure or to remain still


Constantly considering concerns

In addition to these, you should be aware of the following depression symptoms:

negative outlook

Animosity in males

alterations in hunger and weight

Uncontrollable emotions

Considering suicide

Enhanced fatigue

Disinterest in your interests

feeling guilty, meaningless, and powerless

Having trouble concentrating

Feeling vacant

If you are experiencing the symptoms of any of these three conditions, whether or not you have diabetes, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible to discuss treatment options. In addition, there are numerous avenues that will lead you to a higher quality of life that you can begin investigating immediately.

Towards a Stress-Free Lifestyle

Reducing stress and enhancing mental health can be relatively simple and rewarding. Here are a few stress-relieving activities that you can begin immediately:

Perform Meditation

Meditation is a powerful practise that can have profound effects on our lives, despite the fact that it may appear straightforward at first glance. In fact, regular meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, prevent depression, and alleviate tension.

In actuality, 18 million individuals in the United States use meditation, despite the common misconception that it is a remote, esoteric practise reserved for yogis, monks, or hippies. 

Beginning a daily practise can be quite straightforward. Simply close your eyes, rest in a comfortable position (preferably on the floor or in a sturdy chair with an upright back), and begin to observe your thoughts and clear your mind. 

Do not be discouraged if your intellect is not initially perfectly clear. As with any endeavour, practise makes perfect. Try meditating for only five minutes per day if you are a beginner. Then, gradually, you will be able to naturally sit for extended durations.

As you take the time to genuinely listen to yourself, you will likely gain a great deal of insight into the sources of stress in your life, enabling you to make the necessary adjustments to avoid these stressors in the future. 

Examine Breathing Methods

Meditation and breathing techniques are frequently practised together, and for good reason; when used together, they complement each other flawlessly, allowing for deeper states of relaxation. In fact, ancient practises and modern science support breathing techniques as effective stress-reduction instruments. 

Although there are numerous breathing techniques available, it is recommended to begin with the basics. The 4-7-8 technique is a simple technique. To perform this exercise, sit upright with your back erect and position the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Follow then these steps:

Completely exhale through your mouth, enabling the air to whoosh out.

Close your mouth and breathe in through your nose for four counts. 

Hold your breath for seven counts.

Exhale thoroughly through the mouth for eight counts.

Repeat stages 1 through 4 as often as you desire.

This method is likely to leave you feeling calm and vigilant. Feel free to use it whenever you feel overburdened throughout the day. 

If you’re interested in exploring alternative breathing techniques, we recommend Ujjayi breath.

Try Yoga

When breathing techniques, meditation, and restorative physical exercises are combined, the delightfully relaxing art of yoga is created. Yoga has been shown to reduce stress and tension, increase strength and flexibility, and reduce blood pressure.

Do not be intimidated by images of people standing on their skulls or shoulders; yoga is a simple practise designed to meet everyone where they are comfortable beginning. Sun salutations, also known as Surya Namaskara, are an excellent location to begin.

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