Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Anxiety Disorders And Your Blood Sugar

Your Anxiety Disorder Can Cause Diabetes

About a year ago I found out my blood sugar is a bit high and by monitoring it a little, I discovered it fluctuates a lot. I've been concerned about this, obviously. And I wondered why this problem has come up, leading me to research, research and research some more.

I've learned that there are many possible reasons for elevated blood glucose levels and learn about more every day. First, of course, is our diet. I've recently been made aware that even if you think you're eating healthy foods, if you live in the US, you're probably NOT eating healthy.

But I'm not going to go on about diet measures. What I want to address here is the possible relationship between stress, anxiety or panic disorders and your blood sugar levels. Yes, stress can and does cause raised levels, even in people who have no other glucose issues or anxiety disorders. In the case of these people, it returns to normal when the stress passes, but not so for the person with generalized anxiety (or chronic anxiety) problems.

What Causes This?

As you probably know by now if you suffer from any form of anxiety disorder, what's happening in your body when you feel anxious or panicky is a misguided fight or flight response. Your body becomes prepared to fight or flee, meaning adrenaline is released, blood flow is re-directed and your body calls up all kinds of reserves to make you stronger, faster and more alert.

One of the "reserves" your body calls to action is a release of more sugar into your blood stream to give more quick energy to your cells, particularly your muscles. In a normal person experiencing the fight or flight response, this subsides as the cause goes away. But in the anxiety sufferer the response can go on for hours, days or indefinitely, leading to a multitude of possible medical ramifications. Not good. Did you know that diabetes is a major cause of heart disease, too?

A less than ideal diet, chemicals in our foods and now, genetically engineered or modified foods all contribute to a condition called insulin resistance. What this means is your cells are resistant to the insulin that's supposed to carry the sugars into your cells, where they can use it for energy. Add this to an abnormally high blood glucose level caused by the fight or flight response we anxiety sufferers experience, and you've got a highly elevated blood sugar level on a fairly constant basis. Diabetes.

What Can You Do About This?

If you haven't talked to your doctor about blood glucose, you should. Have a test for the glucose AND your insulin levels - you'll probably have to request the latter because most conventional doctors ignore it. If you find out your levels are high - even a little - start being more conscious of your diet, as your doctor will undoubtedly instruct you.

Second, start taking the right supplements to help control your glucose and insulin levels. I'm now taking a cocktail of biotin, chromium, cinnamon, ivy gourd extract and agaricus blazei mushroom extract that seems to be helping to control my levels, even as I'm under a ton of stress as of this writing. (In the list of high stressors, ending a relationship and relocating are at the top and I'm going through both at the moment.)

Another very important supplement you should probably take is a good anti-oxidant. A major cause of insulin resistance is inflammation and the anti-oxidant can help with that. CoQ10, Resveritrol or Astaxanthin are good. I like the Astaxanthin because it also contains a good dose of Omega-3. A good Astaxanthin can be ordered here: Mercola - Astaxanthin with ALA 
That's a link to the product on Amazon, so while you're there, you might as well look around for the other supplements, too.

Third, and not to be over-shadowed, is do something about your anxiety issues! Before you risk becoming a diabetic for life.

If you're the type of person who prefers reading an ebook, check out this program, The Anxiety Lie by Rich Presta, who also created The Anxiety Free Child and several other programs for anxiety and panic disorders.

On the other hand, if you'd rather learn by video, look at Easy Calm by Jon Mercer. In his series, he recounts his own experiences with anxiety, panic and phobias and what he did to cure himself.

To Your Health,