Link Between Emotional Stress And Diabetes Discovered

There is a connection amongst anxiety control, inflammation and type 2 diabetes, according to a new study conducted by Rice University researchers.

A positive link has been drawn between emotional stress and diabetes, and researchers believe this connection establishes itself in the brain’s capacity to deal with anxiety.

Dealing with anxiety takes place in the brain’s executive functions, which entails inhibition, attention, working memory and cognitive reasoning. The brain’s executive functions also help to handle planning, problem-solving and reasoning.

Researchers now believe a metabolic chain reaction begins when a person has poor control over attention, which leaves the individual vulnerable to distracting information, thoughts and activities. This vulnerability leads to more anxiety, which then promotes inflammation and thereby increases the chances of type 2 diabetes.

Link between anxiety and poor health

Researchers have long believed that a link between anxiety and poor health existed, but up until now they had been unable to discover the biological pathways that eventually lead to type 2 diabetes.

"The literature shows individuals with poor [attention control] are more likely to experience stressful thoughts and have a harder time breaking their attention away from them," said Kyle Murdock, lead author of the study. “Plenty of research shows that when individuals are stressed or anxious or depressed, inflammation goes up. The novel part of our study was establishing the pathway from inhibition to anxiety to inflammation to diabetes."

The study concluded by suggesting a combination of mindfulness-based approaches and traditional medicine to help individuals cope with attention control issues.

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