Diabetes induced stress

In western countries a mental health professional is an integral part of the team treating a diabetic patient

DR. ARIF MAGHRIBI

Various medical conditions can directly produce major depressive or maniac syndromes, although who will develop such a syndrome is highly unpredictable. Most chronic illnesses have a very high chance of producing depression, like diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, tumors and cancers. In Kashmir there has been a phenomenal increase in rise of diabetes mellitus. The treatments have greatly improved, but very little work has been done to treat the depression associated with Diabetes. In western countries a mental health professional has become a integral part of the team treating a diabetic patient which also includes an ophthalmologist, cardiologist and a nephrologists. Most important goal of a doctor treating a diabetic patient is good constant blood sugar control and that’s where role of a mental health professional becomes so vital and pivotal. Whenever a diabetic patient is under any kind of stress, body pumps out stress hormones, one of which is cortisol. The effect of cortisol is very significant, not only that it increases heart beat and breathing rate, it also sends more Glucose from muscles to blood. In a healthy human being all these responses help him to fight stress effectively, but in case of a diabetic patient whose level of producing insulin is impaired it usually produces a high increase of blood sugar levels. Thus a patient slowly becomes resistant to oral hypoglycemic medicine and insulin and in spite of best efforts by doctor his blood sugar levels do not come under control and the patient is forced to increase the dosage of medicine or insulin. High cortisol level are also known to increase appetite, so it’s very common to see a diabetic patient eating more during any kind of stress, thus breaking his hard practiced regime of diet control. The most unfortunate thing is that fat accumulates in belly of a diabetic patient. our body has a large amount of reserve capacity. For example, our heart possesses four to six times more capacity than the minimum required. Thus only when the capacity of the heart is reduced four to six times below normal do we suffer heart failure. Likewise, a good surgeon can remove twelve feet of small intestine out of the twenty-two feet of its normal length without harming digestion. In the same way, he can remove one kidney without reducing the normal performance. Our bone marrow can increase the production of red blood cells almost seven times its normal capacity whenever required. The fact is, then, every emotional disturbance does cause negative changes in the body and reduces the attacked organ's reserve capacity. But only when all of our organic reserve is depleted do we suffer from visible organic diseases (clinical cases). The process of depletion of reserve capacity may take many years before clinical cases are seen. In this way, psychological stress acts as a slow poison, harming the body very gradually.
 Although the situation of an untreated depression is very alarming, there are some very simple ways to control it.
1. Involve yourself in meditation which can range from praying to doing yoga or deep breathing. Make meditation a regular part of your life, we know that to keep our mobile phones working we have to charge them regularly, similarly meditation is a act by which we rejuvenate our life. For us to remain happy we have to mediate on regular basis and not once in a while as is the case with majority of us.
2. Go out for regular walks with your friends.
3. Every Sunday you should gather in your locality with other people who also suffer from diabetics. Sharing your experiences will have a great therapeutic effect. You will realize that not only you face problems but others too have problems in life which may be worst than yours.
4. Engage yourself in work you enjoy like painting, gardening  or any philanthropic activity.  For doing any philanthropic activity you don’t have to be very rich, a simple act of giving a poor child a color box of 10 rupees will bring a million dollar smile on your face.

Author is mental health professional and can be mailed at arifmaghribi@yahoo.com

Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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