Stress diabetes: cause and treatment

Diabetes caused by stress: it really exists. Diabetes is also known as diabetes and has to do with the blood sugar level in the body and the insulin that is produced. People with stress diabetes have the same symptoms as diabetes patients, without having diabetes.

What happens with diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disease that is incurable. Most body cells absorb sugars (glucose). This glucose is needed for energy. Without glucose the cells cannot do their work. Glucose is not simply absorbed by the cells. This requires insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. The cells that need glucose contain insulin receptors: a certain protein that can transmit signals to or from the cell. Insulin receptors ensure the absorption of glucose from the blood into the cells. They are a kind of lookout post: as soon as the reptors detect glucose, they send a signal to the cell, which opens its door to let glucose in.
Two things can occur with diabetes:

  • The insulin receptors do not work or are absent
  • The pancreas produces no or insufficient insulin

The result is that the body cells cannot absorb glucose, causing the blood glucose level in the blood to rise, resulting in all kinds of unpleasant complaints. Diabetes patients are sometimes treated by diet, and sometimes by insulin injections: extra insulin is injected into the body. With the help of insulin, body cells can absorb glucose, causing the glucose level in the blood to drop. This is even necessary in severe diabetes, otherwise there is an increased risk of coma and even death.

Stress diabetes and its symptoms

Stress (mental tension) plays a major role in stress diabetes. People who have stress diabetes are not known as diabetes patients and are not treated for this. However, this group of people can develop symptoms that are equivalent to diabetes, such as the well-known hypoglycemia or insulin shock. Hypoglycemia means that the blood glucose level is much too low or too low for a long time. As a result, complaints such as nausea, vomiting and frequent urination occur. Ultimately, the patient may fall into a coma. Hypoglycemia is caused by too much insulin. This can be caused by stress: the hormone balance is then disrupted.
High glucose levels are also common during stress. The hormones adrenaline and cortisol are responsible for this. Under the influence of stress, sugar is released into the blood. The glucose level in the blood rises. This may cause a shortage of insulin. Because a high glucose level means that more insulin must also be produced. The body sometimes fails to do this during times of stress. The pancreas sometimes has difficulty producing insulin under the influence of stress hormones. The result is that the body cells cannot absorb their glucose. The brain in particular responds to this. The brain cannot survive for long without energy and will send a signal that it is seriously deficient in glucose.


Stress diabetes can be recognized by a number of symptoms that occur when mental tension or stress occurs. The most common symptoms of high blood sugar are:

  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Vibrate
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Getting nervous
  • Decreased concentration

The trembling and breaking out in sweat is mainly caused by the hormone adrenaline. This is produced by the adrenal gland. Adrenaline is a hormone that is released during stress and is therefore also called the stress hormone. In stress diabetes, it is mainly the adrenaline that makes us feel so bad. It also causes an increase in blood glucose levels. This is normally useful: in times of stress, danger threatens and we must be ready to flee or fight. This requires extra energy. The increase in glucose in the blood can provide the body cells with extra energy so that we can run very fast. The problem is that we don’t use this energy, because nowadays we no longer fight or flee in times of stress. The result: a lot of glucose in the blood and too little insulin production, which increases the glucose level in the blood.


Stress diabetes does not need to be treated like normal diabetes. However, blood glucose levels can be lowered by adding apple cider vinegar to the diet. This is a natural way to lower blood glucose. It is also important not to eat too many (fast) carbohydrates (the so-called bad sugars: pastries, sweets, cookies, white flour products) and white rice and potatoes. Preventing stress is even more important. Anyone who often experiences stress should look at the cause of this and try to tackle it, possibly with help.

Depression causes diabetes

Depression is a psychological disorder in which the patient feels depressed, gloomy, lethargic and does not feel like doing things for a long period of time. People with diabetes have twice the risk of depression. But the other way around is also the case: depressed people are more likely to develop diabetes. This probably has to do with the increased glucose level and the fact that there is an insulin deficiency. Depression lasts much longer than temporary stress, which can disrupt the hormone balance.

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