Election Stress is Toxic for Diabetics

WEST KELOWNA, BC, Nov. 16, 2016 /CNW/ - Even though it's not our country, this period in American politics has created unprecedented stress for millions of Canadians. The emotional hysteria has been relentlessly fed by the candidates and most of the mainstream media over a period of many months. And for many of us it's not over yet: the reality of a Trump Presidency resonates with fear – even existential fear. 

But if you are diabetic excessive stress is itself a serious threat to your health. The long-term chronic stress associated with this election is particularly dangerous. Stress is our body's "fight or flight" response to a perceived threat. If you are walking in the woods and spot what looks like a poisonous snake, your body produces hormones such as cortisol that will ensure you react quickly.

Stress increases your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing to provide you with more oxygen. Your muscles constrict so you can move quickly. The arteries in your arms and legs narrow so that if you are hurt, you won't lose a lot of blood. Your blood will clot more quickly in case you are wounded. And your liver pours out more stored sugar so you have the energy to respond.*

But this acute response to a dangerous situation is supposed to be temporary. The snake quietly slithers away and your body returns to its normal state. But this snake – the election and its aftermath – is going to hang around awhile, leading to a state of chronic stress for many people. Chronic stress is particularly dangerous for diabetics because it increases blood pressure, the likelihood of blood clots, and blood sugar level. This damages the blood vessels and leads to circulatory problems.

Some diabetics add fuel to the fire by reacting to stress with unhealthy lifestyle choices. Farid Ibrahim is a diabetic who manufactures a supplement called Kardovite for heart health and improved circulation. "Speaking from my own experience, the first thing to go out the window for me when I'm under stress are good food choices and exercise." Stress impacts blood sugars directly, but when compounded with poor lifestyle choices it becomes a vicious circle. You end up feeling irritable and unwell, resulting in even more stress hormones flowing through your body.

Here are some strategies for dealing with stress:

  • Try to live in the moment – you may have heard the phrase "one day at a time". The further out to the future you look, the more fear you feel because of you limited ability to control the outcome. You DO have control over what you are doing right now, whether its playing golf, nursing a baby, or writing lines of code. Whatever it is, do it well and with passion.

  • If you are Diabetic, practice diligent self-care. Get enough sleep. Exercise – even if it's a few minutes a day of walking. Avoid the temptation to deal with stress by consuming "comfort foods" or alcohol.

  • Get a hobby or interest: hobbies give us a reason besides work to get out of bed in the morning. Yoga has been shown to help reduce stress and lower blood pressure, but if that's not your thing try something else. Hobbies help to expand your social circle. On that note, having the support of family and friends is critical for dealing with stress – we need to have someone to talk to.

  • Follow your doctors' treatment protocol, but don't be afraid to ask questions. The best results for diabetics come from collaborating with your doctor. Research the medications you are prescribed so you understand the side effects. Supplements such as Kardovite may help because they improve circulation and contain herbal extracts such as Valerian which manages stress.

*Canadian Diabetes Association

SOURCE Nutrition Plus Products Inc.

Image with caption: "For Diabetics, chronic stress can damage blood vessels and increase risk of a heart attack. (CNW Group/Nutrition Plus Products Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20161116_C2189_PHOTO_EN_818572.jpg

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Farid Ibrahim, farid@nutravite.com, 1-800-416-4474, www.kardovite.ca

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