Type 2 Diabetes – Does Anger Have A Role in Causing Diabetes? – Much has been written about stemming the tide of the Type 2 diabetes epidemic. According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, United States, controlling anger could be part of the answer.
The study, reported in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, in October 2012, looked at the expression of anger, weight, and blood sugar in individuals without diabetes. Nine hundred thirty-nine adults from the Midlife in the US study (MIDUS II) were included.
Low ability to control anger was associated with high blood sugar levels. Body mass index and waist-to-hip ratio have long been associated with an increased risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, and high anger levels made the association worse. Those with the highest anger levels along with being overweight, obese, or having high waist-to-hip ratios, had the highest insulin levels and the highest resistance to insulin, showing they could be on the way to developing full-blown Type 2 diabetes.
When we become angry our body releases hormones for the fight or flight response. The purpose of the hormones is to release sugar and fat into the bloodstream to make quick energy available to our body.
when we do not run from a saber-toothed tiger or clobber it, we do not need the extra sugar and fat, and we are left with high blood sugar and fat levels.
the body is forced to raise insulin levels to put the sugar back into storage, and fat can be placed into the abdomen, where it can function in raising blood sugar levels, all of which can contribute to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.
Spielberger’s Anger Expression Inventory is a questionnaire with 57 questions measuring anger as a trait and how we cope with it. It includes:
how much anger we feel toward others or objects,
how much anger we keep in, and
how much we are able to deal with anger by calming down or expressing it.
Perhaps some day it could be used for prediction of the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
When we are angry flying off the handle usually does more harm than good. Constructive ways of handling anger include:
taking a deep breath,
leaving the situation for a while,
addressing problems rationally.
Taking a deep breath is calming. Going outside and walking, pulling weeds, or performing some other physical task requiring little thought, can channel anger into useful outlets. Speaking to someone who has caused our anger and explaining our feelings in a calm way can defuse a situation. Keeping ourselves healthy with a good diet and exercise can help us to deal with anger and stress when it comes along. Anger management courses are also available if management is a problem.