This article was originally written by Devin Hastings
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“Hurricane Katrina Causes Diabetes” may soon be a real headline. This article will explain what you need to know before you or someone you know are unpleasantly surprised.
Though the debate still continues as to the exact cause, Type 1 diabetes (having to use insulin) is thought to be the result of an inappropriate autoimmune response in the body. What apparently happens is that the body attacks the Beta cells of the pancreas believing them to be invaders. These insulin-producing cells are therefore destroyed to a significant degree and “Hey Presto! Instant Diabetes”.
Type 2 diabetes (not needing insulin) is caused by insulin resistance which is generally the result of obesity though now there is a blurring of boundaries between Type 1 and 2.
Now, with the above in mind, the question is, how the heck could a hurricane cause diabetes? Well, regarding Type 1 diabetes a theory that may prove correct or incorrect is that an autoimmune response may be precipitated by on going stress of such intensity that the inflammation caused by chronically high levels of cortisol leads to an immune system malfunction.
However, regarding Type 2 diabetes I think there is a very clear and direct connection. For the sake of brevity I will not cover all pertinent details because the purpose of this article is to convey an idea that may be worth considering.
So, “Hurricane Katrina Causes Diabetes” may be a reality when you look at two groups of persons. First, are those directly affected. Many people, when stressed sufficiently, will eat more than they need. I am willing to bet that over the next 5 years, if the direct victims are tracked, many of them will become obese and get diabetes; even those without a genetic predisposition.
The second group are those who, though not directly involved with the disaster, are vicariously involved to the point where they begin to gain significant amounts of weight due to poorly managed stress.
Both groups may also, to some degree, be affected by a type of hyper-vigilance that creates an on going ‘fight or flight’ response that can lead to insulin resistance. Untreated insulin resistance not only can lead to diabetes but, to its corollary, hyperinsulinemia which is also very dangerous.
So, what is an answer? For both groups, effective stress management tools are a must. I believe that being taught self-hypnosis is the best, most cost-effective answer. If insurance companies want to save a lot of money over the next decade then it is definitely in their best interests to somehow get their insured clients strongly involved in stress reduction classes.
Stress reduction may also mitigate some of the potential harmful, autoimmune responses that Katrina may induce in those who are susceptible.
If these ideas are taken to heart, maybe the headlines might read: “Katrina Almost Caused Diabetes”.