Posttraumatic stress disorder can lead to type 2 diabetes

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to a host of physical ailments, including chronic pain, heart disease and even musculoskeletal conditions.

And now, a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research suggests that PTSD could also increase risk for type 2 diabetes.

A team of German researchers analyzed data from a population-based study in which participants had answered questions on a standarized survey and been given a glucose tolerance test. The research included 498 people who had type 2 diabetes and 333 people who had signs of pre-diabetes. Fifty patients were identified to have PTSD, and an additional 261 showed symptoms of partial PTSD.

Hormonal responses affected by PTSD

After finding a significant association between type 2 diabetes and PTSD, the researchers explained that chronic and permanent stress experienced by people with PTSD can change hormonal responses in the body - leading to fluctuations in metabolism and glucose control.

PTSD is often experienced by those who have suffered traumatic, life-altering events or circumstances, like war, death, sexual assault or kidnapping. The condition is characterized by stressful memories, thoughts and emotions that are usually consistent enough to interfere with daily life and sleep habits. If the symptoms last over one month, PTSD is usually confirmed.

More research needed

The researchers note that more studies will be needed to determine which body mechanisms are affected by PTSD and how they lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.

"Further clarification of the relationships between psychological factors and metabolic disorders will be an important task for diabetes research in the future," Dr. Karl-Heinz Ladwig, lead researcher from the Institute of Epidemology II at the Hernandez Zentrum München, said in a statement.

Source: iTech Post

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