diabetes diabetescommunity diabetesdiet diabeteshealth diabetic diabetic life type1diabetes type2diabetes typeone May 02, 2024

Having previously worked under pressure for many years, I have recently reflected on the impact that past stress and anxiety could have caused on my long-term diabetic health. I think of a time when I worked for a 'horrible boss' who bullied me and made my blood sugars go sky high!

If I had known what I know now, I might have taken proactive action and decided that I valued my health far too much to let this ‘horrible boss’ damage my health!

As a Health Coach and as a Diabetic, I am fascinated by the scientific evidence that proves the impact that both long term stress and diabetes can have on our health: increased risk of other chronic diseases, cancer, a weaker immune system, heart disease etc.

We tend to think of stress as having a short-term impact however, the work undertaken by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD, who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology for Medicine in 2009, found that chronic stress can have a much longer-term impact on our health and longevity.

Doctor Blackburn discovered the molecular nature of telomeres.

In simple terms, telomeres are little protective caps at the ends of our chromosomes.

Over our lives telomeres break down, this is part of our ageing process, however the speed at which the telomeres are worn down can be accelerated by chronic stress, and the consumption of alcohol, red meat, or processed meat and also by having diabetes.

When a telomere is too damaged, the cell often dies or becomes pro-inflammatory.

However telomere length damage can be slowed down by a number of practices including the following:


Eating a Healthy Diet: Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Antioxidant-rich foods like berries, nuts, and leafy greens can help protect telomeres from damage.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Obesity and excess body fat have been linked to telomere shortening. Try to maintain a healthy weight through a combination of nutritious eating and regular exercise.


Regular Exercise: Engage in regular physical activity, such as aerobic exercises, strength training, or yoga. Exercise has been shown to maintain telomere length and improve overall health. Not only does exercise help reduce the risk of depression and improve cardiovascular health, it also helps boost memory and coordination.


Adequate Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Lack of sleep can impact telomere length and overall health. Create a bedtime routine, such as listening to a meditation or reading a book for better rest. Avoid looking at a screen for at least 30 minutes before bedtime - this includes the TV! If you can, don’t take your phone into your bedroom so you aren't tempted to look at social media etc.


Start to Write a Gratitude Journal:
Research shows that you can increase happiness by focusing on the things you’re grateful for.
Before going to bed, write down three good things that happened during the day.
Then write down why each of them happened, and how you felt as a result. Focus on being grateful for these events as you replay each one in your mind.


  • Somatic breathing is a practice that involves deep breathing techniques to help bring awareness to the body and promote relaxation. Here is a simple somatic breathing exercise you can try:
    1. Find a comfortable seated or lying position, with your back straight and shoulders relaxed
    2. Begin by taking a few deep breaths in through your nose, expanding your belly as you inhale.
    3. Focus on the sensation of the breath moving in and out of your body. Notice how your chest and belly rise and fall with each breath.
    4. Slowly exhale through your mouth, letting go of any tension or stress with each breath out.
    5. Continue to breathe deeply and slowly, allowing your breath to fill your entire body with each inhale and release any tension with each exhale.
    6. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your focus back to your breath and the sensations in your body.
    7.  You can continue this practice for a few minutes or as long as you like, allowing yourself to feel more relaxed and grounded with each breath.

By incorporating these habits into your daily life, you can promote telomere health.. Remember that lifestyle changes take time, so be patient and consistent in your efforts to improve your overall health and well-being.

If you are struggling with stress and anxiety and would like help, please reach out and book in a free consultation call with me here: BOOK A CALL



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