Is there any link between emotional eating, also called stress eating, and diabetes? Does one lead to the other? Can you have one without the other?
The Mayo Clinic tells us that type II diabetes “… develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin.”
They then mention that being overweight or obese can contribute to the development of this health issue. Not everyone turns to food in order to deal with their emotions.
However, the day your doctor sits you down and reveals that you have type II diabetes, if you are the type of person that eats for emotional reasons, that prognosis could certainly trigger an unhealthy binge eating episode. In this way, the development of diabetes can cause a negative emotional state which triggers emotional eating.
Since the foods that are usually the target of an emotional eater are simple carbohydrates and sweets in many cases, this can cause a dramatic imbalance in your blood sugar level. To manage diabetes you have to learn to keep your blood sugar within a healthy range.
Health foods are not usually the first things emotional eaters reach for. Because of this, if you don’t learn to curb or eliminate your emotional eating when you have type II diabetes, you can make the condition worse.
Stressful, Emotional Eating as a Cause of Diabetes
Let’s pretend for a moment that you have never in your life turned to comfort food and unhealthy eating habits in response to an emotion. You have never indulged in an excess of sweet treats because something didn’t go your way, and you always practiced restraint when food was a part of some celebration or ceremony.
For whatever reason, because of lifestyle choices, being overweight, inactivity and other causes, you develop diabetes. Type II diabetes is by no means a death sentence.
Millions of people live successfully with this affliction. It is possible to manage and even beat type II diabetes. As mentioned earlier, the key is monitoring and regulating blood sugar. When some people turn to food as a way to deal with emotions good or bad, overeating routinely occurs.
Too many calories and simple carbohydrates are consumed, and this can lead to a dramatic rise in blood sugar levels. This is how emotional eating can worsen the experience for someone with diabetes.
The lesson then is that if you do not control your eating behavior when you experience extremely high or low emotions, diabetes can be an unfortunate result. If you are coping with type II diabetes currently, you have to be careful not to binge on unhealthy foods in order to celebrate a joyful emotion or soothe a negative set of feelings.
Diabetic or not, the long list of health problems emotional eating can cause are reasons enough to try to get your unhealthy mood-based eating patterns under control.