The war is not only at the front but also at the rear and the soldiers and civilians are tasked with dealing with the reality of battle, which brings with it stress and anxiety. Studies published in the medical literature indicate that the mental stress during war may also affect the immune system and the development of chronic diseases, including diabetes. Mental stress causes the release of hormones, such as: cortisol and catecholamines, which work to raise blood sugar levels.
“The security situation in Israel is very challenging and causes a feeling of stress and anxiety among the population,” says Dr. Muhammad Sheikh-Ahmed, a senior physician at the Endocrine Institute and the Diabetes Clinic at the Bnei Zion Medical Center. “It is important to know that mental stress can lead to worsening of diabetes balance, so it is important to take steps to reduce stress levels.”
According to him, “In order to avoid the increase in sugar values, it is important during periods of tension and stress to maintain regular physical activity, a balanced diet, try using relaxation techniques and mental conversations with friends and family members, share your feelings with others and make sure you get enough sleep.”
In addition, says Dr. Mohammed Sheikh-Ahmed, a senior physician at the Endocrine Institute and the Diabetes Clinic at the Bnei Zion Medical Center, “emotional support and psychological therapy are recommended as part of dealing with stress and psychological anxiety. Also, engaging in physical activity can be used as an effective tool to reduce stress and prevent worsening of diabetes balance, and in addition, it is recommended to get medical advice to balance sugar values.”