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PTSD sufferers 'linked to higher diabetes risk'

By Tim Sandle     May 29, 2013 in Health
A research report suggests a link between post-traumatic stress disorder and an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life.
The German study appears to have established a link between the chronic stress symptoms and changes to the hormonal balance in the body. As hormonal response patterns change over time, leading to metabolisms and the glucose utilization processes being negatively impacted, in turn triggering type 2 diabetes.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder with characteristic symptoms that can develop after the direct experience of an extremely traumatic stressor such as the threat of a violent death or serious injury. Symptoms include persistent re-experiencing the original trauma through flashbacks, hallucinations or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, a general numbing of emotional responsiveness, acute and unpredictable episodes of anger.
For the study, the researchers surveyed a total of 50 participants was identified who suffered from PTSD, as well as an additional 261 who displayed symptoms of partial PTSD. Over a period of time, hormonal levels were measured and the data was analysed.
Follow-up studies have been planned to focus in greater detail on how these relationships function, especially the impact of high levels of stress over a prolonged time period.
Professor Karl-Heinz Ladwig, research group leader at the center's Institute of Epidemiology II, said in relation to the research: "Patients with PTSD and other mental disorders should be given therapy that includes treatment of metabolic risk factors."
The study was conducted at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen and the University Hospital Giessen and Marburg. The results have been published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research.
More about Ptsd, Diabetes, post traumatic stress disorder
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