Worry and stress are synonymous with almost every woman out there. And if she is overweight or obese, the stress-meter is on a constant high owing to her weight and everything else associated with it. This often leads to lifestyle disorders like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. All this information has been around for ages. But some scientists tested it and stumbled upon a very good news for such women.
The research suggests that reducing stress may reduce fasting glucose in overweight and obese women helping them in improving their quality of life. Using the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) technique, the scientists found out that when women focused more on living in the moment their fasting glucose levels dropped drastically. The results of this study was presented in a poster at ENDO 2015, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in San Diego.
MBSR involves paying attention to oneself, their thoughts, feelings, going completely non-judgmental and non-reactive through simple breathing exercises. This kind of meditation is one of the best ways of reducing stress. 86 obese women with similar age and body mass index participated in this 8-week study in which some underwent the MBSR program while the rest were assigned the health education control (HEC).
While sleep, anxiety, depression and overall distress improved in both groups, it was observed that fasting glucose dropped significantly in the MBSR group compared to HEC. “MBSR significantly reduces fasting glucose and improves quality of life without changing body weight or insulin resistance. Increased mindfulness and reduced stress may lead to physiological changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and/or sympathetic nervous system that result in lower glucose levels,” said Nazia Raja-Khan, MD, assistant professor of medicine and obstetrics and gynecology at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
“Given the increasing epidemics of obesity and diabetes, this study is particularly relevant to the general public, as it demonstrates that stress management may be beneficial for reducing perceived stress and blood glucose and improving quality of life in overweight or obese women,” said Raja-Khan. “This research supports the integration of mindfulness-based interventions with conventional medical approaches to obesity and diabetes prevention and treatment.”
The results of this study was released on the 6th March, two days before International Women’s Day! A definite indication to all women that it’s time to let go of all the unnecessary worries and lead a happy, stress-free life – overweight or not!
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