Lack of sleep can cause diabetes

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  • If you regularly get less than five hours sleep your risk of developing diabetes is double that of someone who gets their eight hours

    A lack of sleep and skipping breakfast contributes to the 24,000 deaths from diabetes every year in England, says a new study.

    More than a million people are affected by type 2 diabetes but are unaware they have it. If left untreated, the condition can raise the risk of heart attacks, blindness and amputation.

    Many people associate diabetes with being overweight and eating a poor diet, but research suggests that modest weight gain, or minor disruptions to normal dietary patterns could be enough to cause it.

    Scientists believe people who regularly fail to get more than five hours sleep a night are doubling their risk of developing the disorder, in which the pancreas fails to produce enough insulin, or the body stops responding to insulin production, triggering high levels of glucose in the blood.

    ‘Being awake when we should be asleep increases the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which promotes the generation of glucose,’ says Julian Halcox, professor of cardiology at Cardiff University.

    A recent Australian study also found that skipping breakfast causes a sudden drop in blood sugar levels in the late morning, causing a craving for sugar, which then triggers a sudden surge in blood sugar and over-stimulation of insulin.

    This increases the likelihood of the body’s cells becoming resistant to insulin production causing diabetes to set in at an early age.


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