Mind-body connection

SylviaWell-educated, slender, and attractive, Julie seems to have it all. She has a PhD, an interesting career, and good friends. So everything's great, right?

Not exactly. Julie also has diabetes. And while she loves her job, she feels anxious about running a business. She often gets angry at herself, and snaps at others for small mistakes. Even scarier, despite careful monitoring of her blood sugar, she finds herself in a coma once or twice a month. What's going on?

It turns out that despite Julie generally healthy habits, her anxiety prevents her from paying attention to the cues her body gives her when her blood sugar is too low.

On her doctor's advice, Julie tries Mindfulness Based Stress-Reduction (MBSR) classes along with her regular diabetes care program. The MBSR practices help Sylvia slow down and actually pay attention to her body.

Julie begins to notice when her blood sugar is dropping, so she can eat to prevent herself from going into a diabetic coma. She also finds it easier to control her diabetes with insulin, probably because reducing her anxiety helps reduce her stress hormones. Her anger, a product of her stress, also fades away.