Researchers at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences examined the role played by depression and insomnia.
The specialists explained that loneliness creates a chronic and sometimes long-lasting state of distress which may activate the body’s physiological stress response.
While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, this response is believed to play a central role in the development of T2D through mechanisms such as temporary insulin resistance brought on by elevated levels of cortisol.
This process also involves changes in the regulation of eating behavior by the brain, causing an increased appetite for carbohydrates and subsequent elevated blood sugar levels.
Researchers recalled that previous studies have found “an assosiation between loneliness and unhealthy eating including higher consumption of sugary drinks and foods rich in sugars and fats.”
Although their study did not examine the exact mechanisms involved, the researchers note that social support, influence and engagement may have positive effects on health-promoting behaviours.
Fewer social ties and a lack of these positive influences can make lonely people more vulnerable to behaviour which could increase the risk of developing T2D.
“It is important that healthcare providers are open to dialogue about an individual’s concerns during clinical consultations, including with regard to loneliness and social interaction.”