How much of Diabetes is mind-related?

I am a very recent entrant into this community and hence do not know if this aspect of diabetes has been discussed before. If it has been, kindly give the link of that post and i will read it.

I am a Type 2 Diabetic and so is my mother. Recently, while researching to create a software to manage diabetes, I met several people who were of the opinion that the mind is a chief cause of most problems including Diabetes. This has been flatly denied by a reputed endocrinologist in Chennai, India (where I come from).

So what do you think?

To me, this is another variation of blaming people for their diseases. I don’t subscribe to the view that our minds cause or cure disease. Do babies & young children “cause” their diabetes?

Our mindset greatly influences how we manage & handle diabetes, but isn’t a causative factor.


Thanks for your comment. I should have been specific. My reference here was to Type II Diabetes also known as Adult Onset Diabetes. My apologies for the generalized reference.

I am unable to follow your opening comment about “blaming people for their diseases” in the context of mind. Would you like to elaborate?

Your concluding note that “our mindset isn’t a causative factor for Diabetes” suggests that you have perhaps done some extensive research on the role of mind in diabetes. would like to hear from you on the same.


T2’s are blamed constantly for their disease (weight, food choices, physical inactivity) when this has little basis in fact. T2 is a complex metabolic disease. Regarding my comment “this is another variation of blaming people for their diseases,” if a person’s mind is responsible for disease, than it’s their fault–blame. The underlying assumption, of course, is that if mind caused the diease, the mind can cure the diease. Nonsense.

I haven’t done any research on the mind’s causative role in diabetes. I don’t believe there’s a connection.


Thanks for responding so categorically. You are absolutely right that “if mind caused the diease, the mind can cure the disease” and it is not nonsense. It has been proven many times over and hence the relevance of therapies like hypnotherapy. You may be right in not believing about the body-mind connection but it exists. There is extensive research material available on the net and I would suggest that you take a look.

And this is not a blame game but an exercise where we take responsibility for our life. By taking a stance that T2 is a complex metabolic disease, we are distancing ourselves and that is not a very healthy approach to our body’s condition.

Hypnotherapy has its uses & it also has its limitations. I didn’t state that there isn’t a body-mind connection. I don’t believe the mind causes T2. You’re somewhat twisting the intention of what I said “if mind caused the diease, the mind can cure the disease” I said that’s an underlying assumption. Assumptions aren’t facts.

I’m sure that these are the same people who believe that if I haven’t cured myself of diabetes after taking insulin shots for 30 years since I was a kid, then “I must be doing it wrong”.


They’re not trying to be mean, they just don’t get it.

Tim, I do not really get your remark and i presume you are referring to Type 1 Diabetes. But let it be said as loud as possible that we are expected to take insulin or oral medication NOT to cure ourselves of T2 Diabetes but only to keep it under control. In fact, Allopathy maintains very categorically that Diabetes is not Curable and that line is toed very sincerely by many diabetics.

Anyway, the subject matter is not whether D is curable but whether it is mind-related.

I agree that diabetes has mind-related (psychological) aspects. Google “diabetes” with “depression” etc.

But those are not causes of diabetes.

Many of these psychological aspects are not necessarily biochemical or anything, but a result of family, society, employment, etc. pressures.

One of those psychological aspects (e.g. “why aren’t you cured yet? You aren’t trying hard enough then!”) is very
prevalent in my head sometimes.

I know you’re asking for one specific thing (maybe one of “Can my mind cause diabetes?” or “Can my mind cure diabetes?”) but I’m making it broader. I’m not trying to hijack the thread, but I probably am.

But overall, do people that don’t have diabetes really grok (that is, understand at a deep level instead of a superficial level) diabetes? Of course not. They see someone with a chronic uncurable disease, and they apply some level of wishful thinking or blame theory or whatever they do, to explain the ugliness away to fit it into their limited mindset, that does not allow for chronic uncurable diseases.

In this respect, there is a problem, and it’s in THEIR MIND, because they just don’t get it. We have to learn to live with that.

Things have changed in some ways from the stigmas that existed 30 or 40 or 50 years ago, where diabetes simply wasn’t discussed openly, it was kind of a gossip subject. So things are a little better. But no, they still don’t “get it”.

are you talking about causes of diabetes itself or causes of complications?

If the later, your mindset can definitely affect how well you control your diabetes and thus contribute to complications.

Without wanting to sound argumentative, Scott, you have in another post of mine mentioned that these two (Diabetes and its complications) are intertwined and if that is so, how can the causes of d and its compl be any different?

Yeah, I agree that a stressed diabetic is more likely to attract complications than an unstressed and that is why meditation is suggested to calm the person. I am talking about diabetes per se. It has been established that stress changes the hormonal and chemical balances in the body, sometimes drastically which in turn creates the environment for diabetes to step in.

Something causes diabetes which causes the high glucose levels which cause complications. There are at least 3 different steps in that progression. and the cause of diabetes is not diabetes itself, those are two different things.

In T2, the cellular changes that lead to insulin resistance and then to diabetes can be detected years before the disease actually manifests itself (Google the Whitehall II study from the UK). Personally, I believe that it is something in our environment (ie environmental pollutant, food additive, etc) that causes those initial changes to occur

@Scott: Fair enough. You say “something causes diabetes” and I am posing a question “Could that something include your mind as well?”. I am not invalidating the influence of genes, environment, lifestyle etc but I want us to start looking elsewhere too.

Let me share a contentious view. “If one did everything that would lead to diabetes like eating high carb food, sedentary work and life style but did not know that there is a thing called Diabetes (probably because he is high up on the alps or deep inside amazon jungle), then he might never have diabetes”. It is a fact that we are bombarded by the media, our relatives and friends who keep talking about diabetes and that also creates the concept of diabetes in the mind which manifests in the body sooner or later. I warned you that it is a contentious view and you may not like it. Again I am talking only of T2 Diabetes in this context. Well, examine it. Take it further if you like it and forget it if you don’t. Just don’t dismiss it. That’s my plea and humble request.

The ancient Egyptians and Greeks didn’t have television or “media” and they still had Diabetes. Both types.

I find it an absurd assertion that if people were completely ignorant of a disease, they wouldn’t get that disease. We’re not brainwashed into chronic disease. You make a distinction that this is a T2 phenomenon. I was diagnosed T1 at 53. Wonder why my brain didn’t conceptualize T2 instead.

This type of reasoning has shades of denial.

badrirag if their genetics and environment were conducive to it, then I believe they would, whether they knew D existed or not.

DWQ (/wink) is right, it has been historically documented for over 2,000 years.

I do not believe that your “mind” could cause diabetes. To me, that is simply another source of “it’s all your fault” guilt that so many want to play on. Makes things even more difficult for the people trying to face a new reality that they have something that will never go away, will make things harder for them and their loved ones.

There is nothing wrong with living and thinking healthy. It makes control of our condition much easier. However. That. Is. Not. A. Cure.