Stress and Blood Sugar

You have probably noticed that stress affects your blood sugar, and not in a good way. It has to do with the fight-or-flight reactions your body has to stressful situations. When facing stress, your cells access stored fats and sugar. Unfortunately, this can be harmful for diabetics. The release of the stored sugar causes a peak in blood sugar levels.

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Kinds of Stress That Affect Blood Sugar

Both basic kinds of stress change blood glucose levels:

  • Emotional or Mental Stress

  • Physical Stress

They do impact your blood glucose levels differently. First of all, physical stress usually causes your blood sugar level to rise. This could be due to:

  • Surgery

  • Injury

  • Illnesses

Emotional and mental stress effects depend on which kind of diabetes:

  • Type 1: Could raise or lower glucose level.

  • Type 2: Usually raises blood sugar level.

Also, stress might change your care routine with:

  • More or Less Exercise

  • Changed Eating Schedule

  • Eating Foods that are not as Healthy

  • Not Testing Blood Sugar Levels as Frequently

  • Forgetting or Delaying Medications or Insulin

Because many type 2 diabetics are ultra sensitive to mental stress, be sure you use your logbook. Stress hormones drive your blood glucose levels sky high, if you don’t watch carefully.

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How to Check if Blood Sugar Levels are Affected by Stress

  • Rate current stress levels between 1 and 10. Write that down in your diabetes logbook.

  • Write in blood sugar levels as you test.

  • Study the patterns. Check to see if it seems like there is a relationship between stress levels and blood sugar level.

Reduce Your Stress Levels

Reducing stress levels is certainly easier said than done. Here’s a few tips to help you begin.

  • Relax. Breathe deeply, meditate, pray or just be still. Calm your body and your mind the best you can.

  • See if there is anything you can do to make changes in your life that would relieve some of your stress. Step forth and make those changes, for the good of your health.

  • Be sure to get some exercise regularly. Even a few minutes every few days can make a big difference. A short, daily walk clears many a stressed out mind.

Above all, remember that you are worth it. Stress can take away so much of the joy in your life. When you have your blood sugar levels under control you can get cash for diabetic test strips. That cash can help relieve some stress. Have a good day!