Diabetes and Stress

Diabetes and Stress , understanding the connection when it comes to your health.

As a type 2 diabetic, I'm always aware of the foods that I consume to make sure that my blood sugar levels is under control. 

Did you know that the foods that you eat isn't the only thing that impacts your glucose levels.

The other thing that can have a negative impact on your blood sugar levels is stress.

So if you have diabetes like myself, make sure you understand the effects that stress cause to you blood sugar and learn ways to prevent it.

The Impact of Diabetes and Stress

Understanding diabetes and stress is one of the keys when it comes to controlling your blood sugar level. Our body is built to protect itself from many different things. 

Here is a great example, if a person consumes too little calories, the body then goes into survival mode and begins storing food as fat, this fat is then use for later.

The same goes for when our body is stressed during a stressful situations.

When our body is stressed, it releases an increased level of different hormones which then in turns  makes an excess amount of energy available in the form of glucose and fat.

For those of us with diabetes the extra energy often equates to an increase on blood sugar level.

The reason is there is no insulin or the insulin is not enough to allow the energy to move to our cells.

So in turns the extra glucose start to piles up in our blood which in turns increase the blood sugar level.

Effects of Stress

A person with stress has a higher risk of medical problems for example an increase of heart diseases and stroke than a person with low stress levels.

But diabetes and stress increases the risk by causing the increase of blood sugar.

The increase of stress can cause as few health issue and problems.

First, people that have a higher level of stress too often focus on stressful events and most of the times they tend forget about eating and/or drinking healthier.

For us diabetics, we know that we have to continue to eat and drink health for life to make sure we have our blood sugar level under control.

But when we’re stressed, we may also forget to monitor our food intake or increase our alcohol intake.

In addition while we’re stress there is also an increase chance that we will forget to monitor our own blood.

This tend to happen when our mind are mostly consumed with the stressful situation.

Secondly, as I mentioned it above, our bodies will automatically protect itself from a potential dangerous situation.

When we’re in a stressful situation, our body goes in a mode to handle the stress and gets ready for fight or a flight. This increase the energy available to the cell.

However,  diabetes and stress reacts different and often takes this excess energy to the blood stream. The reason is that the insulin level cannot not move the extra sugar into the blood cells. Where the body needs it for energy during the stressful moments.

Also the body tend to create excess energy in the form of glucose and fat, so people like me with type 2 diabetes, the body also blocks the insulin from being released while stressed. 

So as you can see, if you have type 2 diabetes, learning how to handle your stress is key to  controlling your glucose levels. 

An for my fellow type 1 diabetics that cannot produce insulin, it doesn't matter if your stress or not, learning  to handle diabetes and stress can be beneficial for all diabetics. 

How to Manage Stress

Managing stress and diabetes isn’t  that easy as you think. 

Below are some tip and techniques that will help you manage you from a stressed out person to an sweet calm person, and helping to keep your blood sugar down.

Here are some simple techniques that I use to deal with my everyday stress.

Take a breath

Taking a deep breaths sounds simple but the in and out is a great way to relax. When you breath try to focus on your mind and push out your thoughts. Begin to relax your muscles as you do your breathing.

Start Exercising

Exercise has many benefit like helping you to lose weight, giving you more energy and reducing the risk of medical diseases. But exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress.

So if you have a stressful situation a simple brisk walk or even a leisure walk will help. When walking try focusing on your footsteps and not your stressful moment. 

In addition to understanding stress and diabetes read this article on exercise and diabetes.

Clear your mind

Trying to clear your mind by alter your behaviour of how you deal with stress. If you are overly passionate person to things that stress you and then explode, try to count to ten before you respond. 

Once you take those few seconds, you will be able to handle the situation better and instead of exploding, you can calmly address the stress.

Relaxation Therapy

So after trying breathing, counting and walking and you are still stressed, you may want yo try relaxation therapy. You can learn this in a clinic, audio or video tape.


For more diabetes information check out the Canadians Diabetes 

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