Q. Glen, Can Stress cause my blood sugar to elevate?
A. Yes, Stress causes numerous changes in the body. Remember the fight-or-flight response? When faced with a threat, either physical or mental, certain hormone levels in our body begin to climb. They enable us to tap into our energy stores of glucose and fat and either face the challenge head-on, or run like the wind.
If you have diabetes, stress can affect your blood sugar control. During a stressful period, some people neglect their diabetes; they don’t eat properly, exercise or even take their medications. They may engage in negative behaviors, such as drinking or overeating. Even an emotional challenge can cause blood sugar levels to jump:
(from The Secrets of Living and Loving with Diabetes, Surrey Books)
"Last year, I opened my own business. While telling my current bosses that I was leaving the firm to start my own company, I began to sweat and feel sick. They weren’t taking it well. I was like a son to them and they took my leaving very personally. I assumed that my feelings were a reaction to the hostile environment in the room, but I checked my blood sugar anyway. I couldn’t believe it -- I was at a whopping 537mg/dl! I have type 2 diabetes and an A1C* of 5.3 percent. My control is superb; I never go high. I searched for some water or something noncaloric to drink and gave myself some additional insulin. My blood sugar control returned to normal after a day or so."
*A1C is the measure of diabetes control for the past two to three months. The ADA goal is less than 7 percent.
Here are some ways to help you reduce the stress in your life:
According to the experts at Cleveland Clinic, certain food choices can also help reduce stress:
There are ways to reduce some of the anxiety in your life. Try the suggestions listed above or come up with some of your own.
And remember to take time to sniff the roses!
Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !
Yours in good health