How Stress Affects Blood Glucose and Tips to Reduce It

By NaDica | Articles

Oct 20

Stress is actually a state of emotional tension or strain which occurs when you feel that you cannot cope with pressure.

Stress, whether mental or physical stress is proven to instigate changes in the blood glucose levels, that for people who have diabetes might be problematic.

Over time, both mental and physical stress can cause depression and other mental health problems.

What Causes Stress?

Nowadays, we live in a stressful time, and we are constantly under pressure. That pressure sometimes might be just too much to handle.

Everyday things which lead to stress are:

  • Traffic
  • Work pressure
  • Relationships and marriage
  • Financial insecurity
  • Parenting
  • Health problems

How Does Stress Impact Diabetes?

People that have diabetes and who are under stress on a regular basis are actually more likely to experience poor control over their blood glucose. One reason is that stress hormones like cortisol actually increase the amount of sugar in the blood.

Constant frustration and stress caused by long-term issues with blood sugar regulation might also wear people down and make them neglect their diabetes care.

For instance, they might begin to ignore their blood glucose levels or forget to check them, or even adopt poor lifestyle habits, like eating processed and junk foods, smoking, drinking alcohol and exercising less.

This is known by the name diabetes burnout. Physical stress like injury and illness can lead to increased blood glucose levels.

3 Steps to Figure Out If Your Blood Glucose Is Affected by Stress

You need to follow these simple steps and find our if mental stress has any influence on your blood glucose levels.

Step #1

Rate the stress level on a scale of 1-10. One will indicate the lowest level of stress, and 10 will indicate the highest. Make sure to keep a record of your stress level in a logbook.

Step #2

Use your home monitor and test your sugar and make sure to enter the result.

Step #3

After two weeks, you need to look through your results to find out if there is a link or pattern between the blood glucose levels and stress levels.

3 Ways to Lower Stress

1. Use deep-breathing techniques or exercises to relax under stress. You can visit stress management class to learn these techniques.

2. Exercise on a regular basis.

3. Look through your schedule and find out if you can make any lifestyle changes to lower stress.

Remember, do not stress over things you cannot control or change. If you find this article useful, share it with your friends and family.