February 4


How Stress Affects Blood Glucose and Tips to Reduce It

By Gabriela

February 4, 2021

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

Stress, whether mental or physical stress is proven to instigate changes in the blood glucose levels, which for those 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 that lead to stress are:

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

How Does Stress Impact The Condition?

Those 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 care for the condition.

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 as diabetes burnout. Physical stress like injury and illness can lead to increased blood glucose levels.

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

People need to follow these simple steps and find out if mental stress has any influence on their 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 the stress level in a logbook.

Step #2

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

Step #3

After two weeks, look through the 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. Visit stress management class to learn these techniques.

2. Exercise on a regular basis.

3. Look through the schedule and make sure to make lifestyle changes to lower stress.

Remember, do not stress over things that cannot be controlled or changed.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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