Your body reacts to stress or threat by releasing adrenaline and cortisol through the fight-or-flight response. If your body cannot process these hormones efficiently, it can lead to increased blood sugar levels. Managing diabetes becomes even harder when you experience chronic stress from long term problems with blood glucose levels.
How can different types of stress affect your diabetes?
Depending on the person, stress can trigger different side effects. Not to mention, the intensity of your stress will also show physical symptoms. For example, when people with type 2 diabetes experience psychological trauma, they usually have an increase in their blood sugar readings.
People with type 1 diabetes may have more extreme fluctuations in blood glucose levels, experiencing either a rise or drop. If you’re going through physical hardship like illness or injury, your blood sugar is likely to increase regardless of whether you have type 1 or 2 diabetes.
What are the symptoms of stress?
Oftentimes, the symptoms of stress are unclear, but it is imperative to be cognizant of them. Stress can have a severe impact on your psychological and emotional state as well as physical wellbeing. By being attentive to the symptoms, you will possess the power to more successfully manage stress.
Physical symptoms of stress include:
- muscle pain or tension
- sleeping too much or too little
- general feelings of illness
Stress may also cause you to feel:
How can you determine if mental stress is affecting your glucose levels?
It can be tough to understand what influences your stress, but if you document when you feel stressed and what activities were happening then, it might help. For example, do Mondays always give you anxiety? If so, create a Monday action plan that includes procedures to reduce your stress levels which may improve your blood sugar level control.
To see if mental stress is impacting your blood sugar, keep track of both your stress and glucose levels for a few weeks. After rating your level of stress, check your glucose reading and continue doing this until you have enough data points. A pattern will likely emerge showing whether or not there’s a correlation between the two. If you notice that your glucose readings are almost always high, it’s probable that stress is negatively influencing your blood sugar control.
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