Stress is one of the things that can raise your blood sugar and exacerbate diabetes. How you handle stress will allow you to restore your blood sugar balance.
High Stress Hormones
Stress hormones such as cortisol, have an instant effect on blood sugar level. If you’re experiencing diabetes, you’re at risk for abnormally high blood sugar when you’re stressed.
Let’s talk about why this is the body’s response to stress.
Even if you haven’t eaten anything all day, your blood sugar can go up when you’re stressed. This occurs because the muscles and liver store glucose, which is released when we need it. This will happen when we haven’t eaten in several hours, or when we are exercising, or we’re under stress.
Fight or Flight
Whenever you perceive a threat of any kind, your body produces stress hormones to prepare for the “fight or flight” reaction. The idea is that you are preparing to defend yourself or flee. In either case, you need fuel in your blood, namely glucose (blood sugar).
Our bodies can go into a fight or flight reaction anytime and anywhere. Even sitting in front of a computer screen, worrying about how we’re going to get everything done. That will potentially send the blood sugar higher.
Imagine your project manager telling you to make a presentation and you feel like you have to stay up all night to get it done.
Your stress level is increasing already. Unless you can reduce your stress, your stress hormones will rapidly increase and automatically raise your blood sugar.
How Can You Reduce Stress?
Here are some things you can do to relax:
- Use breathing exercises
- Journal to release worry
- Practice yoga
- Take a warm bath
- Get enough good quality sleep
- Maintain supportive relationships
- Ask for help
Stress is a significant risk factor for diabetes because it directly increases the blood sugar. But there are several ways to get back into balance. Take the time to look at the causes of your stress and take action to reduce it.
If you are experiencing diabetes and want to take back control, you may be a good fit for the step-by-step online course, Optimal Health Reset.
It’s possible to create eating and lifestyle habits to naturally stabilize your blood sugar. I encourage you to book the Free Discovery Call to see if the course is right for you.
American Diabetes Association. (2013). Stress. Accessed 2017 Sep 28.
Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a physician, health coach, workplace wellness consultant, and speaker. She helps people heal themselves with food. Through wellness workshops and courses, she helps companies create healthy, energetic teams.
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