Identify Sources Of Stress
Being pregnant, preparing for a new baby and learning to manage gestational diabetes are stressful things on their own. But you also lead a life in the real world, with all it stresses and tensions.
Stress has many sources. Name some of your main sources of stress and see if you can identify an action to reduce or eliminate complications of gestational diabetes for you and your baby.
You might find that simply learning as much as you can about gestational diabetes will relieve much of your worry.
Surprising Things That Can Spike Your Blood Sugar
When you first found out you had diabetes, you tested your blood sugar often. Doing so helped you understand how food, activity, stress, and illness could affect your blood sugar levels. By now, youve got it figured out for the most part. But thenbam! Something makes your blood sugar zoom up. You try to adjust it with food or activity or insulin, and it dips really low. Youre on a roller coaster no one with diabetes wants to ride.
Do you know all these blood sugar triggers?
Knowledge is power! Look out for these surprising triggers that can send your blood sugar soaring:
Stress And Blood Glucose Levels
When the body is under stress, the adrenal glands trigger the release of glucose stored in various organs, which often leads to elevated levels of glucose in the bloodstream.
For people with diabetes, this can be particularly problematic as they find it harder than non-diabetics to regain normal blood glucose levels after a bout of stress.
The common misconception with stress is that it is an emotional problem, often disguised as anxiety, worry, or depression.
However, the reality is that stress can also be physical, nutritional, and chemical.
For example, stress can be experienced as physical pain or illness, and can also be triggered by situations such as an accident, the death of a friend or relative or confrontations with other people.
Essentially, stress can be considered as anything that tends to change the control that you have over our body and our emotions
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Bottom Line On Diabetes And Stress
Clearly, stress can have a huge impact on your diabetes outcomes. But all of this is not to say that the medications youre taking arent playing a role in your glucose fluctuations. If your medications are poorly matched to your food intake, they can absolutely be the cause of glucose highs and lows.
Still, dont discount the fact that stress, in your system, has the same impact as sugar. It needs to be respected by people with diabetes just like any other sugar. Its impact needs to be recognized, acknowledged, and dealt with especially as weve entered into a new era of record stress and stressors.
Practice Mindfulness To Promote A Feeling Of Calm
Whether you choose deep-breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga, mindfulness techniques are designed to help you reduce stress.
A short-term randomized controlled trial of 60 people with type 2 diabetes found that those who used mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques saw improved fasting blood sugar and A1C and lower levels of anxiety and depression. Researchers published those results in 2018 in the Journal of Diabetes Research.
Explore a variety of relaxation techniques, Belfort De Aguiar suggests, to find one that works for you. If you have trouble winding down, apps such as Headspace and Calm are popular, budget-friendly options for learning how to practice mindfulness.
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How Does Cortisol Affect Your Blood Sugar
Not only can cortisol contribute to unwanted high blood sugars, but its also essential for treating low blood sugars, too. Lets take a look.
When cortisol levels are high
When cortisol production increases beyond a healthy baseline, it blunts your bodys sensitivity to insulin. This means you need more insulin during those hours in order to keep your blood sugar in your goal range.
While your body does produce cortisol 24 hours a day, there are certain times of day anyone can expect to be producing more, like first the thing in the morning.
If you manage your diabetes with insulin, this also explains why you may notice that you need more insulin in the earliest hours of the day, and with breakfast.
As soon as you wake up in the morning, your body produces a surge of cortisol, explains the Society for Endocrinology. This surge is critical for simply starting your day and functioning fully now that you are awake!
And if your overall baseline cortisol needs increase due to constant, ongoing stress, youll notice that your baseline insulin needs increase, too.
You can read the post How to Avoid High Morning Blood Sugars for more information and practical tips for dealing with morning highs.
When cortisol levels are low
On the flip side, without enough or any cortisol you would struggle with constant hypoglycemia .
How Does Stress Work
When the brain senses danger, it releases stress hormones that get the body ready for action. Blood sugar rises, to give the body extra fuel. This gives us a burst of energy that ends when the danger goes away.
But when stress lasts for a long time, and the body isnt given a chance to rest, the brain stays in a constant state of alarm, so it keeps producing stress hormones that keep raising blood sugar. This is great for a short burst of energy, but constantly high blood sugar is toxic and leads to diabetes symptoms.
Stress also increases insulin resistance, which makes our bodies less able to reduce blood sugar. And to top it all off, stress might encourage us to try to relax with unhealthy habits like smoking, eating high-calorie foods, or isolating ourselves, which can worsen diabetes and make us even more stressed in the long run.
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How Anxiety Can Cause Low Blood Pressure
- Many people associate stress with high blood pressure, but it can also cause low blood pressure.
- The low blood pressure itself is typically not considered serious.
- Hyperventilation is one of several links between anxiety and low blood pressure.
- Its important to control anxiety over blood pressure some people find that their blood pressure changes give them anxiety, creating a cycle.
- It is healthy to get your blood pressure checked, but it is also important to decrease anxiety.
How To Manage Your Stress Levels
Some forms of stress cannot be managed, especially if they are not frequent in nature such as a one-time traumatic event or an accidental injury. Other types of stress, such as taking care of family, work stressors, or any other day-to-day stressful situations, will likely be there permanently or semipermanently. These types of stressful events are the ones that need to be managed as best you can.
To do this, you can proactively plan ahead. This means being prepared for the regular stressors of life and managing your time, reading self-help books, or minimizing the source of stress as much as possible. Calming exercises such as yoga and meditation have also been proven to reduce stress levels. You will also want to avoid indulging in unhealthy behaviors such as overeating. It may seem comforting at the time, but it will not help to relieve the stress you are experiencing.
Setting realistic and manageable goals is also a big stress reducer for those with diabetes. Instead of focusing on a large and vague goal such as losing weight, setting a goal of walking for at least a half-hour every day on specific days of the week will be much more achievable.
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Low Blood Sugar Signs Can Be Missed
Dr Thangudum shares, “Someone not knowing they have low blood sugar typically occurs in people who have had frequent hypoglycemia due to medications. When a person has experienced frequent hypoglycemia, they develop hypoglycemia unawareness. This means the body doesn’t give them the normal signals clamminess, shaking, sweating, anxiety, hunger of mild hypoglycemia. Thus they can develop a profound hypoglycemic event that presents only with loss of consciousness or death.”
How Stress Affects Blood Sugar Levels
Two types of stress can change blood sugar levels:
- Physical stress
- Mental or emotional stress
Each type of stress affects blood sugar levels differently. Physical stress generally causes blood sugar levels to increase. Physical stress includes:
Mental or emotional stress has mixed effects, depending on the type of diabetes you have:
- Type 1 diabetes: Mental stress can increase or decrease blood sugar levels.
- Type 2 diabetes: Mental stress generally increases blood sugar levels.
Stress also can affect your blood sugar levels indirectly by causing you to forget about your regular diabetes care routine. When you’re stressed out, you might:
- Exercise more or less
- Not test your blood sugar level as often
- Forget or delay a dose of medication and/or insulin
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How Can I Reduce Stress In My Life
There are many things you can do to reduce stress. The following are some suggestions:
- Take your medications as directed and eat healthy meals.
- Use relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.
- Get some exercise. You can reduce stress though activities such as dancing, walking, or biking. Do something that you enjoy.
- Remember to keep your sense of humor. Laughing helps to reduce stress.
- Join a support group. You can meet people with problems similar to yours and make new friends.
- Seek out professional help in order to talk about what’s troubling you.
There are additional strategies that you can use to help reduce stress in your life. Talk to your diabetes educator or doctor for more ideas.
Basal Insulin Intensification In Type 2 Diabetes
all times with food You can examine your urine for extra ketones with an over the counter ketones check kit If you might have excess Blood Sugar Levels ketones in The blood sugar solution barnes and noble your urine, consult your doctor right away or search emergency care.
Whole and unprocessed nuts and nut butter have very low glycemic index scores of less than 20 Nuts are high in fiber and make a great snack food or addition to meals Nut butter is a powerful option to help satisfy your candy tooth with out the most important spike in your blood sugar Every time you turn in your What Is A Normal Blood Sugar meter, it does an digital verify Look in your meter s handbook to see what the error codes mean and tips on What Is The Normal Blood Sugar Level how to fix the issue If you might be uncertain if your meter is working correctly, call the toll free number in your meter s manual, or contact your Can Stress Cause Low Blood Sugar health care supplier.
However, in sure circumstances, venous entry could additionally be troublesome to obtain young kids, obese patients and sufferers belonging to the geriatric age group are a quantity of examples In these circumstances, more than 1 prick may be required while withdrawing venous blood for sampling, thus rising the procedure time Type 2 diabetes also called non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus In this situation, the Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar cells of your physique turn out to be immune to the results of insulin.
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Low Blood Sugar Mimics Anxiety
The mutual symptoms of low blood sugar and anxiety are not coincidental. There is a shared physiological base of the two conditions.
When low blood sugar occurs, the body attempts to normalize levels by bringing blood glucose up. It does this through epinephrine excretion, which triggers glucose production in the liver.
Increased adrenaline levels, however, trigger a “fight or flight” response in the body. This same biochemical process is also linked to anxiety.
A longer-term or chronic low blood sugar state can also cause the body to produce cortisol, which is the “stress hormone.” Cortisol helps tissues in the body be less reactive to insulin, which helps increase glucose circulation in the bloodstream.
While this may help raise and normalize blood sugar levels, higher cortisol levels are also linked to anxiety. For this reason, many of the warning signs and symptoms of low blood sugar are shared with that of anxiety.
Hypoglycemia And Adrenal Fatigue
You may not realize it, but becoming severely stressed can trigger adrenal fatigue, which can lead to hypoglycemia. This is because several adrenal hormones including cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine play critical roles in the regulation of your bodys blood sugar levels. In fact, epinephrine plays a role in the short-term control of your bodys blood glucose. Epinephrine is involved in the increase of blood sugar when the body encounters stress. Meanwhile, cortisol is involved in the long-term maintenance of your bodys blood glucose levels.
When the body experiences stress, the adrenal glands prepare it for a fight or flight response by releasing the primary stress hormone cortisol. As cortisol levels rise in the body, both fat and muscle in the body become less sensitive to insulin. Because of this, more glucose becomes readily available in the bloodstream.
This activity is all part of the bodys entire NeuroEndoMetabolic Stress Response system. It is made up of the response from several organs and systems in the body, including the heart, liver, hormones, immune system, and the adrenal glands. Using the hormone cortisol, the adrenal glands help ensure that the body has enough energy to deal with the stress at hand.
When this happens, the cells fail to receive the glucose and other nutrients that they need to stay healthy. You may find yourself craving sugar while feeling shaky, tired, and even weak.
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Is Stress Messing With Your Blood Sugar
Stress may raise glucose levels in your blood, leading to hyperglycemia and even diabetes. Learn how to control your condition.
Researchers have linked dozens of physical symptoms to stress overload, from fatigue to weight gain. You can add another symptom to that list: high blood sugar.
When you’re stressed, your body is primed to take action. This “gearing up” is what causes your heart to beat faster, your breath to quicken, and your stomach to knot. It also triggers your blood glucose levels to skyrocket. “Under stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, raising blood sugar levels to prepare you for action,” says Richard Surwit, PhD, author of The Mind-Body Diabetes Revolution and chief of medical psychology at Duke University in Durham, NC. If your cells are insulin resistant, the sugar builds up in your blood, with nowhere to go, leading to hyperglycemia.
We have no shortage of short-term stress in our livesfrom traffic jams to working long hours at a demanding joband our stress hormones, which were designed to deal with short-term dangers like fleeing predators, are turned on for long periods of time, even though we’re neither fighting nor fleeing. What we’re doing is stewing, which can cause chronically high blood sugar.
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No matter how busy you are, you can find ways to restespecially if you have diabetes. Here’s how:
Is Stress The Source Of Your Blood Sugar Swing
Right now, COVID-19 stress can feel like a given and if something causes you stress, it can also trigger an increase if your blood sugar level.
Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images
If you have type 2 diabetes, you know that certain foods particularly foods that are high in carbohydrates can send your blood glucose level through the roof. But did you know that theres a long list of other factors, such as too little sleep, illness, even monthly menstrual cycles, that can sabotage your best efforts to stabilize your blood sugar?
High on that list, though you may not be aware of it, is stress.
Whether its related to work, to relationships, or to some other aspect of your life, research has continually shown that emotional stress can cause blood sugar to surge, according to the American Diabetes Association . And because consistent management of blood sugar is the key to living a healthy life with type 2 diabetes, its important to understand how stress affects you and to find healthy ways to cope when mental distress mounts.
Thats especially true right now when the novel coronavirus is top of mind and everyones stress level is sky-high. In addition to heightening health worries, the COVID-19 pandemic comes with immense economic and daily living stressors. Whether youve lost your job, are working from home, helping your kids with e-learning, or quarantined by yourself, its natural to feel stress.
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