How Common Is Hyperglycemia In Critically Ill Patients
Acute hyperglycemia is common in critically ill patients. It is estimated that in 90% of all patients blood glucose concentrations > 110 mg/dL develop during critical illness. Stress-induced hyperglycemia has been associated with adverse clinical outcomes in patients with trauma, acute myocardial infarction, and subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Ways To Combat Stress
Everyone experiences stress from time to time. However, constant stress isnt good for your body, mind, or your type 2 diabetes. Instead of letting stress get the better of you, meet it head-on with some de-stressing techniques, including these:
Stress isnt good for anyone, yet everyone experiences it. Instead of drowning beneath your stress, make an effort to reduce it. Not only will your mind feel freer, but your diabetes will likely be easier to manage.
What To Do If You Have A Blood Sugar Spike
For those with diabetes, having a blood sugar spike can be dangerous because too much sugar in the blood passes into the urine. This triggers the body to filter out the fluid, which could lead to dehydration or a diabetic coma.
In the event that blood sugar levels spike because of stressors that cannot be managed, its vital to make managing your blood glucose a priority. You can do this by focusing on things you can control, such as your diet and exercise, checking your blood sugar regularly, and taking your medications as instructed by your physician.
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When Stress Strikes Closely Monitor Your Blood Sugar
When youre stressed, you should be monitoring and checking your sugars to see if the stress is having an effect or not, Dr. Belfort De Aguiar says. Simply being aware that stressful situations can affect blood sugar can prepare you to make adjustments. When youre under a lot of stress, thats when you want to be really on top of your blood sugar, Campbell says. Its the time to hone your self-care behaviors.
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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Stress And Bgls: Are They Related
The stress response is our bodys way of keeping us safe. A thousand years or so ago, that made perfect sense. Our biggest stress then would be to be the hunted, rather than the hunter. When a tiger is chasing you as their preferred lunch option you want to make sure that you can outrun them, or that you can knock them out and have them for lunch instead. This is commonly referred to as the fight or flight response.
To be able to run faster or fight harder you need energy. So when you are stressed your body automatically release stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, which should increase your chances of survival.
These stress hormones help focus on the task ahead: the fight or flight. By increasing blood pressure, pulse rate and breathing rate your body is better able to pump blood around the body faster and provide your muscles with more oxygen. Other bodily functions that are not essential, such as growth and digestion, are slowed down to preserve energy.
The stress hormones also stimulate the pancreas to release glucagon into the bloodstream. Glucagon could be considered the antidote to insulin as it releases stored glucose into the bloodstream, which provides your body with the necessary energy to fight or flight.
Reducing stress is therefore a good option in helping to reduce hyperglycaemia .
And the really good news? You have a choice!
What Causes Blood Sugar To Rise Without Eating
For the most part, food as you gathered from above, is the main driver for rises in blood sugar. However, life as you know is never a straight line.
There are other factors that can cause blood sugar to rise without eating. Some of that has to do with inter-play of hormones.
Stress hormones like cortisol, catecholamines , mobilize glucose from the stored glucose in the liver. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose in the liver.
These hormones cause a rise in blood sugar without eating both in diabetics and non-diabetics. Any thing that causes stress to your body will cause your blood sugar to rise.
Prescription and some over-the-counter medications like nasal decongestants can also cause your blood sugar to rise without eating.
Below are some of the causes of high blood sugar without eating:
- Steroid medication
- Diuretics pills that make you pee
- Nasal decongestants containing phenylephrine or pseoudoephedrine
- Poor sleep
As you tell from the above list, yes, stress can cause high blood sugar in non-diabetics. Stress from whatever origin has the potential to increase cortisol levels in the blood.
And as I explained earlier anything that causes liver cells to mobilize their glycogen stores unnecessarily will raise your blood sugar. Stress will do just that.
Should non-diabetics check blood sugar?
And Guess what
So, yes, my advice is that non-diabetics can test for blood sugar, if you are looking for some guidance on the matter.
Suggested further reading:
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So What Causes High Blood Sugar Levels In Non
Now that you know the dynamics of food digestion, glucose absorption into blood circulation and the expected insulin response, explaining what causes high blood sugar in non-diabetics becomes logical.
So, here it goes:
If you have a fully functioning beta cells in your pancreas that produce, store, and release insulin in response to blood sugar rises when you eat, then a quick response is expected to regulate blood sugar. This quick response prevents unnecessary blood glucose fluctuations.
And this process of blood sugar correction works so efficiently that within an hour and half of eating, your blood sugar levels should return to the fasting blood sugar levels of below 100mg/dl .
In fact, at 2 hours after-meal, both the first phase and second phase insulin release from the beta cells should have your blood sugar levels down to 80mg/dl .
However, if your First phase insulin response and more importantly, your Second phase insulin release is defective or sluggish for whatever reason, then you will have high blood sugar level even if you are non-diabetic. This is actually referred to as Impaired Glucose Tolerance.
Persistent impaired glucose tolerance is actually pre-diabetes.
Impaired glucose tolerance precedes Type 2 diabetes. If your blood sugar level remains high despite your first and second phase insulin release best efforts, such that it hits 200mg/dl 2 hours after eating, then by definition, you are now diabetic.
Stress Affects The Immune System
Chronic stress may also affect the immune system.
In one study, researchers noticed that a particular immune system response to chronic stress is a similar response to one that is involved in the development of type 2 diabetes.
To determine if stressful events are causing an increase in blood sugar, people can measure their blood glucose throughout the day. They should note how they are feeling and when they last ate.
People can then show their readings to their doctor for analysis.
If the doctor notices that stress may be affecting blood sugar, they can explore different techniques to help a person control their stress levels.
The American Diabetes Association recommend that people with diabetes take care of their mind just as much as they do their body.
Stress can be both a contributor to diabetes and a consequence of it. However, there are many effective ways to relieve stress.
The strategy that works best for one person may be different for the next person. Exploring different options can help a person find the strategy that works best for them.
A 2018 study that took place in a clinic in Iran found that taking part in social-related stress management training could improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. Stress management techniques may help people manage their glycated hemoglobin levels.
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Scary Movies Work Stress And Trauma Of Any Kind All Cause Your Liver To Release Stored Glucose To Support Natural ‘fight Or Flight’ Responses
Last weekend I decided to stay up late and watch a scary movie. It had something to do with super-gross vampires who get their jollies by eating the flesh of unsuspecting hotel guests.
Anyway, after the final gut-wrenching, heart-pumping scene, I decided to check my blood sugar. Ill be darned it had risen about 200 mg/dL during the movie. With blood that sweet, I felt like the grand prize for any vampires that might happen to be lurking in my neighborhood.
As you may be aware, the liver serves as a storehouse for glucose, keeping it in a concentrated form called glycogen. The liver breaks down small amounts of glycogen all the time, releasing glucose into the bloodstream to nourish the brain, nerves, heart and other always active organs.
The livers release of glucose depends largely on the presence of certain hormones. Of all the hormones in the body, only insulin causes the liver to take sugar out of the bloodstream and store it in the form of glycogen. All the other hormonesincluding stress hormones, sex hormones, growth hormones and glucagoncause the liver to secrete glucose back into the bloodstream.
Anxious moments and nerve-racking situations happen to all of us. From speaking in public to test-taking to a simple visit to the doctor or dentist, many events elicit a stress hormone response that causes, among other things, a sharp blood sugar rise.
How To Deal With Stress As A Person With Diabetes
In general, theres only so much you can do to prevent the blood sugar spikes from different types of stress hormones because we cant always predict stress.
However, if youre dealing with predictable stress or ongoing stress, definitely talk to your healthcare team about an adjustment in your insulin doses that can help tamper those stubborn high blood sugars.
For those unexpected bursts of stress and rapid spikes in your blood sugar:
You should use your established correction factor to determine an appropriate dose of insulin to bring the blood sugar down.
But keep in mind: its very likely your blood sugar will sit at that higher level until your body has recovered from the stressful state. When those stress hormones are pumping and adrenaline is causing your liver to produce more glucose, it can be very difficult to get ahead of it.
For ongoing stress during a period of your life:
If you know the next few months are going to be stressful because of a promotion at work, a divorce, the death of a loved one for example then a simple increase by a few units in your background insulin dose can have a big impact on staying in your goal blood sugar range.
Dont underestimate how much ongoing stress can affect your daily insulin needs. Even on the normal days during a stressful period of your life, your body is still coping with that ongoing stressor.
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S To Find Out If Stress Is Affecting Your Blood Glucose Levels
- Step 1. Rate your stress level from 1-10, where 1 indicates the lowest stress level and 10 the highest. Record the stress level along with situation and feelings in your logbook.
- Step 2. Test your blood glucose and record your result.
- Step 3. After a week or two, study your results to see if theres any pattern between your stress levels and your blood glucose levels.
What Causes Your Blood Sugar To Rise Causes Symptoms Prevention
Individuals that have been struggling with diabetes need to understand what exactly causes blood sugar to rise. Carbohydrates are often seen as the only thing that can cause blood sugar to rise, but there is much more to it.
So, in this article, we will help you better understand how different factors can spike blood sugar levels and the complications that come along with blood sugar spikes. Here is a quick summary to get you started before we get into the details.
What Causes Your Blood Sugar to Rise? Blood sugar spikes often occur in those with diabetes, as their body cannot process glucose properly. Many factors can cause your blood sugar to rise other than the types of foods you eat. The types of drinks we consume, the medications we take, and our physical condition all affect blood sugar levels.
Chronic high blood sugar levels can be detrimental to ones health, which makes understanding the different factors that spike blood sugar crucial.
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What Should You Do If Anxiety Is Affecting Your Blood Sugar
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your anxiety is raising your blood sugar, or if low blood sugar is causing some symptoms of anxiety. The only way to know for sure is to regularly test your blood sugar and work closely with one of our internal medicine physicians in Raleigh. We have helped hundreds of Triangle residents monitor their diabetes and keep it under control.
Working closely with your health care team can also keep you from experiencing some of the common health complications that can come from high blood sugar and diabetes. These include:
- Poor circulation, which can lead to non-healing wounds
- Cardiovascular disease
How Does Excess Sugar Affect Inflammatory Markers
It is important to make a distinction between the different types of sugars in our food. One way that food sugars can be categorized is based on how they affect your blood glucose levelsthis is called the glycemic index. Foods that cause a spike in blood glucose levels after a meal are said to have a high glycemic index. These include the refined carbohydrates that you have probably been told to avoid. Refined carbohydrates have had their fiber removed and are found in bread, white sugar, cakes, cookies, crackers, tortillas, white rice, and many cereals. Foods that raise your blood glucose levels quickly have been associated with elevated levels of inflammatory markers, like CRP.
You may have heard that different types of sugar like fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, and sucrose can cause more or less inflammation, but so far studies havenot shown a difference in the levels of inflammatory markers among kinds of sugars. That is not to say that they dont affect your body in different ways, as well address next, but there does not seem to be a difference in how they affect blood tests like CRP.
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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 To Reduce Your Stress Level
- Find opportunities to rest: sit, lie down, put your feet up.
- Talk to friends, family and your partner about your concerns and stresses.
- Lower your expectations of yourself. The house can be messy, the laundry can fall behind and you can be less than perfect. You’re helping your baby grow and be healthy, and that’s your first priority.
- Get enough sleep.
- Ask for help in getting tasks done. Ask a friend to drive, a sister to help set up the nursery, your partner to grocery shop. If possible, hire out tasks like yard work and house cleaning during your pregnancy.
- Know and accept your limits. Let friends and family know that for now, you have to take special care of yourself and your baby. When you need rest. excuse yourself and go rest. When you feel overwhelmed, take on less.
- Be physically active every day. It’s a great stress reliever.
- Add relaxation to each day. Listen to your favorite music at work. Take a bubble bath. Close your eyes and do nothing except breathe deeply.
- Schedule time for what you want to do. Book time on your own calendar for whatever gives you joy. Visit a museum. Do needlework. Talk long distance with a friend. Read a long novel. Sit in the garden.
- Watch funny movies, read silly books, laugh with friends.
- Cry if you want. It’s a great stress reliever.
- Remind yourself that gestational diabetes isn’t forever.
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