The Connection Between Stress and Diabetes
Rumor is, stress might trigger diabetes. If that’s so, I might start using that as my new excuse! But can stress cause diabetes? If not, then what is the link between stress and diabetes?
Diabetes Stress Me Out!
Do not be worried about getting diabetes because you have a super stressful job. Out of all the research done some research shows that a traumatic event or chronic stress might increase your risk for diabetes later in life, while other research shows that stressful environments for infants may trigger the onset of type 1 diabetes. However, if you take a look at all of the research you will realize that it is inconclusive – they don’t really know if it will trigger, cause, or increase your risk for diabetes or not. So don’t stress!
If Stress Doesn’t Cause Diabetes Then What’s The Connection?
Photo credit: talesofrachel
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes listen up. With added stress diabetes can become exacerbated.
“When stress occurs, the body prepares to take action. This preparation is called the fight-or-flight response. In the fight-or-flight response, levels of many hormones shoot up. Their net effect is to make a lot of stored energy — glucose and fat — available to cells. These cells are then primed to help the body get away from danger.
In people who have diabetes, the fight-or-flight response does not work well. Insulin is not always able to let the extra energy into the cells, so glucose piles up in the blood.” (Living with Diabetes)
So, stress actually alters the blood sugar levels, but it does differently for each individual. For one person stress might cause blood sugar levels to rise, and for another to drop. However with stress and diabetes type 2, they have found that it will often raise blood glucose levels. Secondly, if you become stressed or even depressed it’s easy to falter from treatment plans such as medication and exercise; even being too busy might cause you to skip meals, and all of these can cause your blood sugar to do some funky stuff. But what it really comes down to is how you deal with stress.
Don’t Let Stress Stress You Out
First, you should know how stress affects your blood glucose levels. If you don’t know, then take time each day to rate your level of stress with a number 1-10 and then next to that record your glucose level, then look for the correlation. Once you know how stress affects you individually you will be better equipped to control your diabetes.
So I’m Stressed, Now What Do I Do?
You can manage your stress by trying to eliminate or minimize the source of the stress and then improving your response to stress by adopting some coping techniques. If stress is negatively affect your ability to control your diabetes, get help. Failing to control diabetes introduces a lot of complications and even death. Stress can be controlled, it shouldn’t be controlling you.