Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Can Stress Make Your Blood Sugar Go Up

Stress And Blood Sugar

How To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly: 8 AMAZING Tips Revealed!

Many people think they only need to watch out for how much carbs they consume while trying to control their blood sugar. What you should also know is that if you have Type 2 diabetes, a number of factors can affect your blood sugar levels. Your blood glucose levels may change due to an illness and little sleep. Monthly menstrual cycles can also hurt your efforts to manage your blood sugar. What’s more, there is a connection a between stress and blood sugar and you need to know about it to manage your condition better.

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.

Is It Only ‘negative Stress’ That Affects Blood Sugar

Even positive life changes can cause blood sugar to swing, says Amy Campbell, RD, a certified diabetes care and education specialist, and a contributor to Planning a wedding, moving to a new city, getting a job promotion such happy stressors can also send your fight-or-flight hormones into overdrive.

A past review cited the definition of stress as the physiological or psychological response to an external stimulus, regardless of whether that stimulus is good or bad. That means that if you experience a significant change in your life whether it’s positive or negative its a good idea to keep an extra-close watch on your blood sugar.

RELATED: Can Being Stressed Trigger Type 2 Diabetes?

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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 .

Does Positive Stress Affect Blood Sugar Too


Yes, there will be a change in your blood sugar levels even due to positive stress. Emotional stress caused by a breakup or something similar can be emotionally draining. Similarly, physical stress caused by flu or some other health condition can have serious consequences. However, you may still notice a change in your blood sugar levels if you are experiencing “positive stress”, which could be related to moving to a new city, planning a wedding, or getting a job promotion. These ‘positive stressors’ can also send your hormones into overdrive.

Recommended Reading: Why Am I Always So Stressed

How Are High Blood Sugar Levels Treated

Treating high blood sugar levels involves fixing what caused them in the first place. Your diabetes health care team will give you specific advice on how to keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range. But here are some ways to manage the common causes of high blood sugar levels:

Reason for High Blood Sugar Level What to Do
Not getting enough insulin or other diabetes medicine
  • Make sure that you take the proper type of insulin and the correct dose at the right time.
  • Check that insulin is not expired.
  • Make sure that all equipment is working properly.
  • Diabetes medicines may need to be changed or adjusted check with your diabetes health care team.
Not following the meal plan
  • Work with a registered dietitian to make adjustments to your meal plan as needed.
  • Adjust insulin/pills when you eat more or less than recommended on your meal plan .
Not getting enough exercise
  • Figure out a plan to make time for exercise.
  • Adjust your medicines based on the diabetes health care team’s instructions.
Illness or stress
  • Contact your diabetes health care team.
  • Continue to take insulin .
  • Check your blood sugar levels frequently.
Use of other medicines that can increase blood sugar
  • Contact your diabetes health care team if you start taking any other medicine.
  • Your insulin or pills may need to be adjusted while you take the medicine that’s causing high blood sugar levels.
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Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene Can Improve Glycemic Control

The best thing you can do to keep your blood sugar levels within a steady range is to establish a routine for your diet, exercise, and sleep patterns. If you find yourself having trouble sleeping, consider your sleep hygiene practices. The following tips can help you get a better night of sleep and thus experience improved glycemic control:

If you have tried improving your sleep hygiene but still have difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or feeling well rested in the morning, a sleep disorder may be to blame.

Visiting a sleep specialist is the best way to ensure that your sleep problems do not go undetected. This is particularly important for people with diabetes or prediabetes, as getting a good night of rest is essential to metabolic functioning, proper endocrine system regulation, and good glycemic control.

Make an appointment with your Seattle sleep specialist for an accurate diagnosis and to understand how sleep may impact your medical health. Call Sound Sleep Health at 279-7151 today!

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Can Stress Affect My Blood Sugar Levels

There are several ways that stress may affect your blood sugar levels. Stress induces the well-known fight-or-flight response, in which your body increases its levels of certain stress hormones. These, in turn, cause a rise in the amount of sugar in your blood, where it’s available to be used by your cells as fuel. If your body doesn’t have enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it has in order to get that blood sugar into your cells, your blood sugar levels remain high. Stress may also indirectly increase your blood sugar levels by causing you to abandon your good habits. When stressed, you may not eat well or exercise regularly, or you may drink more alcohol. These habits can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. In addition, you may not take time to check your blood glucose levels as often when you are stressed, so you may not be aware of the effects that the stress is having on your blood sugar levels. If you feel that stress is affecting your diabetes, talk to your doctor.

Surprising Things That Can Spike Your Blood Sugar

No Carb Foods Can Still Spike Your Blood Sugar

When you first found out you had diabetes, you tested your blood sugar often to 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 rollercoaster no one with diabetes wants to ride.

Do you know all of these blood sugar triggers?

Knowledge is power! Look out for these surprising triggers that can send your blood sugar soaring:

  • Sunburnthe pain causes stress, and stress increases blood sugar levels.
  • Artificial sweetenersmore research needs to be done, but some studiesexternal icon show they can raise blood sugar.
  • Coffeeeven without sweetener. Some peoples blood sugar is extra-sensitive to caffeine.
  • Losing sleepeven just one night of too little sleep can make your body use insulin less efficiently.
  • Skipping breakfastgoing without that morning meal can increase blood sugar after both lunch and dinner.
  • Time of dayblood sugar can be harder to control the later it gets.
  • Dawn phenomenonpeople have a surge in hormones early in the morning whether they have diabetes or not. For people with diabetes, blood sugar can spike.
  • Dehydrationless water in your body means a higher blood sugar concentration.
  • Nose spraysome have chemicals that trigger your liver to make more blood sugar.
  • Read Also: Can Stress Make You Feel Sick

    How Diabetes And Blood Glucose Levels Can Affect Your Surgery Outcome

    When you have surgery, the procedure itself and the effects of anesthesia put stress on the body that may result in elevated blood sugar levels. Because of this, people with diabetes have an especially high risk for blood sugar complications following a surgical procedure. People who don’t have diabetes or who have an undiagnosed case can also experience increased glucose levels post-surgery and the accompanying problems.

    Whichever category you fall into, you can take appropriate steps to control your glucose levels before, during, and after surgery.

    Variability In Diabetes Medication Absorption Can Cause Blood Sugar To Go Up And Down

    A lot of patients with diabetes do not know or understand the fact that bioavailability of medications we take again and again is not necessarily the same. In other words, the same dose of the same medication may be absorbed differently every time we take the medication. Most insulin injections have variability in absorption after injection up to 20%. This variability can change from 5% up to 20%. At higher levels of insulin, the absolute number of insulin units will change significantly. For example, if you take 10 units of insulin, maximum variability may result in the absorption of 8 units of insulin. On the other hand, if you are taking 100 units of insulin they can create insulin variability up to 20 units. Obviously, this will create significant changes in blood sugar levels. The site of injection, type of needle, and technique of injection can also make a difference in the variability of insulin absorption.

    Besides insulin, other medications can have variability in the absorption and lead to up and down blood sugars or severe blood sugar fluctuations. For example, taking metformin with food can improve the absorption compared to taking metformin on an empty stomach.

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    Eliminate Whats Stressing You Out

    While this seems obvious, it should be your first plan of action. You might not be able to completely avoid the stress, but you could reduce it by brainstorming alternatives and problem solving. If you want to avoid rush-hour traffic, try leaving at a different time or adopt a new route. If a relationship is troubling you, see if you can make amends. If you find you cannot accomplish tasks at hand, find new ways to get organized.

    Ways To Reduce Mental Stress3

    Fitness Options For All Stages of Life
    • Learn how to relax during stressful moments by using deep-breathing exercises.
    • Evaluate your schedule to find how to make changes to relieve stress.
    • Exercise regularly and take regular outdoor walks to experience nature, which generally has a soothing effect on the body and soul.

    It is important to understand what stress is and how it effects your body. By identfiying and actively finding healthy ways to overcome your stress triggers, you can help to improve your diabetes management.

    References1. Glucerna.How Stress Affects Blood Sugar Levels 2020. Abbott Laboratories. Available at: Diabetes UK. Stress And Blood Glucose-Levels.2019. Diabetes Digital Media. Available at: .3. Mind Organisation. Stress. 1st ed. London: Mind publications, p.1-15. 2017. Available at: .

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    Upswing: Steroids And Water Pills

    People take corticosteroids, such as prednisone, to treat rashes, arthritis, asthma, and many other conditions. But they can boost your blood sugar, and may even trigger diabetes in some people. Diuretics that help high blood pressure, also called water pills, can do the same. Some antidepressants also raise or lower blood sugar.

    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.

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    Fill Your Doctor In On Big Life Changes

    If a stressful situation is causing your blood sugar to swing, your healthcare team needs to know. Says Campbell, Your doctor may temporarily change your diabetes medication or put you on a higher dose. If necessary, he or she can even make a referral to a mental health professional. Right now, increasingly more primary care physicians, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals are offering telehealth services so that you can get the help you need while maintaining social distancing practices.

    RELATED: The Top Telemedicine Apps for the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Understanding Stress In General

    Why Stress (Cortisol) Makes You Fat (Spikes Insulin) Stress and Weight Gain Dr.Berg

    Stress is actually the natural mechanism of the body to respond any demand or even threat. For example, the body can release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline when you feel threatened. You breath more quickly, muscles tighten, heart beats faster, and blood pressure increases. As a result you have increased stamina, strength, focus, and speed making you ready for emergency action!

    It is also important to help you rise to get your goal and meet challenges. You need it to keep focus during a presentation at work, drive your concentration for study, or sharpen your skill when playing a sport.

    So stress is not always bad. Again it can give a number of benefits when working properly! But beyond this comfort zone, it is also linked to a number of many different conditions. When it doesnt work as well as it should, it can be a serious threat to your mind and body.

    Your body is naturally designed to have stress and react to it. Stress can also cause negative effect on your health when you face continuous challenges without relaxation /relief between challenges or when you lose control on it. As a result, stress-related tension builds and your body becomes overworked!

    Unfortunately, some people use heavy drinking and smoking to relieve their stress. These choices are bad, or even can worsen the effect of stress on health. Alcohol and tobacco smoke tend to keep you in a stressed state, causing more problems.

    Also Check: How To Not Feel So Stressed

    How To Reduce Your Stress Levels

    Learning what helps you manage, reduce, and relieve your overall stress level is a vital lesson. Sometimes the simplest thing can help you take a deep breath, lower your blood pressure, lower stress hormones, and release the physical and mental grip of stress.

    Here are a few ideas for reducing your stress levels:

    Stress In People With Type 1 Diabetes

    Stress can affect those with type 1 diabetes by both increasing and decreasing blood sugar. In the case where it lowers blood sugar levels, chronic stress can lead to a syndrome known as adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is where prolonged exposure to stress drains the adrenal glands, leading to a low cortisol state. In those with type 1 diabetes, the underproduction of hormones such as cortisol can cause an imbalance in hormones that are meant to regulate blood sugar levels.

    Research has also looked at whether stress can cause diabetes. Many studies have postulated that chronic stress especially can contribute to the onset of type 1 diabetes in those who are already susceptible to developing it.

    • Shortness of breath

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    How Can Pain Affect Blood Sugar In People With Diabetes

    Diabetes mellitus , often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose levels that result from the bodys inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism . There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.Continue reading > >

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