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.
Ways To Reduce Mental Stress3
- 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: https://glucerna.com/why-glucerna/how-stress-affects-blood-sugar-levels..2. Diabetes UK. Stress And Blood Glucose-Levels.2019. Diabetes Digital Media. Available at: https://www.diabetes.co.uk/stress-and-blood-glucose-levels.html .3. Mind Organisation. Stress. 1st ed. London: Mind publications, p.1-15. 2017. Available at: https://www.mind.org.uk/media-a/2959/stress-2017.pdf .
How Stress Plays A Role In Diabetes & Prediabetes
1. Stress leads to sugar spikes
When weâre faced with a stressor, our whole body responds. A stressor for our ancestors might have been a bear in the wild, while a common stressor today is the fear of losing a job. But the bodyâs response is the same. Our adrenal glands produce hormones called cortisol and epinephrine , which prepares the body to act. These hormones trigger the liver to release glycogen, which are long chains of sugar molecules that we store just for purposes like this. The rush of sugar can give us an energy boost to run from, or confront, a threat.
Thatâs a natural and needed response to help us deal with a crisis. But what happens when weâre repeatedly feeling stressed over issues we canât immediately resolve? We end up with chronic stress. This means our hypothalamus â the fear center of the brain â is almost always activated to some degree. We end up with high stress hormone levels that frequently cause our bodies to release stored sugars. .
The repeated sugar spikes mean the insulin receptors that let sugars pass into our cells get worn out. Over time, the pancreas has to release more and more insulin to help get the sugars through the worn out insulin receptors. This is known as insulin resistance.
2. Stress causes weight gain, which is associated with insulin resistance
In other words, encouraging the body to store fat is another way that chronic and high stress indirectly contributes to insulin resistance.
Also Check: Will Stress Cause Weight Gain
How To Reduce Anxiety
First, lets be clear: If youre experiencing anxiety, we want to know about it. We care about much more than your physical health. We know that mental health is an important part of your overall well-being.
We care about our patients, and we are always in your corner, ready to help you.
Following are some useful tips for reducing anxiety:
- Any type of physical activity, even if its just a quick walk around the block during your lunch break.
- Reducing or eliminating your alcohol and caffeine consumption
- Getting enough sleep
If your anxiety continues for more than two weeks or if youre finding it difficult to complete everyday activities, you should consider talking to a counselor or psychologist who can provide help and direction. We can provide a referral if needed.
Arm Yourself With Quick Fixes
The toll stress takes on your health largely depends on how you react to it, Campbell says. Identify things that help you cool off, and keep them ready-to-go in your back pocket. Maybe you treat yourself to a massage or a manicure, she says. Or maybe you just talk to someone. Okay, a professional massage might not be possible at the moment, but maybe you have a significant other who can lend a hand. Focusing on your breath is another simple way to calm your mind and body, wherever you are. If you have an Apple device, open the free Breathe app, and let it help you slow and deepen your breath.
You May Like: How To Fix Hair Loss From Stress
Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress By Lipotoxicity
Apoptotic unfolded protein response pathways induced by free fatty acids and chronically high glucose in -cells. In contrast to unsaturated FFAs, saturated FFAs serve as poor substrates for mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and de novo triglyceride synthesis. However, saturated FFAs serve as intermediates in ceramide biosynthesis. The saturated FFAs activate UPR pathways by perturbation of ER Ca2+ mobilization through inhibition of sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase , or activation of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors, and/or direct impairment of endoplasmic reticulum homeostasis. In addition, chronically high glucose increases biosynthesis of proinsulin and islet amyloid polypeptide in -cells, which increases accumulation of misfolded proteins and oxidative protein folding-mediated reactive oxygen species production. The oxidative stress created by ROS and toxic IAPP oligomers perturb ER Ca2+ mobilization through activation of IP3 receptors to release ER Ca2+. Perturbation of ER Ca2+ causes protein misfolding in the ER and activates the UPR pathways that induce proapoptotic signals, including proinsulin mRNA degradation as described in . Abbreviations: ATF4: activating transcription factor 4, ATF6: activating transcription factor 6, CHOP: CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein homology protein, eIF2-P: phosphorylated form of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2.
Incorporate Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Begin with your head and gradually tense and release each section of your body. Individuals with pulmonary arterial hypertension who practise progressive muscle relaxation for 12 weeks reported feeling less anxious and depressed and having an enhanced quality of life.
Additionally, a March 2016 research published in the Open Journal of Nursing has shown that practicing progressive muscle relaxation twice daily for 25 to 30 minutes may help persons with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.
You May Like: What Helps With Anxiety And Stress
The Biology Of Stress
Stress, Digestion and Depression
With diabetes type 2 there is also a history of poor digestion. Improving digestion is important to managing stress and mood. Mood responds to blood sugar. When blood glucose is balanced, mood is also balanced and the emotional ups and downs of the day even out. Digestion and intestinal health are important to mood because many of the neurotransmitters that govern mood such as serotonin are made in the small intestine where food is digested. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that communicate information throughout our brain and body. They relay signals between neurons. They affect mood, sleep, concentration, weight, carbohydrate cravings, addictions and can contribute to depression, pain, anxiety, and insomnia when they are not in balance. Pharmaceutical-grade amino acids may be compounded according to the specific biochemical needs of the individual to provide the building blocks that support specific NT production. Minerals like Chromium and vanadium also help regulate blood glucose. I address a comprehensive nutritional strategy in my book: Preventing and Treating Diabetes Naturally, The Native Way.
Self-Care TipWhen making changes it is easier to create a positive new habit, than it is to stop a negative habit. Often negative habits will drop away once the new habit is firmly in place.
Understanding how physical illness can result from stress provides us with opportunities to reduce stress and thereby improve physical well being.
If Possible Eliminate Long
McIntyre says that too much stress can be a warning that something needs to change. Since long-term stressors affect your long-term blood sugar levels and can cause damage to your overall health, theyre even more worthy of a reevaluation. Is it your job thats tipping you over the edge? If so, he suggests that you have a conversation with your boss on how to improve your work environment, apply for a transfer, or even start the hunt for a new job.
Read Also: How Do You Feel When Stressed
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.
The Two Types Of Stress
- Physical Stress
Physical stress is often induced from an illness or injury. Because of this physical stress, your body increases its level of cortisol, which is what is released in the fight-or-flight stage of physical stress that you may have heard about. Basically your body is hard-wired to fight the threat or run from it, and cortisol is the hormone in charge of that.
Because your body is saying hey, I need energy in this stage, your hormones respond by increasing the amount of blood sugar in the form of glucose, with the idea that your cells will need more energy.
But if you are insulin resistant, this just puts more glucose in the blood that doesnt get used and may cause complications.
You should be prepared for this type of stress induced increase in your blood sugar if you are about to go in for surgery, or if youve had an accident that caused any kind of injury, or if you fall ill or get an infection.
- Mental and Emotional Stress
Mental and emotional stress has a similar response in type 2 diabetics . The body releases cortisol, which calls for more glucose to supply energy to your body. So when you are stressed out, your body is releasing more glucose into your blood stream. Simply put, the more distress you feel, the more cortisol, which means the more glucose.
Don’t Miss: Can You Miscarry From Stress
How Can Different Types Of Stress Affect Your Diabetes
Stress can affect people differently. The type of stress that you experience can also have an impact on your bodys physical response.
When people with type 2 diabetes are under mental stress, they generally experience an increase in their blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes may have a more varied response. This means that they can experience either an increase or a decrease in their blood glucose levels.
When youre under physical stress, your blood sugar can also increase. This can happen when youre sick or injured. This can affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Obesity Not Ptsd Alone Increases Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Its been known that people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder have worse health outcomes, including a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes, than people without PTSD. Jeffrey Scherrer, PhD, a professor in the department of family and community medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri, wants to better understand the underlying reasons why. He and his colleagues found that high rates of obesity rather than PTSD alone explains diabetes risk, in a study published in August 2018 in JAMA Psychiatry. Obesity is twice as common in people with PTSD as those without PTSD.
The bottom line is that there is no increased risk of diabetes that you can directly attribute to PTSD, Dr. Scherrer says. Instead, obesity is the most significant contributor to diabetes in people who suffer from PTSD, much like people without PTSD. Other factors , like smoking, heavy alcohol use, sleep disorders, and high rates of depression in people with PTSD, may elevate the risk for diabetes.
Maybe relieving stress could help people make healthy lifestyle changes that can then reduce the risk of diabetes, says Scherrer, while noting that research shows multiple factors are at play in the risk for diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
You May Like: How To Relieve Stress In Neck
Can Stress Cause High Blood Glucose
It is commonly known that certain foods, illness and lack of exercise can increase blood glucose levels. However, another factor that can increase blood glucose levels is stress. Managing stress is quite complicated. To make it even harder, each type of stress can affect blood glucose levels differently. Its all highly individual. So, how can stress cause high blood glucose and what can you do about it?
The Stress Mechanism Hypothesis
As in the case of , the original models for the development of were largely behavioral and posited that, in particular, poor diet and lack of physical activity were primarily responsible for the disease. The development of CVD, however, has been shown to be independently associated with a variety of stress-related factors, including control , hostility, and traumatic life events . Such stress-related factors, which have been demonstrated to be important for the development of CVD, may also be important for the development of T2D.
One could plausibly argue that stress-related risk factors act via behavioral risk factors, and indeed most of the literature reviewed here uses this explanation. However, as discussed below, most of the studies in this review controlled the statistical analyses for many or most of the behavioral risk factors and still found an effect from stress-related factors. For example, some studies have shown that risk is considerably greater for those of low socioeconomic or racial minority status , suggesting pathways that go above and beyond the behavioral.
In the early 1990s, Bjorntorp and Rosmond proposed that neuroendocrine responses to stress-related pressures might increase the accumulation of abdominal fat . Their final model proposed that the HPA axis is reprogrammed with chronic stress exposure . The key is that the stressor exposure must be of sufficient magnitude or duration to reprogram the HPA axis.
Recommended Reading: Can Stress Cause Heavy Periods
Keep A Close Eye On Your Blood Sugar Levels
Its always important to keep tabs on your stress and blood sugar. Thats why we recommend a fasting blood sugar test at every yearly physical.If your blood sugar starts to creep upwards, we can be proactive and start measures to help you.
This is particularly important if you have diabetes or prediabetes. In fact, if you have these conditions, we may suggest that you have blood sugar screenings more often. We can guide you through when you should check your blood sugar, and our dietitian can help you select healthy meals.
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 DiabetesSelfManagement.com. 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.
Recommended Reading: What Stress Does To Your Body
Stress And Diabetes Control
In recent years, some researchers have turned their attention to the possibilities of stressful experiences influencing diabetes control. This potential influence is important, not only for the often debilitating effects poor blood glucose control can have on daily life, but also because of the known association between chronically high blood glucose levels and the development of diabetes complications.
It is a complex area of research, much of it having been conducted in children and adolescents, with fewer studies in adults or in those with type 2 diabetes, and using a number of different measurement tools. Stressful experiences have been recorded using anything from simple checklists to longer self-report questionnaires, to in-depth interviewing techniques. Most studies in this area have not determined the type or severity of stress that may influence changes in glycemic control, nor have they been able to fully address the role of other factors in mediating the impact of stress on glycemic control. Moreover, it is difficult to determine the temporal relationship between stress and health, not least because poor health often leads to adverse experiences.
Relationship between stress and glycemic control. From Ref..
If You Develop A Complication Of Diabetes
Developing a complication of diabetes may result in significant readjustments in your life. If it makes you less mobile, you may feel you have become more dependent on others, or you might need to shift house or jobs. If your vision is more limited, you may need to concentrate harder on achieving tasks that were previously easy. Depending on what impact the complication has on your life, you may feel a great deal of grief associated with the loss of full health.
Having diabetes is stressful. It can also mean that it is more of a challenge for us to manage other life stresses. As you become more experienced with diabetes it tends to assume a less intrusive place in your life. As you achieve a comfortable balance between caring for yourself and also having fun and enjoying your life, your stress management strategies can become more effective.
The Diabetes NZ Emotional Wellbeing Survey 2020 found 81% of people living with diabetes have experienced diabetes distress.
Diabetes distress is the emotional burden of living with and managing diabetes. Diabetes is a relentless, 24/7 condition that can have a real impact on mental and emotional wellbeing. Every minute of every day, a person with diabetes faces decisions and thoughts, which can create worries and fears about their diabetes.
You May Like: What Vitamins To Take For Stress