What Happens In Your Body When You Get Stressed
Stress hormones have a big role to play.
When youre experiencing physical or emotional stress, hormones are released that increase your blood sugar. Cortisol and adrenaline are other primary hormones involved.
This is a perfectly natural response. For example, if youre being chased by a barking dog or youre in a dangerous situation, you need these hormones to prepare your body for a fight or flight situation.
But when youre stressed, your body releases these hormones, even if there isnt a major physical threat involved.
The result? Higher blood pressure, increased heart rate and a rise in blood sugar.
The problem becomes more complicated.
If youre consistently under stress, your hormones and sugar will continue to surge.
Over time, this can put you at risk for:
- Heart disease
This is one reason why its so important to treat your stress and anxiety.
The Link Between Anxiety And Glucose Levels
Stress can affect your blood sugars, though research tends to be mixed as to how. In some people, it appears to raise blood glucose levels, while in others it appears to lower them.
At least one has shown there may also be an association between glycemic control and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, particularly for men.
However, another study found that general anxiety didnt affect glycemic control, but diabetes-specific emotional stress did.
Other research has found that people with type 1 diabetes seem to be more susceptible to physical harm from stress while those with type 2 diabetes werent. Ones personality also seems to determine the effect to some extent as well.
What Is High Blood Glucose
To fully understand your blood glucose levels, itâs important to know: a) what values are actually considered high, and b) factors that can cause your elevated reading in the first place.
High blood glucose, also known as hyperglycemia, occurs when there is too much sugar in the bloodstream. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is the result of too little glucose in the bloodstream. Hyperglycemia usually occurs because your body doesnât produce enough insulin or canât properly use the available insulin to remove the glucose from the bloodstream.
Using milligrams of glucose per deciliter of blood for measurement, high blood glucose readings after a meal indicating prediabetes can fall between 140 and 199 mg/dL. Levels reaching 200 mg/dL two hours after eating indicate you may already be insulin resistant or diabetic, though that diagnosis will need to come from your doctor. By comparison, the typical standard for normal glucose readings is to remain under 140 mg/dL throughout the day and under 100 mg/dL after eight hours of fasting.
A range of lifestyle factors, habits, and health conditions can cause high blood sugar. To debunk common hyperglycemia myths, review causes and symptoms, and discuss the best ways to address them, we spoke with two experts on high blood sugar levels: registered dietitian and For The Love of Diabetes creator Lori Zanini and registered dietitian nutritionist and diabetes management expert .
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S Toward Stress Reduction
One of the things you need to do in order to lessen the effect of stress on your blood glucose levels and improve your overall health is to take time in your daily life to rest whenever you can. The rest periods can be very short but they should be often because only through rest can you lessen your bodys cortisol level and improve your quality of life.
Rest is crucial for long-term spiritual and psychological well-being. If you dont take time out to reduce your stress levels, you can become ill. Scientists studying stress in the Netherlands reported that too much fatigue, also known as vital exhaustion causes demoralization, irritability, and fatigue. It may also increase your chances of getting a heart attack by 100 percent.
These are ways you can take time out of your life for rest and stress reduction:
Stress Impacts Sleep Which Impairs Glucose Tolerance
Often times, stress leaves us tense and anxious and can cause sleep problem. Many studies have shown the negative health impacts of not getting enough sleep. The impact on diabetes is no exception.
Although everyone has their own standards of what good sleep is, keep in mind that sleeping less than six hours a night has also been found to contribute to impaired glucose tolerance, a condition that often precedes or can worsen the progress of type 2 diabetes.Add to this, the fact people who are tired tend to eat more because they want to get energy from somewhere. This is usually by consuming sugar or other foods that can spike blood sugar levels, further aggravating their diabetes.
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Complications Of High Blood Sugar
Diabetes is one of the main causes of high blood sugar levels, but there are other causes that can impact your blood glucose and your risk for hyperglycemia.
Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar levels. You can have temporary spikes in blood sugar after eating a large meal or as a result of medication side effects. Chronically elevated blood sugar levels are dangerous and common in those with diabetes. Without treatment, you run the risk of a diabetic coma.
Ketoacidosis is a condition that develops when elevated blood glucose levels go untreated. Without glucose to use for fuel, your body begins to burn fat instead and produces ketones. When there are too many ketones in the blood, it will turn acidic, which can very quickly lead to ketoacidosis, a diabetic coma, and even death.
People without diabetes can develop a similar condition known as ketosis, but they can tolerate a certain level of ketones because inulin is still effectively working.
Diabetic hyperosmolar syndrome is another serious complication of high blood sugar. This is more common among individuals with type 2 diabetes and is triggered by an infection or illness.
As a result of the high blood sugar, your body tries to push out the excess glucose by passing it through your urine. Without treatment, this can result in life-threatening dehydration so prompt medical attention would be necessary.
A Quick And Simple Step To Help Better Your Health
One simple way to ensure yourself that youâre not causing more harm to yourself by being concerned about your health as diabetic is to check your blood pressure regularly.When you keep track of your blood pressure , youâre empowered with the knowledge to know what works best for your body.For example, if youâre a bit more stressed than usual, youâll be able to see that trend. If a particular meal and diet plan is not working for you, youâll be able to observe that in the numbers that your measurements present. If an exercise routine is a bit more intense than your body can handle, your blood pressure measurements can show you that.Getting a simple home blood pressure monitor and then tracking your blood pressure on an app, like Hello Heart , is a way to good way to start. The Hello Heart app is free in the iTunes store and Google Play. It included built-in reminders and colorful visuals that help you easier see the trends that matter the most.
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Handling Your Response To Stress
You have some control over your reaction to stress. You can learn to relax and this may reduce your bodys hormonal response to stress. There are often groups in your community, or books you can read, that teach relaxation techniques.
Some of these techniques are surprisingly simple and effective. There are a range of options to help you relax. For example:
Getting regular exercise
Consciously replacing bad thoughts with good ones
Whatever method you choose to relax, practice it. Just as it takes weeks or months of practice to learn a new sport, it takes practice to learn relaxation.
You can also often make quite simple lifestyle changes that can help reduce some of the stress factors. For example, if you always get very stressed when you get stuck in a traffic jam that makes you late for work, think about what other options are open to you. Would it be a more healthy option for you to walk to the railway station and take the train?
Take time to look at your life coolly and clearly. One way to do this is to imagine that you are a friend who has come to talk to you over the fact that their life is getting them down. What changes could that friend make in their life? Changes that would either reduce their stress levels or strengthen their ability to cope?
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.
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Stress Affects Your Blood Pressure
Letâs go back to the hormone cortisol for a moment. Another one of cortisolâs functions is to narrow the arteries throughout the body in order to allow blood to pump harder and faster through the rest of the body. In fight-or-flight situations, this is advantageous because delivery of oxygenated blood throughout the body.However, constant stress over time keeps the blood vessels constricted and keeps your blood pressure high. Over time this high blood pressure can worsen many of the complications of diabetes, including diabetic eye disease and kidney disease. In fact, many people with diabetes eventually develop high blood pressure.It is no wonder that diabetes and hypertension often go hand-in-hand. Looking out for one can help prevent or alleviate the other.
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.
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Type 1 Diabetes And Anxiety
Type 1 diabetes, which relies on the constant micromanagement of insulin, can lead to the development of anxiety due to a generalized fear of complications, imperfect blood sugar levels, mild or severe low blood sugars, and the constant effort for control.
In life with type 1 diabetes, the more variables a patient is able to control, the more he or she is presumably able to manage their blood sugar levels. Food, activity, hormones, stress, , blood sugar fluctuations during work or school or parenting, and even something as simple as grocery shopping, all have a major and immediate impact on blood sugar levels.
When one or many of these variables are out of ones control which is likely often anxiety can easily develop.
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.
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Stress Is Affecting Your Type 2 Diabetes
You know the things you eat affect your diabetes. Its easy to see the impact a brownie has on your blood sugar. You also know that exercise, your family history, and even your gender can play a role in the development and severity of your diabetes.
But do you know how stress is affecting your diabetes? One recent study has shown that stress increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes in older women. But men are at risk too. Anyone with stress faces an increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes or seeing changes in your diabetes if youve already been diagnosed. Both physical and emotional stress can cause changes in your blood sugar levels, which can cause or worsen your diabetes.
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.
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Are Some People More Prone To Anxiety Than Others
Thats a difficult question, and theres no one correct answer.
Generally, both physical and psychological factors cause everyone to react to stress differently.
For example, genetics can play a role. Some genes that control the stress response may go into overdrive while for other people, they are under reactive.
Those who experience traumatic life events or are survivors of abuse may be more vulnerable to stress.
Still others may have a combination of factors.
Can Diabetes Cause Anxiety And Depression
If youre diabetic and having an anxiety attack or going through depression, your high sugar levels could possibly be the culprit behind it. Diabetes and anxiety may have different aetiologies, however, they are interconnected somehow.
Diabetic people may become worried or anxious over various things. From waking up in the morning and monitoring your glucose levels, to weight changes and diet, diabetes can really stress you out.
Since diabetes is a chronic disease and managing can become a hassle, one can get anxious about short-term as well as long-term health complications.
A diabetic person is more prone to infections, kidney diseases, stroke, and many other debilitating conditions, he/she can develop severe anxiety. This can eventually make monitoring and managing his/ her symptoms more challenging.
To manage stress due to struggling with diabetes, you need to follow healthy lifestyle options such as diet, physical exercise, and other stress-relieving activities.
It should be kept in mind that if youre suffering from both, diabetes and anxiety medications should be only used prescribed by your doctor.
This chronic disease, diabetes could also be a risk factor for developing depression, found out in some studies. Its still not completely understood why this happens.
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Can Metformin Increase Anxiety
People usually ask can metformin increase anxiety? But first, lets discuss what is metformin?
Metformin is an anti-diabetic drug belonging to a class biguanides. It is used as the first line of medication for diabetes Mellitus .
There isnt much evidence of whether metformin can increase anxiety or not. However, anxiety and panic attacks are some of the long-term side effects of this drug.
In a few people who were consuming metformin for diabetes, anxiety symptoms were reported as long-term adverse effects.
On the contrary, it was found out in a study that metformin may lead to reduced anxiety. It might be because metformin might increase the serotonin levels in the brain. Increased serotonin level is associated with happiness and wellbeing.
Lack Of Physical Activity
Lack of physical activity can increase your blood sugar, as skeletal muscles are a main part of the body that uses glucose for energy or stores extra glucose as glycogen for later use. With low levels of physical activity, the muscles become inactive and do not remove glucose efficiently from the blood.
Regular exercise can help lower blood sugar levels by increasing the need for muscles to remove glucose from the blood to use for energy.
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What Are Symptoms Of Depression
Too much stress sometimes can lead to depression. People with diabetes are more likely to be depressed than the average person. You may be at risk for depression if you have any of the following symptoms for more than a week:
- Feeling sad or irritable
- Having lost interest in activities you enjoy
- Feeling worthless