Stress and readings?

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Babsie50
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 2/28/2006 3:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello.  After watching my fasting blood sugar levels over the past year, my doctor has recently said I am diabetic.  He has based his diagnosis on watching my readings in pairs, checking for two consecutive readings of 126 or above.  Over a period of months recently, this has been tested at his office using a glucometer although it was watched through lab tests earlier.  The two readings after which he diagnosed me were 125 and 163.  He then had me purchase a glucometer and monitor my levels before breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime twice a week for three weeks.  After doing so, all of the numbers on my sheet fell within the normal range.  I also had some blood work done for a clinical trial in which I am participating (risk for breast cancer -- another doctor) and this fasting reading was 103.  I will continue to diet, exercise, and take care of myself based on his diagnosis.  My question is this:  Is it possible for stress to affect your blood sugar readings?  The nurse in his office told me it sometimes does, and I tend to get very tense when I go there.  There are also some stressful situations in my life relating to other family members' health.  My doctor seemed to spend a long time looking over his notes and the numbers (home results and lab from clinical trial) at my appointment yesterday.  He has scheduled non-fasting lab work for my next appointment. 

Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 2/28/2006 6:37 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi Babsie,

When you're stressed, your blood sugar levels rise. Stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol kick in since one of their major functions is to raise blood sugar to help boost energy when it's needed most. Think of the fight-or-flight response. You can't fight danger when your blood sugar is low, so it rises to help meet the challenge. Both physical and emotional stress can prompt an increase in these hormones, resulting in an increase in blood sugars.

People who aren't diabetic have compensatory mechanisms to keep blood sugar from swinging out of control. But in people with diabetes, those mechanisms are either lacking or blunted, so they can't keep a lid on blood sugar. 

So the question becomes, are you diabetic?  I couldn't tell you, and your doctor seems to be wrestling with this very question.  Does stress have the ability to raise your blood glucose levels?  Most definately, although in a healthy non diabetic the "white coat" phenomenon could raise your blood pressure, but probably not your BS reading.  HOWEVER, repeatability is the most important thing to any diagnosis, and this is what you have done in giving the doctor a "series" of readings to work with.  Let us know how you make out with your next test.  My guess is you're probably normal, but Im going to let the specialists tell you for sure.

scool  Warren


It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not. - James Gordon, M.D.
What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. - George Dennison Prentice

I can only please one person per day, today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.


Babsie50
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 2/28/2006 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your reply, Warren. Have a great day!

Babsie 50

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 2/28/2006 8:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Babsie,
You have a very good doctor! He is trying his darnedest to be sure that you don't become a full blown diabetic, possibly necessitation medication. I think that his caution should give you pause to think about your lifestyle and maybe do some things here to help yourself. At this stage when you are just getting used to the idea of having diabetes it's easy to dismiss the high readings as flukes or to ignore them. (I know that's what I did!)

That being said, you may want to add some simple changes to your life. 1/2 hour of gentle medical yoga or a walk around the block every day might do you a world of good for your future. Some of the best stress busters are simple, enjoyable forms of exercise (not always the heavy workout at the gym.) Diet changes take a little getting used to... Adding more vegetables to your meals in place of starches... cooking with olive oil or peanut oil... Reading EVERY single nutrution statement on every food you buy so you know if you can include it in your food plan... Simple things that help. There's lots you can do at this stage to fend off the diabetic demons who have already gotten ahold of many of us. Much of what we have to do now we would have done before if someone would have told us! That's why I'm telling you now! tongue

If your fasting blood sugars at the next set of labs is still high be sure that the doctor includes a prescription for diabetic teaching, nutrition training and possibly emotional assistance for you. And keep coming back here for help. That's what the peeps on this forum are all about. Everyone here has gone thru what you are going thru or watched their child go thru it.. so hang in there girlfriend! We'll be here for you.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Post Edited (Jeannie143) : 2/28/2006 8:58:13 AM (GMT-7)


Babsie50
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 2/28/2006 9:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you, Jeannie. (My mother's name is Jeanne!) I have been trying to improve my lifestyle. Weight loss is the big issue here, and that will take some time. (Lost 50 over the past several years, but still need to lose more.) I have been eating more salads and veggies, cutting way back on the starches and rarely drink any kind of soda any more. Iced tea is another story. I have also stepped up exercising over the past 6 weeks--lately riding the stationary bike for 30 minutes a day. When I don't do that, I do in-home walking videos. I think I am on the right track, but it will just take time.

What do you know about chromium picolinate? There was a syndicated MD's column in our local paper that said the FDA had approved it only in the 400 microgram/ twice per day dose. A pharmacist friend said her dad (also a pharmacist and diabetic) thinks it has helped him.

bookworm
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 3/1/2006 8:25 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi, I'm a new member.  I knew I had diabetes for awhile (had been gestational twice) but finally went to the doctor........had a sugar of 341..........After two weeks on ActoPlus Met and following the diet recommended to me by my physician and diabetes educator (get the book: the GI (Glycemic Index) Diet, by Rick Gallop), I lost 7 pounds in the first two weeks and have a fasting sugar of 109..........I feel so much better and I am happy that I am being proactive.  I would urge all people not to rely solely on non-traditional medicine with diabetes.  Home remedies or 'natural' remedies are fine as a supplement to whatever your physician prescribes if he/she will approve them, but this disease is nothing to fool around with.  You could have a heart attack or stroke, or end up  having your eyesight gone or your limbs amputated while you are waiting for a 'natural'  cure to bring your blood sugar down to an acceptable level.  Get treatment now by a doctor who REALLY understands diabetes, usually an internist who specializes in this disease, and do what you are told. 

Babsie, if you have not heard of the Glycemic Index Diet (really not a diet, it is a lifestyle change), do yourself a favor and read the book!  You can still eat like a human being and lose weight.  The trick is understanding which foods have a high glycemic index and avoiding those foods........did you know that all foods release glucose into the body at different rates?  It was a revelation to me!  Very empowering!

The other book that was recommended to me by my doctor and diabetes educator is a little pocket book by Alan Borushek called The Calorie King Calorie, Fat and Carbohydrate Counter.  It is a hefty little pocket book with the fat, carb and calorie counts of just about every food, even brand names.  In the back there is a section that tells the same information on meals eaten in over 200 restaurants.  I have a copy for home and one in the car.  You can always find something to eat, and know what you are eating, and feel good about it at the same time.

I'm excited about my start on this new plan, seeing diabetes as an opportunity to do better for myself and keep me around awhile, since I have children.  I wish everyone else good health and a positive attitude.

Babsie50 said...
Thank you, Jeannie. (My mother's name is Jeanne!) I have been trying to improve my lifestyle. Weight loss is the big issue here, and that will take some time. (Lost 50 over the past several years, but still need to lose more.) I have been eating more salads and veggies, cutting way back on the starches and rarely drink any kind of soda any more. Iced tea is another story. I have also stepped up exercising over the past 6 weeks--lately riding the stationary bike for 30 minutes a day. When I don't do that, I do in-home walking videos. I think I am on the right track, but it will just take time.

What do you know about chromium picolinate? There was a syndicated MD's column in our local paper that said the FDA had approved it only in the 400 microgram/ twice per day dose. A pharmacist friend said her dad (also a pharmacist and diabetic) thinks it has helped him.

Warren
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 3/1/2006 9:06 AM (GMT -7)   
Bookworm,
 
Wow....couldn't have said it better myself.  Welcome to the forum!!  And I happen to agree with you 200%. Thanks for your post.
 
scool  Warren
It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not. - James Gordon, M.D.
What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease. - George Dennison Prentice

I can only please one person per day, today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 3/2/2006 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome Bookworm!
I have the CalorieKing application on my computer. I use it for tracking my foods and staying inline with my carb, fat and protein counts. I would be lost without it. The one thing I have found that is really neat about it is that when I used it for a while I actually learned the healthy/less healthy foods by heart and it helps me make better decisions. (I still don't always make the best decisions, but at least I KNOW how much damage I'm doing when I choose wrong, LOL!)


Babsie,
I understand the weight issues. Seems that our bodies store food energy as fat before they use it for cell use which leads us to think we are still hungry. One theory is that our bodies (diabetic ones) are perfectly adapted to living through famine, extended winters and ice ages. What they aren't adapted to is the abundant lifestyle that we have today. In order to do well on a diabetic food plan most women need to eat according to plan, not according to hunger. It appears that our hunger signals aren't exactly in line with our body's needs. This is why I like to do lots of the veggies and salads and greens. Filling, fiberous and funtional! But I have to admit that a nice steaming bowl of macaroni and cheese is welcome every now and then! tongue

(Attention men! Your metabolic needs differ from women. Some things that work for you won't work for us. Women need a certain amount of fat present to allow child bearing and lactation. This predisposes our bodies to storing fats.)

I found some very technical info on chromium. I'll let you read it and make your own informed decision. Just click on the colored word (link) below.

Chromium deficience and toxicity
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Babsie50
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 3/2/2006 11:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone!
 
Babsie

Babsie50
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 3/25/2006 6:27 AM (GMT -7)   

Good morning everyone.  I am posting on this thread because the previous information about me is here.  I had an appointment yesterday to find out the results of my A1C lab.  My result was 5.5 and my doctor was very pleased with that.  He also said he was proud of me for plugging away at the diet and exercise.  (My doctor is also a personal friend.) 

I have been monitoring my blood sugar these past three weeks  (2x/week) before and after meals and before bedtime.  He seemed to feel that all of my numbers were doing pretty well but would like for me to get my fasting numbers down to 100.  They have ranged from 93 to 107 during those three weeks.  I also lost 4 pounds!

I think I had been denying that I was diabetic. There, I said it! Now I am ready to learn more about taking better care of myself (eating healthier meals was a big start).  I bought The ADA Complete Guide to Diabetes, Diabetes Meal Planning Made Easy, The Glycemic Index Diet and The Calorie King Fat and Carbohydrate Counter. There is also aprogram at our local hospital which I plan to attend. I have to admit that so far, this has not been so bad.  I ride the exercise bike for 30 minutes a day and have changed the way I eat.  Lots of veggies and salads.  I miss french fries!

Just wanted to give an update. Thanks everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 3/25/2006 6:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Babsie,
My doctor told me it was ok to have a 'naughty' day once a month when I could eat some of the things I really miss. I usually use it to go to a Chinese restauant and have some of my favorites. You could ask your doctor if that would be ok. Basically for me it helps me stay on track when I remember that I have a day off every once in a while when I can indulge in something that would normally be off limits. I can't be off track for more than one day in a row or I have trouble returning to my food plan. Hope this helps.
~ Jeannie

"People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."

- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


jtu91952
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 3/26/2006 1:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Same with me. If i get on my eating plan for more than a day, it is hard for me to return to my diet. I have lost 10 pounds in a month, and now that the weather is better i will start back on my walking regimen. I usually walk about three miles every day including w/e.
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