Stress and blood sugar

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/28/2006 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Does anyone know if stress will cause blood sugar to increase?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 534
   Posted 6/28/2006 4:41 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Buffy,

Take some time to read through the threads in this forum and you'll find some related to stress.  Yes it definately can have a detrimental effect on your blood sugar and your blood pressure as well as other hormones in your body.  In fact, lack of sleep and constant stress are 2 known major factors or causes of type 2 diabetes!

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.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 6/28/2006 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I know that acute stress is one of the 'other' reasons for the A1c being high. This is in non-diabetics too. Stress does cause high blood glucose levels in diabetics as well as non-diabetics. I can't say how often this happens and really don't have a good meaning for "acute" as it is used here.
type 2 - dx 12/04
metformin 500mg 3x - avandia 2mg 2x

Post Edited (desertdiabetic) : 6/28/2006 4:43:14 PM (GMT-6)

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/28/2006 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you very much for your answers. I have been diabetic for a number of years. Three years ago I cut down on carborhydrates and was able to get off insulin. My blood sugars have been fine until a couple of weeks ago. All at once it seemed to go crazy. I have tried everything to get it back to normal. Today my husband was causing me to get very distressed. My sugar shot right up. It was then I began to wonder if the stress he has been causing lately had anything to do with my sudden increase. I was beginning to worry that the doctor would want me to go back on insulin.
Thank you again.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 6/28/2006 10:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Regardless of what meds you take or diet you use, the numbers are the important part. Don't worry about having to go back on insulin, just keep those numbers down. That's the key. As far as stress goes, you can do some deep relaxation breathing to help with the stress. Or you can tell your hubby that he is not helping your numbers... ask him to find a lower stress way to communicate. It's worth a try..
~ 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

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 101
   Posted 7/1/2006 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi there,



Source: American Diabetes Association

Stress results when something causes your body to behave as if it were under attack. Sources of stress can be physical, like injury or illness. Or they can be mental, like problems in your marriage, job, health, or finances.

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.

Many sources of stress are not short-term threats. For example, it can take many months to recover from surgery. Stress hormones that are designed to deal with short-term danger stay turned on for a long time. As a result, long-term stress can cause long-term high blood glucose levels.

Many long-term sources of stress are mental. Your mind sometimes reacts to a nondangerous event as if it were a real threat. Like physical stress, mental stress can be short term - from taking a test to getting stuck in a traffic jam. It can also be long term: from working for a demanding boss to taking care of an aging parent. In mental stress, the body pumps out hormones to no avail. Neither fighting nor fleeing is any help when the "enemy" is your own mind.

How Stress Affects Diabetes

In people with diabetes, stress can alter blood glucose levels. It does this in two ways. First, people under stress may not take good care of themselves. They may drink more alcohol or exercise less. They may forget, or not have time, to check their glucose levels or plan good meals. Second, stress hormones may also alter blood glucose levels directly.

Scientists have studied the effects of stress on glucose levels in animals and people. Diabetic mice under physical or mental stress have elevated glucose levels. The effects in people with type 1 diabetes are more mixed. While most people's glucose levels go up with mental stress, others' glucose levels can go down. In people with type 2 diabetes, mental stress often raises blood glucose levels.

Physical stress, such as illness or injury, causes higher blood glucose levels in people with either type of diabetes.

For some people with diabetes, controlling stress with relaxation therapy seems to help. It is more likely to help people with type 2 diabetes than people with type 1 diabetes. This difference makes sense. Stress blocks the body from releasing insulin in people with type 2 diabetes.



New Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/1/2006 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you very much for the information. I have been trying to reduce my stress. The dog and I go for a walk. I have been getting to bed in good time and the last few days I have slept very well.
I really appreciate all the suggestions. My sugar was good this morning.

New Member

Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 7/6/2006 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, i read the posts here and they're all so helpful. Thanks!
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