Getting stressed can raise the level of sugar in your blood. The level of blood sugar rises when you suffer stress due to an increase in the presence of certain hormones in your blood.
Cortisol is the hormone that floods your body during the ‘fight or flight’ response, and it helps release glucose into the blood to give a surge of energy. Very helpful when you are being chased by a dinosaur, not so helpful if the only reason you are stressed is over what to wear to the staff Christmas party.
It’s not the glucose that causes the problem, that is, if your body’s insulin is working properly. To someone with diabetes though, the effect can be damaging, as you can end up with a build up of sugar in the blood stream that you can’t get rid of.
Being stressed is a double edged sword for diabetics: the rise in blood sugar from the stress itself; and, the risk that when you are stressed you may turn to the wrong type of foodstuff to comfort yourself. You can then end up in a vicious downward spiral of being stressed which pushes your blood sugar up; which makes you more stressed because you’re stressed about the fact that your blood sugar is high.
So what can you do about it?
A twenty minute walk, a cycle ride or swim can help.
Take up a relaxing hobby
Sewing, knitting, woodwork or doing something as basic as crossword puzzles can help.
Sitting in a chair for ten minutes a day, closing your eyes and meditating, or try listening to classical music.
When I’m stressed I do most of the above, although, I’m not good at crossword puzzles and tend to give them a miss. The main thing I like to do when I am stressed is to write; writing is an activity that I find very relaxing and very effective at helping me manage my stress level