How does stress affect blood sugar levels?

How does stress affect blood sugar levels?
Stress is a part of our everyday life. It can either be bad or good. Let’s consider, your first day at work or school may be stressful, but it’s not bad stress. Sometimes, we impose stress on ourselves to meet a deadline or to find a way out of a confusing situation. Acute stress state is stress for a short time with no specific harmful effects on our bodies. But continuous or chronic stress can be damaging. Regular sleep and stress management techniques can be fruitful to lessen the damage caused by stressful situations.
Stress dramatically affects our blood sugar levels. Your body responds to stressful conditions by releasing certain hormones. These hormones increase the level of glucose in your bloodstream. In diabetic patients, this rise in blood sugar level is alarming and can be life-threatening. Since diabetic patients are already under the constant stress of managing their sugar level, they need to avoid all the external stress.

What causes the rise in sugar levels?

In stressful conditions, our body gets alert to cope up with the situation. To do so, it releases certain hormones of fight or flight response. The main hormones which respond to these situations are adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline works in a lot of ways. It increases the breathing and heart rate, directs blood to muscles, makes muscles utilize glucose effectively, and inhibits insulin synthesis.
The main culprit in raising the level of blood sugar is cortisol. Cortisol is the primary hormone that makes glucose enter the bloodstream. Glucose from the bloodstream enters muscle to be converted into energy. This energy is utilized for the expected fight or flight response. However, in diabetic people, this might be dangerous. This is the reason people with either diabetes mellitus type 1 or 2 are advised to control their sugar level in stressful conditions more efficiently.

How can stress be managed effectively?

To manage stress, first, the triggers or conditions of stress should be identified. For diabetics, the management of sugar levels can itself be a stressful condition. So, the first thing you can do to avoid stress is to avoid triggers of stress. For example, if involving in certain affairs or working more than your limits leaves you stressed, step back and find a solution to these problems.
For mental stress, meditation is always a good option to go for. It helps remove the negative thoughts. Emotional stress can be reduced by changing the environment for a moment. Follow a deep and slow breathing pattern for a couple of minutes. It will lead to an emotionally stable state. Muscle relaxing techniques are also very fruitful in reducing physical stress. Effective communication with your close friend or adding up some healthy activity in your daily routine is also a commendable idea. Option of stress-relieving therapy sessions for diabetic patients is also available.
Stress can be draining for a normal person, but it is really damaging for a diabetic person. Fortunately, stress can be managed by following certain stress-relieving techniques. A diabetic person is advised to practice such techniques to avoid the harmful effects of high blood sugar levels caused by stress.

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