Reduce Stress to Help with YOUR DIABETES!!

By MewElla Latest Reply 2011-09-23 13:43:00 -0500
Started 2011-07-21 08:21:40 -0500

Stress affects people with diabetes, both with T1 and T2. Managing stress is not easy and it can most definitely affect your blood glucose levels. It affects the blood glucose in two ways.
First, people who are under stress may not be taking care of themselves. They may be eating more and exercising less. They may be forgetting to test bg #'s or to be planning healthy meals. They are completely overwhelmed with everything else.
Second, stress can change blood glucose levels directly. Relaxation is not a sustitute for exercise. Relaxation does include deep breathing and this does make you feel better. If things are piling up in your life, get out and walk-I call this my stress walk. Even a very short walk can give you a needed time out, releasing muscle tension and it allows more oxygen to enter your body and your brain…Breathe slowly and deeply…This is very effective in reducing stress. Why not try it???

70 replies

bargawi 2011-09-14 05:11:05 -0500 Report

well deed your essay is more valuable and right advise to all even who are pre or none daibetic too. pepole should notice any type of walk will increase and make your immine system stronger and daibete is an imunne diesase which lead to post complications as kidny or copd status .in addiion to nerev or viens problems .

CassandraG 2011-09-13 12:50:48 -0500 Report

I love to walk it out, but in 100+ weather I would get to add heat stroke to my list. Once it cool off I will be taking my grand daughter to the park, nothing releases my stress like hearing her laugh. We play inside now but can't wait until it cools off.

lissygirl 2011-09-12 09:02:27 -0500 Report

I have T2 and it was under control until my doctor gave me steroids to treat lichen planus in my mouth and on my legs. Then my blood sugar soared to almost 400. Now I can't seem to get it back to normal. It will be 178 in the am and 86 at night?My stress level is off the chart because I have to care for my 44 year old step-son who was diagnosed with psychosis back in 2003 and since he refuses to believe he is sick, he is a constant problem to deal with. He stopped taking his meds without me knowing it and had a psychotic episode which required hospitalization and since his release, he has gotten worse. I just put him back in the hospital and he is calling constantly wanting to come home. This just sends my stress over the top and my other son who lives with me too, just goes ballistic because he does not want me to bring his brother home. I can't exercise much because I have circulation problems in my legs and also have fibromyalgia which causes pain and fatigue. I can't meditate because I can't relax enough to even do that. I honestly don't know what to do anymore. I had planned to attend a diabetes training class for 3 days this week, but I cancelled it because I am so exhausted.

barbie51 2011-09-13 07:05:06 -0500 Report

I thought our 32yr old unemployed daughter with the big mouth and short temper
was a stress factor- bless your heart! I will most definately be praying for your situation as I firmly believe only God can do the impossible. I am now on Cymbalta for the depression I am going thru as a result of my situation. I am T1 Can you walk around inside the house any? I used to do that years ago? It doesn't take you away from those who stress you out, unless you can do it in your bedroom with the door closed?? Just a thought..any port in the storm. Even 10 min at a time is better than no time at all say the experts. Just do this mini exercise several times a day and see how you do. It may actually be all you can tolerate, but work none the less. God bless.

lissygirl 2011-09-13 07:12:05 -0500 Report

Thank you. I will give it a try. I take cymbalta also for depression and for the fibromyalgia pain but honestly don't know if it helps.I just pray daily too because that is all I have left that helps.

hobbygirl 2011-09-12 06:24:53 -0500 Report

Anyone have any suggestions for alternate physical exercise for one with lower back issues? I would love to be able to walk but the spasms make it nearly impossible and causes my right leg to lose feeling. My doctors just shrug their shoulders…

Ann Nassal
Ann Nassal 2011-09-13 17:15:01 -0500 Report

I understand what you are going through. Along with T2 Diabetes, I have fibromyalgia and sarcoidosis. In fact it was the high dose of steriods the doctors put me on that caused the diatebes. The one type of exercise that always gave me relief for at least 12 hours was aquatic exercises. The only downside to this was once the pain returned to my arms, legs, hips, back, shoulders and neck, it seemed to be worse. But I never wanted to lose those 12 hours when I would feel so much better. Good luck to you.

hobbygirl 2011-09-14 07:01:50 -0500 Report

Thanks Ann - I do enjoy the water and have noticed that when in the pool or at the lake, I can walk and move pain free. I just considered it play. I never actually thought about using the water for exercise. I will research this more to find specific exercises that may help. Again, thanks so much.

Skyview 2011-09-12 05:29:00 -0500 Report

In fact, the biggest disease today is stress, not diabetes. Stress is the cause of BP, Sugar and heart ailments. How to manage stress?
I manage is by doing meditation. It relaxes the mind and body, both. I do 30 minutes daily in the morning. It helps me a lot. Easy to leart nowadays as there are many who teach it, even on-line. If you don't find any one to help, contact me on small or +91 9884067671, any time I am at your service.

shortdog49 2011-09-11 23:20:39 -0500 Report

Question: How does one reduce stress when one your job is a 24/7 job and stressful to boot? Any suggestions.

MsKelly50 2011-09-11 14:22:23 -0500 Report

Good afternoon all of my DC friends. I have something that I want to share as well as get some helpful feed back on. First, let me say that for the past 11 yrs my partner and I have been raising our 3 grandchildren…we love and adore them, and for the most part they are great kids! Ok…here it goes, In August my step daugher came to stay with us (she claims to be leaving and divorcing her husband) they are her children that we are raising. My step daughter is grossly addicted to methadone, somas, vicodin, and xanax…not to metnion all of the stress and drama that she has brought into our home. My step daughter loves the drama and confusion that she brings with her everywhere she goes. I'm haivng such a difficult time managing my diabestes, my diet is way off and there have been multiple days where I have forgotten to take ALL of my meds including my insulin. What can I do to destress and get back on track…better yet how do I explain all this to my not so caring doctor when I go in a few days? My ungrateful step daughter is leaving on the 30th but until then my stress level is through the roof! Please offer some good advice and sincere words of wisdom. Thanks…I love you all!

java jay
java jay 2011-09-11 16:07:17 -0500 Report

I know it is really tough for you. However, You need to find a stress reliever. Even if it's for 30 minutes. If you can leave the house, go for a walk, or just go out side and work in the garden if you have one.

MsKelly50 2011-09-11 17:00:33 -0500 Report

Hi Java jay, thanks for the comment. Tomorrow (I know I should probably do it today) but as soon as my grandkids are off to school I'm gonna start walking again it will be good for me and my dog Molly! Thanks…(=

asisangel 2011-09-11 14:14:39 -0500 Report


jim healthy
jim healthy 2011-09-11 10:51:31 -0500 Report

Hi, MewElla! Another place to investigate is your thyroid and adrenal health, if you haven't already. Stress depletes the adrenals and produces chronic fatigue. Thyroid and adrenal dysfunction are also linked to depression — your old bugaboo, if I remember correctly. When thyroid is low, it effects the entire endocrine system and can deplet cortisol and elevate cholesterol. Hope this is helpful and that you're feeling well. Jim

laliz 2011-09-11 10:33:57 -0500 Report

Walking is a great de-stressor. I am trying to walk more often to help control my diabetes.

Anonymous 2011-09-11 09:53:36 -0500 Report

Just dealing with this damn disease/curse 24/7/365 forevermore without end is a stress in and of itself that never be erased

jim healthy
jim healthy 2011-09-11 10:45:53 -0500 Report

Don't be so sure it can "never be erased," my friend. You have the power to do a lot if you are willing. Changing your diet can keep your blood sugar under control as well as — and often, better — than medication. Plenty of studies show that insulin resistance can be reversed. And giving your pancreas a rest, by restricting sugar and carbs, can help it rest and recover a bit. Exercise, especially weight-bearing, will make the insulin receptors on your muscles insulin-sensitive again so you can burn more of your food calories for fuel instead of storing them as fat. All this (and more) is within your power. You have the choice to sit around and "curse this disease" or get motivated and get moving to make some changes that can produce some real improvements. It's up to you (as it was before you got T2). Think of this as wake-up call and rise to the challenge!

Anonymous 2011-09-11 15:24:36 -0500 Report

…but that does nothing for t1 which is my dx

jim healthy
jim healthy 2011-09-11 15:32:41 -0500 Report

That's not true. You have the power to improve your health to the point where your doc can lower your insulin dose significantly. This can have a dramtically positive effect on your risk of complications because high levels of insulin in your bloodstream aren't good for you. The less insulin you require, the better off you will be — now and down the road. Less insulin will also make it easier for your top lose weight. I know a T1 who lowered his insulin dose by more half by simply improving his diet and lifestyle. I encourage you to go online and educate yourself. Use this forum to connect with other T1s who have made similar improvements. You really do have the power if you choose to use it.

farmer Harry
farmer Harry 2011-09-11 12:26:10 -0500 Report

conventional doctors will never cure your diabetes with drugs only manage the symptoms If you think you can take drugs and eat and live the way you did before think again drugs do not solve the problem it is up to YOU drugs may be necessary but they are not the only answer. Just remember as long as you take drugs you are a cash cow to the medical establishment

PastorBob 2011-09-11 11:46:13 -0500 Report

My oldest daughter has T2 and decided that she was tired of the med's so she started exercising and watching what she eats. She has last weight and now (with her Dr's approval) is completely off of her med's. This is one proud dad!

MsKelly50 2011-09-11 14:27:08 -0500 Report

Congrats…that too is my goal, it would seem that the older I have gotten the more medications that my doctor has perscribed me.

jim healthy
jim healthy 2011-09-11 12:57:52 -0500 Report

That's great! T2's are succeeding like this everday. And this is best "medicine" we have for T2. Congratulations.

nzingha 2011-09-11 08:19:58 -0500 Report


katlovsdan 2011-09-11 05:08:57 -0500 Report

i like to walk it helps me out. i also like to do strength training to help with the stress so that to helps me. i know if i can take a hot shower also helps out whenever i feel like stress is getting me down.

Maja1959 2011-09-11 07:44:00 -0500 Report

I just got out of the hospital last week they say that I have cardio myopathy related to my diabetes. So I am trying to set up a regimen to follow. I am on metaforman, and now take a series of heart drugs. They say I have 20% of my heart pumping. A normal person has 55%. I want to start walking but was curious as to what kind of strength exercises you do?

jim healthy
jim healthy 2011-09-11 10:34:32 -0500 Report

I suggest you investigate hawthorn … CoQ10 …d ribose … and l-arginine for starters. You may also want to check out Dr. Sinatra's book on dealing with situations such as your. He had a lot of success with pumping dysfunction when he was still practicing. Good luck!

papidad 2011-09-10 22:32:01 -0500 Report

Learning how to adujust to frustration, anxiety and confusion without the aide of medicine is just as important as monitoring your blood sugar.

papidad 2011-09-11 12:01:27 -0500 Report

Prayer is a good beginning. Clearing the mind of all things, such as chores, bills, what i have to do tomorrow. Concentrating just on relaxing the body, listening to your heartbeat, becoming one with your inner spirit. Then start concentrating on the good things yuou have, being alive, having food, a place to live. Do this on a continual basis and you may find some peace.

sweetj 2011-09-10 19:53:36 -0500 Report

Thanks Mary, I never thought about I could be stressing. I feel depressed sometimes about the diabeties. I get frustrated a lot with all the changes, just recently another medication was added and…I will start the breathing exercise thanks :)

chefhomerleethomas 2011-09-10 14:45:03 -0500 Report

The best antidote for me… before I go for my daily walk (now I'm up to jogging) I ingest Siberian ginseng mixed in lemon balm tea. Also, diabetics are known to have a higher alkalinity level. A mineral called zeolite is fabulous for balancing out your ph level and ridding your body of heavy metals. Try these regimens for one month and see how much better you feel. Also, one way to rid stress from your life is, "Don't buy a car you can't push."

P.S. I love you guys!

jim healthy
jim healthy 2011-09-11 00:34:28 -0500 Report

Chef — Did you know that ginseng raises blood sugar levels and is contraindicated?

chefhomerleethomas 2011-09-11 03:44:24 -0500 Report

You're exactly correct. Most ginseng is contraindicated, but recent studies have shown that Eleuthro (Siberian ginseng) boosts the immune system, lowers blood sugar levels in Type II s and neutralizes in a low blood sugar environment.

But, before ingesting any supplement… one should always consult their physician. Thanks for the clarification.

Kathae 2011-09-10 22:51:44 -0500 Report

Careful with the jogging. My husband used to jog, and his chiropractor told him to stop because as you age, your bones get further apart from loss of liquid and then they are banging against each other and can cause a lot of pain. A brisk walk is just as good.

chefhomerleethomas 2011-09-11 00:36:58 -0500 Report

Thank you… Believe me… I am a very, very slow jogger. Your brisk walking is probably faster than my jog.

Kathae 2011-09-11 01:25:13 -0500 Report

Not me, I amble. Besides I am lazy. I try to do exercises that don't involve walking or running. I was born with rickets, and although my parents did everything possible to strengthen my legs, swimming, etc., they just never got very strong.

Kathae 2011-09-11 14:17:39 -0500 Report

Thank you, and for me the same to you too. From your screen name I am guessing you might be a chef?

shoulders 2011-09-10 14:14:19 -0500 Report

Helps to not only clear your head it also helps to clear your stress and helps with bg. reading. I do this, until the last couple of weeks. Due to the excessive swelling in my limbs. Still take a ride in my scooter to help clear my head and get a good breath of fresh air.

B-24Mike 2011-09-10 12:33:59 -0500 Report

Good points - especially the idea of a walk to get away for a bit. My job requires 50+ hour work weeks and has us meeting a very aggresive schedule for completion. I'm going to put the word out to my co-workers!

stormz 2011-09-10 23:18:21 -0500 Report

Walking use to be my way of reducing my stress but then I broke my ankle. Now my body is rejecting the hardware and it even hurts to put on shoes. So I had to come up with new ways to reduce my stress. I know this is going to sound silly. We all like being online and I found a game I really like. So I found this slot game that is free to play. Every time I click that spin button I do a little dance in my chair. I am no longer hurting my foot, I am having fun and forgetting all about my stress. It works for me. My last A1C test came back as a 5!!!! You can't get better than that when you have diabeties. I have to say I am proud of myself and having fun while I am doing it. Any one else in my situation should give it a try it works miracles.

Carol2x 2011-09-10 06:44:42 -0500 Report

Great post. Stress is a big part of my job in the hospital and I have learned how to deal with it through breathing exercises-and my "mantra" I love my job, I love my job.

icudeejay 2011-09-06 21:17:09 -0500 Report

I have also noticed that when my pain level is high so is my bg. Am not able to walk but I do sit to stands and stretch my legs helps with pain thereby lowering bg.

summerb 2011-09-06 14:10:10 -0500 Report

I think that the suggestions you gave for relieving stress are excellent ones. It sometimes can be very difficult to manage the stresses that life puts us through but with diabetes in the mist whew! Thanks for the advice!

TsalagiLenape 2011-09-06 11:29:19 -0500 Report

I can when I can. Right now its raining and currently have sinusitis. Ugh! Yet found out that when I can de-stress it helps me tremendously in lowering my BG numbers.

Shah49 2011-09-06 08:16:23 -0500 Report

Some time back I recall watching some TV pro gramme ( I forget which one) in which the specialist suggested a breathing exercise by blocking one nostril ( by thumb I think) and taking breath in for five minutes or moreby the other nostril and then repeat it with the other nostril. This he said could immensely release one from stress. I do it when I have not forgotten to do it and I think it helps me.

GabbyPA 2011-07-22 08:26:56 -0500 Report

I have been doing some breathing exercises to help, specially at night before I fall asleep. I have a brain that won't shut off at night and this helps me a lot. I breathe in deep, all good thoughts. Then when I exhale, I send out all the bad thoughts. I do it for about 10 minutes or until I fall asleep.

jim healthy
jim healthy 2011-09-11 11:00:33 -0500 Report

I had the same trouble. I now count backwards from 100 using my breath. By focusing my my mind on the number AND the physical sensation of either the incoming/outgoing breath touching my nostrils (very quieting!) or visualizing the breath entering at the soles of my feet and travelling up the length of my body and exiting from the top of my head as I exhale, I'm able to get to sleep within minutes. I have a ironclad rule that I will give no attention to any thoughts during this time. Many nights I am sound asleep before I reach the count of 90 (and I was troubled by insomnia for years).

Kerstin Lujan
Kerstin Lujan 2011-09-06 17:26:50 -0500 Report

Thanks so much for the breathing exercise,I too am not able to shut off my thoughts & breathing in good thoughts & exhaling the bad ones is such a good idea!

Ocean's Breeze
Ocean's Breeze 2011-07-22 13:05:52 -0500 Report

My mind races too. even if I feel very tired I can really wake myself up thinking about "everything"! I will certainly try this.

SuziOJ 2011-07-21 16:35:58 -0500 Report

Great advice, Mary. Stress makes my numbers go up rapidly. Sometimes theta rise over 100 points. I'm not able to walk right now but do try to stretch and breathe deep everyday. Right now I am out of work and that helps a lot, even though I stress about the bills and loosing my insurance!

JoleneAL 2011-07-21 11:57:57 -0500 Report

It would be great if less stress meant not having to stress over being a diabetic! But telling me not to stress and not stressing are 2 different things. I don't have time to meditate to de-stress - I have a full-time job to deal with. Its a nice idea, but if I wasn't working, all of this wouldn't come into play - but we all can't be that fortunate not to have to pay the bills or the insurance bill!

Andre Chimene
Andre Chimene 2011-09-10 22:45:22 -0500 Report

Jolene, you can meditate anywhere. All it takes is some deep breathing…which you are doing anyway. Youu can do it driving to work, standing in line, bathing, cooking or anytime. Getting your BS normal by following Dr. Bernstein's protocol takes alot of stress of diabetes away. You will know that you are healing instead of harming.

Paul Weller
Paul Weller 2011-09-10 13:33:00 -0500 Report

One benefit of deep breathing is that it de-stresses and provides extra oxygen to the blood for added energy and you can do it at any time, even while working. Try taking a deep breath slowly inhaling through your NOSE to the count of 5. The exhale through the nose slowly until the breath is gone. Repeat this three times. Try to do this every couple of hours, or as often as possible.

Deep breathing involves inflating the diaphragm (above the waist) so that the mid-line expands with each inhalation and contracts with each exhalation.

Whenever you feel stress coming on, deep breathe. ( I wish I could remember my own advice, but when I do, I know it works!!)

In any case congratulate yourself when you do remember! Hope this helps.

Marytea 2011-07-21 09:05:21 -0500 Report

There are some great 5 minute or less meditation type stress reliever aps for iphones. Some are faith based but many are not. I like 3 Minute Retreat and Relax and Rest (when I have more time). They are relaxing.