STRESS OR ANXIETY ,the effect it can cause

By jupton1 Latest Reply 2013-12-25 06:47:38 -0600
Started 2008-05-14 15:40:38 -0500

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.

52 replies

TellT 2013-12-25 06:47:38 -0600 Report

I've been looking for information about sugar drops under stress. Really, I'm sick of others telling me how my body reacts, feels, pain levels, or does. Doctors and others keep telling me my sugars "must" rise, I'm hypo, under stress, more hypo. Wrong, mine drops severely and did just that again last evening when confronted with a dangerous situation. Worsened when the battery on my meter failed. I think science or all these doctors, professionals, who claim to be gods and claim all absolutes many times have it wrong. This is not the only issue that must disagree with them on, and that they have put me in very un-healthy situations, or not allowed treatments/meds cause they think they know me, my body, or what may work for me. The VA is absolutely horrible about this since their health care means.. one size fits all.

They also tested, supposedly, my adrenal and said all was fine then, but that was at a time when I wasn't having issues. I also cannot have some event happen at will so they can see it. I have also known people with the same issue. My father's sugar does rise when stressed or hyped up, and stays there for quite a while. I really wish people and ego trippers or so-called professionals would cease spouting off absolutes or telling people to get on anti-depressants or something stupid just because we may be different and not having systems they are brain-washed to call absolutes when dealing with a variety of people and various issues.

2009-01-05 16:41:59 -0600 Report

JT1, for short, This is an absolutely excellent discription of stress related illness. I have been trying to explain to my husband and I could not do it this well. Thankyou; I will let him read right now, Claudia

2009-01-05 16:52:26 -0600 Report

Thanks so much for this post. It is the first one I actually got him to read and he learned a lot, Thanks again. JT1, Claudia

marla3300 2008-12-09 22:58:14 -0600 Report

I want to know if anyone else has extreme high sugar levels when under stress. Because of my stress at work it often goes into the 500 range, but as soon as I am away from my stress, it drops down to close to normal and then after my injections, it will become normal or low.

marla3300 2008-12-09 22:59:39 -0600 Report

If this is normal, can I file a suit against my employer?

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-12-09 23:10:43 -0600 Report

Marla, They would probably tell you to go get a job that don't cause you any stress.(LOL) And if you do find one let the rest of the world know. They would find another diabetic with normal BS, that work with you and that would throw that case out the door. They don't make nothing easy for anyone…Debe

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2008-12-09 23:16:13 -0600 Report

You can, of course, sue whomever you please, if you can find someone to represent you. However, I don't think you'd get very far in this case. Your medical condition is beyond their control. If the job is too stressful, you would be expected to find one that caused less stress, I would imagine.

I do know that over the years stress has effected my BS readings at least as much - probably more - than what I ate. Like many people, I have had a number of things happen in my personal life and the lives of family members to cause extreme stress…and subsequently out-of-control BS readings. As I stated elsewhere, my doctor kept offering me something for anxiety, but I resisted for years, thinking I ought to be able to deal with it on my own. I finally conceded to a low dosage of Lexapro, which really made a world of difference for me. Also helped me sleep better, which had been a very real problem for some time. You know how your mind starts racing and you begin worrying about things when you lay down and try to sleep. Or you wake up and can't go back to sleep because of worry, etc.

I think most of us realize that stress can wreak havoc on our minds and our bodies. It can cause huge family problems and problems with work. A vicious circle in some ways. The work can cause the stress, and the stress can cause us to be less able to handle our jobs. Not fun having to go to work and perform at a certain level when you feel like crap. Or when you're worried to death about your health and other things, like finances, etc.

I wish you luck in whatever you decide to do. I pray things will go well for you and begin to look a little better. This has to be so hard on you and your family. Hang in there. God's got your back!

Robert C. H.
Robert C. H. 2008-10-23 08:40:58 -0500 Report

Your article on stress and anxiety was very good and I did reply but feel I had to reply again, as I have just been released from the hosp. and all the while there my blood sugars ran much higher than at home even on a strick diabetic diet and meds for panic attacks and depression, the drs and nurses all said it usually happens to people in the hosp because of stress and anxiety, will be looking forward to more items written by you concerning this area thanks Robert c H

Robert C. H.
Robert C. H. 2008-10-23 08:40:58 -0500 Report

Your article on stress and anxiety was very good and I did reply but feel I had to reply again, as I have just been released from the hosp. and all the while there my blood sugars ran much higher than at home even on a strick diabetic diet and meds for panic attacks and depression, the drs and nurses all said it usually happens to people in the hosp because of stress and anxiety, will be looking forward to more items written by you concerning this area thanks Robert c H

Goddess 2008-10-22 02:09:02 -0500 Report

I agree 100%. I have been extremely stressed out. I can't stand arguing it leads to my anxiety attacks.

Robert C. H.
Robert C. H. 2008-09-11 05:14:13 -0500 Report

SYour article is very infomative, and covers a great deal, but I feel you should have included PANIC ATTACKS,init they come from out of no where create havoc with a person and also result in the same reactions,the difference being the phobias it causes, and the attacks can happen a lot more often than anxity attacks,SorryI Hadn't read the replys before making my comments

Ani 2008-09-10 06:36:23 -0500 Report

Thanks for this message. It has helped me understand why my sugar has been higher than usual lately I've been realy stressed out that eventhough I 've been watching what I eat and doing exercise my sugar levels have been very high.

whateverdidi 2008-06-29 15:01:18 -0500 Report

i dont know how not to be stressed. i am a director of nursing and it is probably the most stress ever. also i have a 20 year daughter who is driving me crazy. and then this stressful world we live in. no wonder everyone has diabetes. i am reading several books by Zig Zigler. he is a wonderful author and motivator.

jupton1 2008-06-29 19:02:51 -0500 Report

I no what Your saying I have 1 girl 21 & 1 -12 Im a single father & I ran as a medic & a firefighter.So I had to learn how to deal with stress…JU

taz202020 2008-05-25 20:08:37 -0500 Report

I've had panic attacks for many years. I have improved alot in the last couple of years through positive self talk, relazation tapes, therapy and meds. But I've been this way since I was a kid coming from a very stressful home. I think it may have become a coping mechanism to stay alert when things were scary. I still have some panicky moments but I can handle them much better now. I keep a familar schedule and places to go that help keep the anxiety down. I'm still a high stress person and I kind of laughed when the instructer said that you need to keep your stress levels down. I understand why now but it's a huge problem for me. I will keep working on it though. My bg's have been higher lately so maybe stress is causing it. I'll start to monitor it.
Thanks for the article.

Sloan 2008-05-26 04:09:42 -0500 Report

I have had panic attacks for the last 20 years. I have tried meds, therapy, and anything that I can think of. Nothing has really worked. I believe some of this is genetic. I read where the gene is passed from the father to the female child or from the mother to the male child. It hs proved to be true in my family.

jupton1 2008-05-26 06:37:14 -0500 Report

I believe enyone can beat anxiety.I had it for 10 years,I gave into it and excepted it.Anxiety loves negetive thinking,the key is to stay out of your head..I gave up my anxiety meds also after a 10 year fight..Best of luck ,John

Hil 2008-05-27 04:35:47 -0500 Report

I believe it is genetic but my Mom passed it on to me and I have passed it on to my daughters. I also wonder about hormones as after the change even with close family deaths and me fighting cancer I no longer have the real bad attacks after menopause.

taz202020 2008-06-04 12:37:47 -0500 Report

My attacks have been for 30 years. I'm not so hard on myself as I used to be and after time and alot of hard work on the negative thinking. You have to pat yourself on the back every time you go somewhere that causes the panid attacks. It used to make me mad when a therapist told me to do that bcause I was frustated about these baby steps. Mad that I couldn't do what "normal" people could without giving it a second thought. A couple other things that have helped is telling myself I can leave a stressful situation if I have to. Just getting that into my head was significant because it lowered my stress level by reminding myself of that. I also sat next to the door when in a room knowing again I could leave quickly if neccesary. One of the biggest things that helped me was making contact with another person like in a store. I might just ask a question as to where I could find a product. Anything you are comfortable with. The people were always nice and it put things back into prospective. I was safe and didn't need to panic. Research has shown some genetic links and I see it in some of my relatives. There is so much more info and help available now to help prevent the attacks from going to extremes like ours. Years ago doctors didn't even believe in panic attacks. It is well known that most people don't understand the severity of a panic attack. I'm not sure if it really ever goes away but we can hopefully learn to have better management through awareness of our enviornment and know what are trigger points are. I know many people and families try to help and have good intentions. I know I wouldn't be able to understand the complexity of this if I hadn't had a panic attack myself. I'm truly not trying to offend anyone for their advise because it may very well help others with their anxiety and remind those of us with a panic diorder about things we can do to help ourselves.

jupton1 2008-06-11 15:06:35 -0500 Report

I had panic attacks for around 8 years,I have beat them alot ,just give into them and quit fighting them and they start to go away.Positive thinking helped me alot…

jupton1 2008-06-19 05:07:23 -0500 Report

Remember to face Your fears head on.The only thing to fear is fear itself..John

Bugsy - 24241
Bugsy - 24241 2008-10-22 02:05:27 -0500 Report

I know fears are often just instilled in you by your thinking. But when you can't do a mindset- you end up in a panic or anxiety attack. I've done the self talk for years but sometimes- just can't stop the thoughts. Thanks for the input.

taminsea 2008-05-25 17:52:09 -0500 Report

I have a lot of anxiety and suffer from the affects of stress. I recently needed to go on leave from work due to carpal tunnel syndrome. On top of that I have some other medical problems including Type II Diabetes. My workplace and the human resources department there have made it very difficult for me to stay at my job and do well. The thing is I am very good at my job, I just don't like it. It is customer service, so I mostly hear people complain to me all day about things that I have minimal power on fixing. I know this job and how I react to the stress of this job has ruined my health. I am eating more and more due to the stress, boredom and repetitive nature of my job. This short time away has already helped and I am able to step back and think about how out of control my stress has become. My weight has soared and now it is going to be a tough road to try and lose weight, so that I can start to feel better. Thanks for posting this it really helped.

bluecatc 2008-05-25 16:38:49 -0500 Report

I am still in the new stage of all the diabetes information!! But yes for me, when some of my family come around my blood sugar will soar very high. If you have any ideas how to help this I would love to hear from you.. Thank you

jupton1 2008-05-26 17:14:24 -0500 Report

Stress is the consequence of the failure to adapt to change. Less simply: it is the condition that results when person-environment transactions lead the individual to perceive a discrepancy, whether real or not, between the demands of a situation and the resources of the person's biological, psychological or social systems. Hope this explains what stress is..John

bluedenim 2008-05-25 01:36:14 -0500 Report

I can see this because it has happened to me. My son got married two months ago. In Feb., I was so stressed out planning and preparing for the wedding. My blood sugar jumped from 150 to 300 in one month. I did everything and couldn't get it down. My Doctor told me I needed to calm down and to tell my son that I couldn't handle all of the stress. The Doctor put me on Januvia and that did start bringing my blood sugar down. I was still stressed out, so it didn't go down to where it needed to be until after the wedding. So those kind of situations can really run your blood sugar up. I am happy to say that my blood sugar is where it needs to be now.

Pam Smith
Pam Smith 2008-05-24 15:06:25 -0500 Report

I am so glad to read this article because we have not been able to control my daughters blood sugar for awhile. I now have a better understanding about how stress and anxiety effects her. I know realize that we need to find different ways to help her deal with the stresses and anxieties in our life.

Punkie200 2008-05-24 14:18:43 -0500 Report

If anyone can help me about stress and anxiety, please let me know.
I have been on many medicines and I think they are running out of what to give me. Presently, I am very depressed and take everything personnaly. I worry about everything.

jupton1 2008-05-24 16:04:18 -0500 Report

If Your on meds for anxiety dont quit all at once.Make sure You get off them with a Dr.slowly. As for what might work try walking,meditation,and relaxation tapes..

lonesailor7 2008-05-16 03:23:32 -0500 Report

Thanks for the information. I have had the best control of my type 2 diabetes for most of this year. Then came a virtual tsunami of stress and I am definetly not in control. I learned Silva mind control many years ago, and I am a Reiki master. I plan to use these tools to calm me down. Will post results.

jupton1 2008-05-28 04:26:28 -0500 Report

I havent ever heard of Silva mind control ..If You have a link for this please send it to me..John

CALpumper 2008-05-15 03:34:28 -0500 Report

Great info Jupton.
I have been dealing with stress of all kinds and how if affects my T1 Diabetes for 23 years.
If I ever find a decent solution, I will let you all know. ;-)

jupton1 2008-05-19 07:37:17 -0500 Report

Try auto-echo..Tell yourself Your a calm & relaxed person 50 times a night for about a week or so and let me no if that helps,learning to relax is very important to ,we all need quite time..

CALpumper 2008-06-15 15:38:43 -0500 Report


I don't have the patience to say it that many times for a whole week!! ha ha!
I am the "type" that: head hits pillow, mind races.

Although, I do have to say, telling myself I am calm, I am ok and A LOT of deep breaths, REALLY WORKS! It is a process and a habit I am working on. ;-)

jupton1 2008-07-09 01:34:15 -0500 Report

Yes its true,auto -echo works.If You tell Yourself 50 times everyday that Your a calm and relaxed person,chances are You will relax better.I also believe in Prayer as a method to reduce stress & Anxiety.Taking a walk,or just giving thanks for the things God has givin us.Sorry I didnt respond till now..Best of luck,JU

Sonya79 2008-11-03 21:20:12 -0600 Report

the one thing that has worked for me in high levels of stress is to check my sugars as soon as im stressed out and adjust with insulin and drink a lot of water to help my body flush it self from the unnecessary glucose being released in to it if you dont like water try decaffeinated arizona green tea

2008-05-15 02:51:56 -0500 Report

Thank you for the article. It made a lot of sense to me, as I am having
trouble with Stress and Anxiety. It is hard for me to lose weight because of
stress. Thanks again

jupton1 2008-05-19 07:40:21 -0500 Report

I have had alot of training on how to beat anxiety & stess..Ill write some things to try on a later post..John

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-05-15 02:40:01 -0500 Report

We have seen this clearly in my son's experience playing soccer. When the game is a close, tightly contested match, his blood sugars soar.

We've experimented a little with having him give insulin before the game to try to accommodate for the release of stored sugars. However, if the game turns out to be an easy match, the added insulin will cause him to drop low. It's been a real challenge.

Sonya79 2008-11-03 21:11:20 -0600 Report

try checking his sugars every quater and adjust if to low give him glucose tablets,i used to be involved in all sports when i was in school