Diabetes and Stress

By esterreka Latest Reply 2011-01-15 10:14:06 -0600
Started 2010-09-29 12:04:33 -0500

I have recently found out that when stress comes to the body, the liver releases glucose into the body. This is one major reason why it is not very healthy to become so stressed when dealing with diabetes. I have had this disease for seventeen years and did not understand why when I became stressed my blood sugar would rise. I have found this information from my health care class, in which I am taking to become a nurse.

25 replies

Mary1969 2011-01-15 10:08:01 -0600 Report

Unfortunately, I don't think there is ANYTHING, diabetes doesn't affect in/on our bodies. Always keeping us on our toes, isn't it ?!

MewElla 2011-01-12 08:34:44 -0600 Report

Stress plays a big part in driving my numbers. I can always tell even before I test what the outcome will be. Am working on myself for better control of letting go of things I can not change anyway. What a learning curve everyday. Oh well, guess all this is building my character, you think?

theladyiscrazy 2010-10-04 15:17:30 -0500 Report

This is very interesting. It seems to me that just about anything can and does affect blood sugar levels but the effects vary from people to people.

Mary1969 2011-01-15 10:11:06 -0600 Report

I think your name fits me exactly !!! This disease is something else, to say the least. I hate to say it, but totally agree with your comment. I don't think there is one part of the body that is not affected by diabetes. Thank God there are new technologies all the time for us. Always something new to read about too.
Glad I found somebody that can relate to my constant thoughts..Hang in there crazy lady..LOLLLLL

stella1954 2010-10-02 12:10:43 -0500 Report

For 22 years I worked a very stressful job as a youth counselor with Job Corps. I loved the job but the stress and pressure of completing work on deadlines was incredible. It was very hard to control my sugars due to an ever changing schedule plus the stress. I am now unemployed which is also very stressful and seeking work. Currently my sugars are out of control but my endo and primary care are working with me. They are both great but it's up to me to control the stress. I know it sounds hokey but use deep breathing and visualization to help get calm. I also take paxil which helps.

Richard157 2010-10-01 10:02:37 -0500 Report

I have seen discussions about stress and high blood sugar many times, on the diabetes sites. My impression is that stress does cause high blood sugar for almost all diabetics. I do know, however, that stress does not have that effect on all diabetics. I have faced many very stressful situations during my 65 years of diabetes, but my blood sugar was not affected. There are many things that can cause my blood sugar level to rise, but stress is not one of them. I am a very relaxed and calm individual and I rarely lose my temper. I think my basic personality keeps my blood sugar stable when I experience stress. This is one of several reasons why I have maintained an A1c below 6.0 for so many years.

Another closely related topic is excitement. I don't think that is a form of stress, what do you think? Excitement can cause my blood sugar to drop. I have to test frequently when I am excited. My Dexcom CGM is especially useful when I am excited. I eat glucose tablets when I experience situations that cause me to become very excited. Do any of you have lows when you are excited?

esterreka 2010-10-01 10:37:34 -0500 Report

yes, I do also have many low blood sugars when I am excited. Stress is not the only form of reactions that when affect the blood sugar. Excitement will also affect the blood sugar. I have found that when you are able to stay calm during stressful situations it will not affect the blood sugar as much as it would affect an individual who allows the stress to affect them in a negative way.

Swbtab03 2010-09-30 15:21:40 -0500 Report

Wow I did not know this, guess that explains my current high numbers and did not change a whole lot of eating habits. I'm a manager for Walmart (enough said there). The past month has been very hard and knowing this really explains it better. On top of it I work overnight shift and it wrecking havov on my body.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2010-09-30 14:44:21 -0500 Report

Hi! This is really fascinating information. It is yet more evidence of the connection between mind and body. And, as you said, it is important to learn healthy ways to deal with stress as well as proactively avoid stress. Relaxation techniques, mindfulness training, and having a safe place to talk about emotions can all help us in handling stress. The good news here is that we can work with our minds and our bodies to be the best we can possibly be. And we need to!

realsis77 2010-09-30 12:45:31 -0500 Report

That is soo true ! Also when your in pain and ill. I learned that the hard way! Its True through when I'm stressed its always higher than normal!

Pynetree 2010-09-30 11:59:00 -0500 Report

Ok…so I know WHY…But, How do I learn to not let it affect me for so long!? I stress over my stress!!

jayabee52 2010-09-30 12:40:39 -0500 Report

Perhaps you could learn some relaxation techniques? Like doing controlled breathing, or visualizing a pleasant scene. If you're a believer, take your problems to God in prayer.

I know the visualization and controlled breathing work for me when I have a HBP reading and want to lower it. I would expect it would be much the same for stress, even though the BG#s don't fluxuate like BP does

Mary1969 2011-01-15 10:14:06 -0600 Report

I think putting things in Gods hands is the BEST idea, then follow his "signals". Read, read, ask Dr.s, support groups, insulin pump, different insulin/Meds etc.. Remove yourself from situations when possible ?

Hops 2010-09-30 15:34:55 -0500 Report

I agree whole heartedly. We do controlled breathing each morning before our meetings. Was told that such breathing is not only relaxing but it improves the blood flowing to your feet and hands.

GabbyPA 2010-09-30 10:26:01 -0500 Report

Isn't it amazing what you can learn even after so many years? Every day I learn something and I will say that when I took a 9 week class on diabetes education it was such a HUGE help. It explained to me a lot of the "why" things.

Stress was one of the things we talked about. Our bodies release glycogen under stress to give our bodies the energy we need if we are in a fight or flight situation. Unfortunately, most of our stress now is not dealt with by running or fighting, so that extra sugar in our blood never gets used. That is one reason exercise is such a stress reducer. It helps eat up that energy that we have hanging around. So go out and let loose on that punching bag. It's good for you in many ways.

bicker68 2010-10-01 23:08:15 -0500 Report

What can you do if your disabled and can't exercise like most other people? with me having to use a cane most of the time to aid me in walking it's kinda hard for me to get out and go do different things. For I'm in such cronic pain most of the time. My Anxiety and stress is through the roof.

jason123 2010-10-02 05:28:03 -0500 Report

The only thing I can think of is water aerobics/aqua exercise? Is there something like a YMCA close to where you live?

jason123 2010-09-30 14:00:49 -0500 Report

'Our bodies release glycogen under stress …' Is this what the Alpha cells do Gabby?

kdroberts 2010-09-30 14:21:57 -0500 Report

No. Alpha cells produce glucagon which triggers the liver to turn glycogen into glucose and release it into the blood stream.

kdroberts 2010-09-29 12:34:26 -0500 Report

It's not just that kind of stress that does it. Getting excited or scared, physical injury and intense physical activity can all do the same.

mo91108 2010-09-29 17:12:58 -0500 Report

Ye aI noticed that when my neighbor knocked on my door really loud, it woke me up out of a dead sleep, scared the bejeebus outta me, and my BS shot up to 144.