IrishChris

Q:

Can pain cause a rise in my blood sugars? I was just diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis and have been in a lot of pain. My blood sugars have been extremely high since this started and I'm having a hard time getting them under control. I'm eating less but my sugar is rising. I'm having difficulties getting my doctor to prescribe me anything for the pain because I became addicted several years ago after a car accident. I just want to get better.

Patty Bonsignore

A:

Pain is a stress on the body and can cause a rise in blood glucose levels (even when you are eating less) due to an increase in stress hormones, such as cortisol and epinephrine. It is difficult to know how best to treat the pancreatitis, given your history of addiction. You should be able to take something, but narcotics in this situation are not really recommended. It is important to treat the high blood glucose levels, because high blood glucose levels can cause irritability and fatigue which only makes dealing with the pain that much harder. When blood glucose levels are high, checking the numbers more often (before meals and at bedtime), writing them down and taking them to your doctor is an important first step in getting the numbers under control. During this acute pain phase, you may need more medication to treat your diabetes. Once the pain has resolved, you may be able to cut back on your diabetes medication, depending on your blood glucose numbers.