Stress is a feeling of strain and pressure and can have an adverse affect on anyone; especially on a person with diabetes.
Excessive stress is a major barrier to effective glucose control and a danger to one’s general health. Stress can take a great toll on a diabetic's health.
Stress will cause the blood sugar generally to run quite a bit higher. When you are under stress, your body puts out a lot of extra adrenaline into your bloodstream.
When you're stressed, your blood sugar levels rise. Stress hormones like epinephrine and cortisol kick in since one of their major functions is to raise blood sugar to help boost energy when it's needed most. Both physical and emotional stress can prompt an increase in these hormones, resulting in an increase in blood sugars.
So if a person has diabetes, his or her blood sugar is already high. Stress makes it soars even higher. Sometimes stress can send a diabetic's blood sugar completely out of whack.
People who aren't diabetic have compensatory mechanisms to keep blood sugar from swinging out of control. But in people with diabetes, those mechanisms are either lacking or curtailed, so they can't keep a lid on blood sugar, says David Sledge, MD, medical director of diabetes management at The Ochsner Clinic Foundation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
When blood sugar levels aren't controlled well through diet and medication, you're at higher risk for many health complications, including blindness, kidney problems, and nerve damage leading to foot numbness, which can lead to serious injury and hard-to-heal infections. Prolonged elevated blood sugar is also a predecessor to cardiovascular disease, which increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
For many, diabetes management is an ongoing challenge that may be complicated by the impact of stress. Diabetes management is a constant process.
Everyone should learn to control stressful situations. This is especially true for diabetics who should do everything to stay stress free or to keep stress at a minimum. Being stress smart is necessary for effective diabetes management.
Try to control stress by relaxing, getting enough sleep, and exercising. Also avoid situations that cause stress such as rushing to appointments, being around negative people and taking on too many tasks.