Discover the relationship between diabetes and stress levels.
We have all heard the term “stress is a killer,” and as bad as stress is on the human body, it can really wreak havoc on individuals with diseases like diabetes. The link between diabetes and stress is real, and should be taken into consideration by anyone who has the disease.
Stress and Diabetes Facts
With so many other bodily functions to keep an eye on, many with diabetes may have dismissed stress as a contributing factor of diabetes effects. Managing your diabetes is a process that will have to be maintained for your entire life. And anything that interferes with the proper management of the disease, such as stress, must be reined-in before severe damage is done.
So just how does stress and diabetes interrelate? When the body experiences stress, it reacts by going into the fight or flight response to protect itself. The body feels threatened when stress provokes, and automatic responses can include:
- An elevation of your glucose levels
- An increase in cortisol and adrenaline
- An increase in breathing, blood pressure and heartrate
- Stomach distress
- An increase in nervous system activity
- Mental and emotional distress
Diabetes and Stress Types
If you are unable to decrease your stress, you may have difficulty in managing your disease. The first thing to do is recognize the different types of stress and how they relate to diabetes. Everyone responds to stress differently, and you will have to identify how it affects you. The effects of stress on an individual with type 2 diabetes can include a rise in their blood glucose levels, while a person with type 1 diabetes may experience more diverse effects.
You may not be aware, at first, that you are being affected by stress, but by recognizing the symptoms of stress and diabetes you will be armed with the information you need to take proactive steps to manage it. Some of the diabetes and stress symptoms that you may experience include:
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Depression, irritability, anger
- Fatigue or restlessness
- Feeling ill, or not yourself
- Unmotivated, or unusual behavior
- Drinking alcohol in excess or other forms of self-medicating
- Changes in eating habits
- Muscle tension or pain
Managing Diabetes and Stress
- You should be able to determine what kinds of techniques you can use to reduce stress in your life. Exercise is a great stress reliever, and can be as simple as going for a walk or a bike ride. Getting outdoors on a nice day can also reduce stress and lift your spirits.
Other activities that are known stress reducers include: listening to music, going shopping, meditation or prayer, dancing, swimming, fishing, sports, watching a funny movie, enjoying a hobby like painting or cooking, etc. There are many wonderful activities that you can do to relieve stress while having fun and enjoying life.
- Deep breathing exercises are a great way to reduce mental stress. You can start by sitting in a comfortable chair in a quiet room. Focus on your breathing, and begin by slowly inhaling a deep breath through your nose, hold it in for 5 seconds, then slowly exhale through your mouth.
- To reduce stress, you will have to learn how to say “no.” At times family obligations and expectations can be overwhelming, and can take a toll on your physical body and peace of mind. If you find that you are pushing yourself too much beyond a healthy limit, pull-back and politely decline.
Stress can come in many shapes and sizes, but no matter where it originates from, you have the option to manage it in the best way possible. You can also join a support group online, or in your city, to help you proactively cope with stress and blood sugar problems.
Learn more ways to decrease stress and better control diabetes by visiting www.BetterHealthKare.com