Keeping Your Blood Sugar Under Control During Anxiety: Raleigh Medical Group Can Help
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There Are Several Ways To Self
One of the most important tests people with diabetes use is the daily finger prick, in which a drop of blood is placed on a test strip and inserted into a blood sugar meter to quickly get a blood sugar reading. People with diabetes often need to self-test their blood sugar to make sure its steady. However, there are other ways to self-test blood sugar, including continuous glucose monitors. More often used by people with type 1 diabetes, the devices use a small sensor wire that is inserted below the skins surface to continuously monitor glucose levels. The sensors need to be replaced every three to seven days, and people who use them typically still need to do finger-prick tests to make sure the devices are working correctly.
Blood Sugar Level Charts For People With Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association suggests the following targets for most non-pregnant adults with diabetes:
|Type of patient|
Children, teens, and adolescents with diabetes should aim to keep within these ranges:
|6-12 years old|
The A1c test looks at how good your blood glucose control has been over a period of 3 months. These values are a guide. Your doctor will provide you with a personal management plan.
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Monitor Your Overall Health And Blood Sugar With Nutrisense
Continuous glucose monitors are an excellent way to track and monitor your blood sugar levels. With programs like the CGM Program and the Nutrition Coaching Program from NutriSense, you can experiment with the help of a CGM and advice from a registered dietitian. You will have help learning how to add things to your diet to meet your health goals. And, using the data from the CGM, your dietitian can help you optimize your health by helping you understand your personal diet and lifestyle needs.
What Happens In Your Body When You Get Stressed
Stress hormones have a big role to play.
When youre experiencing physical or emotional stress, hormones are released that increase your blood sugar. Cortisol and adrenaline are other primary hormones involved.
This is a perfectly natural response. For example, if youre being chased by a barking dog or youre in a dangerous situation, you need these hormones to prepare your body for a fight or flight situation.
But when youre stressed, your body releases these hormones, even if there isnt a major physical threat involved.
The result? Higher blood pressure, increased heart rate and a rise in blood sugar.
The problem becomes more complicated.
If youre consistently under stress, your hormones and sugar will continue to surge.
Over time, this can put you at risk for:
- Heart disease
This is one reason why its so important to treat your stress and anxiety.
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Understanding Stress In General
Stress is actually the natural mechanism of the body to respond any demand or even threat. For example, the body can release stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline when you feel threatened. You breath more quickly, muscles tighten, heart beats faster, and blood pressure increases. As a result you have increased stamina, strength, focus, and speed making you ready for emergency action!
It is also important to help you rise to get your goal and meet challenges. You need it to keep focus during a presentation at work, drive your concentration for study, or sharpen your skill when playing a sport.
So stress is not always bad. Again it can give a number of benefits when working properly! But beyond this comfort zone, it is also linked to a number of many different conditions. When it doesnt work as well as it should, it can be a serious threat to your mind and body.
Your body is naturally designed to have stress and react to it. Stress can also cause negative effect on your health when you face continuous challenges without relaxation /relief between challenges or when you lose control on it. As a result, stress-related tension builds and your body becomes overworked!
Unfortunately, some people use heavy drinking and smoking to relieve their stress. These choices are bad, or even can worsen the effect of stress on health. Alcohol and tobacco smoke tend to keep you in a stressed state, causing more problems.
Other Ways Stress Causes High Blood Sugar
There are other ways that stress can lead to spikes in blood sugar. During periods of stress, people may participate in behaviors that could lead to high blood sugar such as emotional overeating of refined carbohydrates or foods that are high in added sugars. People may also fail to exercise or take their medications when theyre supposed to. Since stress has the ability to change healthy habits, these factors can all lead to elevated blood sugar levels.
Stress can also affect sleep because stress and sleep are both controlled by the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. When a person is under high stress and the axis is encouraging the extra production of cortisol, changes in the axis occur. This leads to problems with getting quality sleep as well as changes in sleeping patterns. When a person isnt getting enough sleep, it can cause glucose intolerance, which describes metabolic conditions that cause high blood sugar levels.
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Fill Your Doctor In On Big Life Changes
If a stressful situation is causing your blood sugar to swing, your healthcare team needs to know. Says Campbell, Your doctor may temporarily change your diabetes medication or put you on a higher dose. If necessary, he or she can even make a referral to a mental health professional. Right now, increasingly more primary care physicians, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals are offering telehealth services so that you can get the help you need while maintaining social distancing practices.
The Effect Of Stress On Blood Sugar
Stress triggers an increase in the body’s levels of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol, as if you were under attack, explains Roger McIntyre, MD, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of Toronto in Canada. In response, the body releases extra energy into the bloodstream in the form of glucose.
When chronically heightened, cortisol works against glucose control even in people who dont have diabetes, Dr. McIntyre says. Yet people with diabetes are unable to properly process and store that glucose because of insulin resistance, meaning that glucose accumulates even more in their blood in times of stress.
Everyone gets stressed out at times, but its important to understand that theres a difference between short-term and long-term stress, he says. While lifes inevitable acute stressors getting stuck in traffic, bickering with a family member cause a temporary rise in blood sugar, its the factors that can lead to chronic stress, such as an unhappy marriage, a cruel boss, or the COVID-19 quarantine, that can cause serious damage.
Diabetes is even considered to be an independent factor in the development of depression, according an analysis published in June 2019 in Preventive Medicine Reviews. That means that if you take two otherwise identical people, the one with diabetes is significantly more likely to struggle with depression.
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You Should Tell Your Doctor About These Symptoms
If you have any of the signs of high blood sugar, you should definitely let your doctor know. If youre constantly thirsty, have frequent urination, and are extremely tired, that could point to a blood sugar issue. You should bring your concerns to your doctor especially if you have additional risk factors like being overweight, not exercising, and having a family history of diabetes. But because more than 84 percent of people with prediabetes dont know they have it according to the CDC, the best strategy is to take steps to prevent the condition and get tested, particularly if you are at higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
How Does Adrenaline Affect Your Blood Sugar
In a non-diabetic body, that surge of adrenaline triggering a surge of glycogen would be accompanied by a surge of insulin, too.
As people with diabetes, were missing the surge of insulin part, which can easily spike your blood sugar from 120 mg/dL to 300 mg/dL in less than an hour.
Adjusting your insulin for this can be tricky. A quick bolus of insulin using your normal correction factor ratio could easily produce little or no effect on the high blood sugar while adrenaline is present.
Personally, Ive found that I needed a significant increase in my background insulin doses on the day of a powerlifting competition in order to keep my blood sugar from spiking due to adrenaline. A quick bolus would have no impact and the only thing that would otherwise bring my blood sugar down was when the competition ended and my body relaxed.
If youre dealing with predictable adrenaline around a sporting event, for example, talk to your healthcare team about making an adjustment in your background insulin.
If youre dealing with sudden, unexpected surges of adrenaline because you just got into a car accident, for example, youll likely have to try lowering it with a bolus of insulin but may not see it come down for a few hours.
When its actually not adrenaline
Artificial Sweeteners Dont Benefit Blood Sugaror Do They
Theres mixed reviews about the impact of artificial sweeteners on blood sugar level. Some research has suggested that the sweet taste is enough to trick your bodys response, as if it was actually receiving sugar. But, the sweetener stevia may hold some promise for actually reducing blood sugar, according to one study. Some research suggests stevia may have a beneficial impact on blood glucose levels, however, more research needs to be done in this area, Palinski-Wade says.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar Levels
Signs of high blood sugar levels include:
- Peeing a lot: The kidneys respond by flushing out the extra glucose in urine. People with high blood sugar need to pee more often and in larger amounts.
- Drinking a lot: Someone losing so much fluid from peeing that often can get very thirsty.
- Losing weight even though your appetite has stayed the same: If there isnt enough insulin to help the body use glucose, the body breaks down muscle and stored fat instead in an attempt to provide fuel to hungry cells.
- Feeling tired: Because the body cant use glucose for energy properly, a person may feel unusually tired.
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When Stress Strikes Closely Monitor Your Blood Sugar
When youre stressed, you should be monitoring and checking your sugars to see if the stress is having an effect or not, Dr. Belfort De Aguiar says. Simply being aware that stressful situations can affect blood sugar can prepare you to make adjustments. When youre under a lot of stress, thats when you want to be really on top of your blood sugar, Campbell says. Its the time to hone your self-care behaviors.
What Are The Symptoms Of Stress
Sometimes, the symptoms of stress are subtle and you may not notice them. Stress can take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being, and it can also impact your physical health. Recognizing the symptoms can help you identify stress and take steps to manage it.
If youre stressed, you may experience:
Its possible to lessen or limit the stressors in your life. Here are a few things that you can do to manage the effects of different forms of stress.
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How Can Different Types Of Stress Affect Your Diabetes
Stress can affect people differently. The type of stress that you experience can also have an impact on your bodys physical response.
When people with type 2 diabetes are under mental stress, they generally experience an increase in their blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes may have a more varied response. This means that they can experience either an increase or a decrease in their blood glucose levels.
When youre under physical stress, your blood sugar can also increase. This can happen when youre sick or injured. This can affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
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Diabetes & Stress: How Stress Affects Your Blood Sugar
Everyone experiences stress at some point in their lives. And stress can have a drastic effect on your blood sugar both immediately and in the long run.
Even the fun stress of a roller coaster ride triggers an increased production of hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and glucagon. Without these hormones, your body couldnt complete the task of grocery shopping, let alone endure a heated argument with your mother.
In this article, well look at the role of cortisol, adrenaline, and glucagon, and how each of these stress-related hormones can affect your blood sugar.
At the end of the post, we will summarize how all of this comes together to impact the day-to-day lives of people living with diabetes, and what you can do to reduce stress in your daily life.
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Roller Coaster: Female Hormones
When a woman’s hormones change, so does their blood sugar. Keep a monthly record of your levels to get a better idea of how your menstrual cycle affects you. Hormone changes during menopause may make blood sugar even harder to control. Talk to your doctor about whether hormone replacement therapy is a good idea.
Lack Of Physical Activity
Lack of physical activity can increase your blood sugar, as skeletal muscles are a main part of the body that uses glucose for energy or stores extra glucose as glycogen for later use. With low levels of physical activity, the muscles become inactive and do not remove glucose efficiently from the blood.
Regular exercise can help lower blood sugar levels by increasing the need for muscles to remove glucose from the blood to use for energy.
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What Are Symptoms Of Depression
Too much stress sometimes can lead to depression. People with diabetes are more likely to be depressed than the average person. You may be at risk for depression if you have any of the following symptoms for more than a week:
- Feeling sad or irritable
- Having lost interest in activities you enjoy
- Feeling worthless
Practice Mindfulness To Promote A Feeling Of Calm
Whether you choose deep-breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga, mindfulness techniques are designed to help you reduce stress.
A short-term randomized controlled trial of 60 people with type 2 diabetes found that those who used mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques saw improved fasting blood sugar and A1C and lower levels of anxiety and depression. Researchers published those results in 2018 in the Journal of Diabetes Research.
Explore a variety of relaxation techniques, Belfort De Aguiar suggests, to find one that works for you. If you have trouble winding down, apps such as Headspace and Calm are popular, budget-friendly options for learning how to practice mindfulness.
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S Toward Stress Reduction
One of the things you need to do in order to lessen the effect of stress on your blood glucose levels and improve your overall health is to take time in your daily life to rest whenever you can. The rest periods can be very short but they should be often because only through rest can you lessen your bodys cortisol level and improve your quality of life.
Rest is crucial for long-term spiritual and psychological well-being. If you dont take time out to reduce your stress levels, you can become ill. Scientists studying stress in the Netherlands reported that too much fatigue, also known as vital exhaustion causes demoralization, irritability, and fatigue. It may also increase your chances of getting a heart attack by 100 percent.
These are ways you can take time out of your life for rest and stress reduction:
Effect Of Acute Psychotic Stress In Nondiabetic Subjects On
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The Two Types Of Stress
- Physical Stress
Physical stress is often induced from an illness or injury. Because of this physical stress, your body increases its level of cortisol, which is what is released in the fight-or-flight stage of physical stress that you may have heard about. Basically your body is hard-wired to fight the threat or run from it, and cortisol is the hormone in charge of that.
Because your body is saying hey, I need energy in this stage, your hormones respond by increasing the amount of blood sugar in the form of glucose, with the idea that your cells will need more energy.
But if you are insulin resistant, this just puts more glucose in the blood that doesnt get used and may cause complications.
You should be prepared for this type of stress induced increase in your blood sugar if you are about to go in for surgery, or if youve had an accident that caused any kind of injury, or if you fall ill or get an infection.
- Mental and Emotional Stress
Mental and emotional stress has a similar response in type 2 diabetics . The body releases cortisol, which calls for more glucose to supply energy to your body. So when you are stressed out, your body is releasing more glucose into your blood stream. Simply put, the more distress you feel, the more cortisol, which means the more glucose.