What About The Glycemic Index
Your daily carb total, spread steadily across the day, is one key to good blood sugar control. Some people also use the glycemic index , a rating of how individual foods raise blood sugar levels. Beans and whole-grain breads and cereals have a lower GI than white bread and regular pasta. Juice has a higher GI than whole fruit. Craving a high-GI food? Eat it along with a lower-GI choice to help control your levels.
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Taking Care Of Yourself When Stressed
When were stressed, we typically dont take good care of ourselves.
Theres a reason they call it comfort food. For most people, chocolate or fast food seems to be the first thing they reach for when were stressed.
Stress also makes it tempting to put off your regular exercise routine in favor of the couch and a Netflix binge.
These can all become deciding factors in a spike in blood sugar.
Need a solution? Get moving when youre stressed. Dont feel like you have to complete an extensive cardio routine. Often something as simple as a walk around the block can make a difference in your mood.
Can Stress Cause Prediabetes Or Type 2 Diabetes
Saying that stress causes prediabetes or type 2 diabetes isnt entirely accurate.
What is more accurate is that the physical response to stress, as well as the habits that are often associated with stress, all contribute to a higher risk for type 2 diabetes.
On the physical side, recent research has shown that oxidative stress and chronic inflammation two common side effects of chronic emotional stress can directly increase insulin resistance and inhibit beta cell function.
As these are the two direct contributors to the development of type 2 diabetes, this is a relatively direct link between stress and diabetes risk factors.
On the mental side, many of the behaviors that are commonplace in stressed individuals comfort eating, not exercising as much as theyd like, poor sleep, elevated consumption of drugs and alcohol, weight gain, and a poor diet are all risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
In this way, not only does stress directly increase your risk of type 2 diabetes through physical responses, but its likely that many of the habits you might resort to during times of stress may also contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes.
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Stress Contributes To Insulin Resistance
Cortisol also makes it more difficult for the pancreas to secrete insulin, which is needed to move sugar out of the blood and into the cells for energy, stabilizing the concentration of sugar within your blood. Over time, the pancreas struggles to keep up with the high demand for insulin. Glucose levels in the blood remain high. Cells cannot get the sugar they need and the cycle continues.This all contributes to insulin resistanceâwhich youâre already fighting againstâand may worsen your condition
Diabetes: A Source Of Stress
Diabetes is an agent of stress for several reasons:
- Diabetes is a condition that is chronic, permanent and imposed .
- The symptoms are usually present and disruptive.
- You are dependent on a treatment and forced to change your lifestyle.
- The treatment can cause side effects.
- The risk of complications compounds already numerous frustrations.
- The disease can undermine your self-image and self-confidence.
- You may be a victim of prejudice and discrimination: at work, when dealing with an insurance company, in the eyes of others, etc.
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How Can Stress Affect Diabetes
At the dawn of time, our ancestors lived in a world of danger. When they were attacked by cave bears, it was a bad idea to stay calm. So whenever they saw danger, their brains sounded a stress alarm that put their bodies into action.
This ability to feel stress got passed down to us in the modern age. The problem is that our brains cant tell the difference between physical danger and social or emotional danger, so they all stress us out in the same way. So today, although bear attacks are less common, stress is a much larger part of our lives. In 2018, a Gallup poll found that 55% of Americans felt stress during a lot of the day, while 45% said they felt worried a lot when asked about how they felt the previous day
Stress can still be helpful when it helps us take on challenges, provided that we get some rest afterward. But when stress lasts for a long time, without giving us a chance to rest, it can do serious damage to our bodies. It can increase our risk for diabetes, or make our current diabetes worse.
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Physiological Mechanisms Behind Stressful Experiences
Any stressful event might be judged by people in different ways, based onfactors such as previous experience, psychological factors, and socialinfluences. An event that is seen by one individual as particularlythreatening might be seen as totally harmless by another individual. However,when a situation is regarded as threatening, that is, seen as having thepotential to cause harm to the individual, a specific pattern of physiologicalresponses is elicited, known as the stress response orfight/flight response. This pattern of responses has developedas a result of human evolution and is aimed at priming the individual foraction, so that the situation can be dealt with by either fighting or fleeingthe threat. The actions initiated by the central nervous system in response toa threat affect the entire body and are associated with three different bodilysystems: the autonomic nervous system, the neuroendocrine system, and theimmunesystem.,
With regard to the effects of stress on the neuroendocrine system, the HPAaxis is of considerableimportance. Uponencountering a threat or a stressor, the hypothalamus secretescorticotropin-releasing factor, which causes the release ofadrenocorticotropin. This in turn travels to the adrenal cortex, where itleads to the secretion of glucocorticoid hormones, in particular cortisol.
The Differences Between Physical And Mental Stress
Everybody processes stress differently and certain types of stress can have different effects on your body. Mental stress can increase glucose levels for those living with type 2 diabetes but tends to have a varied effect on people living with type 1 diabetes. In fact, mental stress may either increase or decrease blood glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes, which is an interesting fact to consider. Physical stress from injury or illness tends to increase blood glucose levels for people living with both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Concerned That Stress Is Affecting Your Well
As we saw with GDM, the combination of stress and diabetes can be a negative feedback loop. When your physical and behavioral response to stress helps cause diabetes, which causes more stress, its easy to feel helpless.
Fortunately, it just takes one small shift in gears to make a big change. This is because many of the same habits that can help provide long-term relief from stress also help reduce insulin resistance and increase your overall health.
Exercise is one excellent example. A low-fat, plant-based, whole food diet thats high in whole carbohydrates is another. Losing weight through dietary plans like intermittent fasting is a third.
This is without even adding tactics like getting enough sleep, finding time to relax, spending more time outdoors, and many other strategies that have been proven to help control and reduce stress.
If youre currently struggling with stress and diabetes, you might be able to learn from the Mastering Diabetes Method, which is proven to reverse insulin resistance and improve your physical health in the long term.
With this method and the guidance and support of our coaches, if youd like it, you can work on the physical side of stress, and ensure that your body and brain are as healthy as they can be.
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Calculate Your Risk Of Diabetes
Healthy habits such as staying physically active and eating well can help reduce the negative effects of stress. Larks stress management coaching also walks you through stress management techniques, from acknowledging stress to deep breathing to visualization.
Diabetes management is a balancing act that can have amazing payoffs in terms of long-term health and wellness. Stress can throw a wrench into the loop, but managing stress along with diabetes can keep you as healthy as possible. Lark for Diabetes can help you manage stress and make smart choices that fit into your lifestyle so they can become habits.
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If You Develop A Complication Of Diabetes
Developing a complication of diabetes may result in significant readjustments in your life. If it makes you less mobile, you may feel you have become more dependent on others, or you might need to shift house or jobs. If your vision is more limited, you may need to concentrate harder on achieving tasks that were previously easy. Depending on what impact the complication has on your life, you may feel a great deal of grief associated with the loss of full health.
Having diabetes is stressful. It can also mean that it is more of a challenge for us to manage other life stresses. As you become more experienced with diabetes it tends to assume a less intrusive place in your life. As you achieve a comfortable balance between caring for yourself and also having fun and enjoying your life, your stress management strategies can become more effective.
A Quick And Simple Step To Help Better Your Health
One simple way to ensure yourself that youâre not causing more harm to yourself by being concerned about your health as diabetic is to check your blood pressure regularly.When you keep track of your blood pressure , youâre empowered with the knowledge to know what works best for your body.For example, if youâre a bit more stressed than usual, youâll be able to see that trend. If a particular meal and diet plan is not working for you, youâll be able to observe that in the numbers that your measurements present. If an exercise routine is a bit more intense than your body can handle, your blood pressure measurements can show you that.Getting a simple home blood pressure monitor and then tracking your blood pressure on an app, like Hello Heart , is a way to good way to start. The Hello Heart app is free in the iTunes store and Google Play. It included built-in reminders and colorful visuals that help you easier see the trends that matter the most.
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Causes Of Anxiety For People With Diabetes
People with diabetes may become anxious over a variety of things. These can include monitoring their glucose levels, weight, and diet.
They may also worry about short-term health complications, such as hypoglycemia, as well as long-term effects. People with diabetes are at higher risk for certain health complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Knowing this can lead to further anxiety.
But keep in mind that the information can also be empowering if it leads to preventative measures and treatments. Learn about other ways one woman with anxiety feels empowered.
There is also some evidence that anxiety may play a role in causing diabetes. One study found that symptoms of anxiety and depression are significant risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.
Exercise To Lower Stress
The benefits of exercise in reducing stress are well known. Exercise gives you a feeling of well-being and may relieve symptoms of stress. Think about what kinds of exercise help you relieve stress. You can blow off steam with hard exercise, recharge on a hike, or do a relaxing mind-body activity like yoga or tai chi. You’ll feel better. Exercise doesn’t just help you fight stress. It can lower your blood pressure and help you lose any extra pounds. Talk with your doctor before you start a new exercise program. Ask what type of exercise might be best for you.
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How Stress Affects Diabetes
Stress is the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or incapable of handling what youre dealing with and can manifest from emotional or physical strain. Stress often leads to worry, anxiety, or depression and can cause a number of physical reactions within your body. While acute stress is meant to help us avoid dangerous situations, chronic stress can lead to serious problems.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires ongoing care and maintenance. Its something that you need to think about every day, from morning till night. You need to test your blood glucose levels and administer insulin as needed to avoid serious complications. Diabetes requires you to take an otherwise involuntary function into your own hands.
When looking at stress and diabetes, its easy to understand how the two are related. Living with diabetes adds stress to your daily routine. The process of always thinking about what you eat, do, or even feel can be overwhelming. However, the link between them is a two-sided street. While diabetes can cause stress, stress can also worsen diabetes. Here well talk about how stress affects diabetes.
What Causes Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when your immune system, the bodys system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Scientists think type 1 diabetes is caused by genes and environmental factors, such as viruses, that might trigger the disease. Studies such as TrialNet are working to pinpoint causes of type 1 diabetes and possible ways to prevent or slow the disease.
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What Causes Blood Sugar To Rise In Non
Dr. Danielle Weiss is the founder of Center for Hormonal Health and Well-Being, a personalized, proactive, patient-centered medical practice with a unique focus on integrative endocrinology. She enjoys giving lectures and writing articles for both the lay public and medical audiences. Dr. Weiss is Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
High blood sugar or glucose, also called hyperglycemia, occurs when there is too much sugar in the blood. High blood sugar is the primary symptom that underlies diabetes, but it can also occur in people who dont have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, either because of stress or trauma, or gradually as a result of certain chronic conditions.
It is important to manage high blood sugar, even if you dont have diabetes, because elevated blood glucose can delay your ability to heal, increase your risk of infections, and cause irreversible damage to your nerves, blood vessels, and organs, such as your eyes and kidneys. Blood vessel damage from high blood sugar also increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
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
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