Stress is a common and natural response to challenging or difficult situations. However, too much stress can have negative effects on your health, including your blood sugar levels and your risk of developing diabetes.
How does stress affect blood sugar levels?
When you are stressed, your body releases hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are meant to help you cope with the stressful situation by giving you an energy boost. However, they also make it harder for insulin to work properly in your body. Insulin is the hormone that helps your cells use glucose (sugar) for energy. If insulin cannot do its job, glucose builds up in your blood, causing high blood sugar levels. This can lead to symptoms such as thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision and headaches.
High blood sugar levels over a long period of time can damage your organs and increase your risk of developing diabetes complications such as nerve damage, kidney damage, eye problems and heart disease.
How does diabetes cause stress?
Having diabetes can also be a source of stress for many people. You may feel overwhelmed by having to manage your condition on a daily basis, such as checking your blood sugar levels, taking medications, planning meals, exercising and avoiding complications. You may also worry about the future and how diabetes will affect your quality of life. You may feel frustrated, angry, sad or guilty about having diabetes or not being able to control it well.
These emotions can affect your mental and emotional well-being and make it harder for you to cope with stress. They can also interfere with your self-care behaviors, such as eating well, being active and taking your medications. This can create a vicious cycle where stress worsens your diabetes and diabetes worsens your stress.
How can you reduce stress and prevent diabetes?
The good news is that there are ways to break this cycle and reduce stress and prevent diabetes. Here are some tips:
Learn as much as you can about diabetes and how to manage it. Knowledge is power and can help you feel more confident and in control of your condition.
Seek support from others who understand what you are going through. This can be your family, friends, health care team or a support group. You can also find online communities and resources that can offer you information, advice and encouragement.
Practice relaxation techniques that can help you calm down and cope with stress. This can include deep breathing, meditation, yoga, tai chi or any other activity that makes you feel relaxed and happy.
Make time for yourself and do things that you enjoy. This can be a hobby, a sport, a book or a movie. Find something that distracts you from your worries and gives you pleasure.
Seek docrors help if you feel that stress is affecting your mental health or your ability to manage your diabetes. You may benefit from counseling, therapy or medication that can help you deal with stress and improve your mood.
Stress and diabetes are linked in many ways, but they do not have to control your life. By taking steps to reduce stress and prevent diabetes, you can improve your physical and emotional health and live a happier and healthier life.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456