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Stress and blood sugar

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Sharrryn, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Sharrryn

    Sharrryn Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I'm very stressed at the moment. Am running 150% temp basal almost constantly.
    Just wondering how much people find their blood sugar increases when under stress or extreme anxiety.
    Sharrryn
     
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  2. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

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    Hi @Sharrryn Unfortunately it is very common as stress produces hormones which cause insulin resistance, is there anyway to reduce your stress levels, maybe incorporate some exercise into your daily routine or deep breathing exercises ? I've now got the 'Calm' app on my phone which I tune into now and again and it helps me.
     
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  3. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Quite simply, stress = cortisol = higher BG:

    https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-cortisol#1

    Cortisol is designed for fight-or-flight responses, flooding our bodies with the stuff we need to either fight for our lives or make a quick getaway. But prolonged stress (and pain, interestingly) will lead to constantly elevated levels of cortisol, which can (and will) cause lasting damage to our health.

    It's important to not only recognise times of stress but to take measures to counteract it. These can be simple, cheap and quick, and even a few minutes of respite from your anxieties can help to make a difference and lower that cortisol level.

    Everyone will respond to elevated cortisol differently, but I personally find the following tricks effective in calming myself (and therefore my BG) down:

    - Just sitting outside and breathing. Not talking, not thinking, just letting my eyes drift and concentrating on breathing evenly and slowly.

    - Calling a friend who knows how to listen well and cheer me up.

    - Meditation (can be tricky - you need to practise regularly or it gets harder to zone out)

    - Playing a game - I love MMO's for the escapism element, but I also play little card games on my Kindle before I sleep to clear my mind.

    - Making a list, organising your thoughts or problems into something more manageable that you can break into actions.

    - Accepting that some things are never going to change or improve, no matter how much you worry about them... and letting those things go.

    - Reading / listening to troubles faced by others to keep my own issues in perspective, and offering what support and suggestions I can to feel that I'm still useful and valuable in some way (doing this one right now!).

    - Asking myself "Will I remember this moment in 10 years time?" Only 3 times have I answered "Yes" to that question; if the answer is "No", it's probably something you can let go of a little bit.


    Anyway, to answer your question simply: stress increases our cortisol levels, and cortisol increases the amount of glucose in our blood. To reduce your BG, you need to reduce your cortisol by reducing your anxiety.

    Hope that helps,

    Sock x
     
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  4. Sharrryn

    Sharrryn Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I'm trying to meditate and relax with calm apps but I have some health issues which won't be resolved for a while so it's a tough one I'm seeing a psychologist next week for some advice also. High sugars just add to the overall stress effect.
    One day at a time I guess.
     
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  5. Sharrryn

    Sharrryn Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Sock. Some great advice there. I never fully realised even after years of this disease how much stress can impact blood sugars until I've recently had to deal with it first hand.
     
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  6. Lulu9101112

    Lulu9101112 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it's normal when ever i get stressed it makes my blood go high.
     
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  7. phdiabetic

    phdiabetic Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Wow 150% is massive! I've only tried 10 and 20 % so far, but neither of them seemed to be very good (I stabilised but at a high number) despite being combined with generous boluses. I will try something bigger next time I suspect this is happening!
     
  8. SockFiddler

    SockFiddler Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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  9. Parisemo

    Parisemo Type 1 · Active Member

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    I find I hypo more when stressed
     
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  10. Fatima_94

    Fatima_94 Type 1 · Member

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    Sorry to hear that. Whenever I go through a stressful period, for eg exams .. my sugars go haywire. The worst was when I had major family problems and it was consistently high (18+) for 3 days in a row even when I tried to control it.
     
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  11. ickihun

    ickihun Type 2 · Master

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    In the past, emotional eating contributed to cortisol influence on my own insulin or lack of its production.

    I'm very lucky now that I don't turn to food in times of stress. I talk it through...with hubby. Psychologist opened me up to talk therapy. It definitely helps me. My hubby uses me as his sounding board, now I return the favour. ;)

    A good samaritan can do the same thing.

    I hope you find your sounding board, which you can rely on. Sometimes its a member on here that we can message?
     
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