Health Tip: Stress and Diabetes

The body's response can affect your blood sugar

(HealthDay News) -- Everyone reacts differently to physical and mental stress. But managing stress is particularly important to people with diabetes, since the body's reaction to stress can trigger a dramatic change in blood glucose levels.

According to the American Diabetes Association, a diabetic's "fight-or-flight" response to stress doesn't work properly. In people with type 2 diabetes, this can trigger a dangerous increase in blood glucose. Stressed people with type 1 diabetes, however, may experience either a rise or fall in blood glucose.

In addition, people under stress often forget to take care of themselves. They may forget to exercise, eat the wrong foods, or drink too much alcohol. All of these habits can significantly affect blood sugar.

The ADA advises that you can learn to help control your reaction to stress. Performing relaxation techniques can help keep you calmer during stressful times, and making lifestyle changes can help avoid sources of stress altogether, the association says.

Diana Kohnle

Diana Kohnle

Published on March 18, 2009

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