Stress & Diabetes

If you haven’t realized, I haven’t been posting on my lovely little blog too often lately. Why is that you might ask? Well I am currently in the last few weeks of my senior year of college, and I am stressing out about how much work I have to accomplish!

I know what your thinking, why is she talking about this crap on a diabetes blog? Why should I care about what stresses she is going through? I’ve got my own! Well, stress does play a big part in controlling blood sugar levels.

stress_diabetesStress and diabetes do go hand in hand. Being overly stress can have you blood sugars go all out of whack. Lately, I have been waking up with lots of higher numbers in the morning. Is it because I am dreaming of all the work I need to do? Is it because my body cannot relax until I walk across the stage at graduation? Probably.

According to Web MD, stress hormones (epinephrine and cortisol) and adrenaline kick in, and one of their major functions is to raise blood sugar to help boost energy when it’s needed most. Think of the fight-or-flight response. You can’t fight danger when your blood sugar is low, so it rises to help meet the challenge. Both physical and emotional stress can prompt an increase in these hormones, resulting in an increase in blood sugars.

The issue is that the body is not programmed though to take into account that people have diabetes. So if the blood sugar’s already high, here comes the stress, here comes an injury, the adrenaline shoots up, the blood sugar will shoot up even higher! So a lot of people will find out that whenever they have a very stressful event in their life, like writing final papers and preparing for graduation, their sugar will go higher and sometimes stay higher. It may take some time to figure that out, but there is a very, very clear strong connection between those two things.

In November of last year, I had a baby shower for my sister and I was coordinating the whole thing. Before the shower, before being completely set up, and before I could have a breather, family and friends started to show up! Clearly I ran around like a mad woman and got everything done. I went to grab a plate of food, tested my blood sugar, and was super high! (I’m talking like 350-400mg/dL.) I thought maybe I disconnected my insulin pump on accident or something, and of course I didn’t have a new one to put on at that moment, so I just adjusted myself by giving a shot. My blood sugar eventually went down once my nerves started to go down. It wasn’t until now, writing this blog post, that I realized how stressed I was and how my blood sugar was effected by that.

The next couple weeks are full of stress. There is just way to much going on in the month of May! Final papers and presentations, then my graduation, my nephew’s baptism, my other sister’s graduation, my baby brother’s high school graduation and then finally AHHHHHHH…. a nice relaxing vacation to Myrtle Beach. My poor a1C is going to kill me for this!

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