The effects of stress on blood sugar levels may become a detriment to your health. This is evidenced by many factors. Let’s take a look at some examples.
Studies have shown that stress increases blood sugar levels. If you are having a bad day at work wherein you become overly stressed, you may not be able to eat lunch but instead opt for a candy bar. You may elect not to go for the usual walk during lunch, but remain at your desk. The stress increases and the blood sugar levels rise. Anything that causes stress on the body on a continual basis may contribute to higher blood sugar levels.
On the other hand, high blood sugar levels may indicate that you have diabetes. While a doctor can ascertain through blood tests whether or not you are predisposed to diabetes, this condition can also be hereditary. Thus, if you are under stress and blood sugar levels rise, you may find a host of symptoms associated with diabetes begin to emerge because the ability to keep blood sugar level under control is thwarted.
Think about those times when you’ve felt emotionally drained because of a fight with a loved one, or the huge emotional impact of a major catastrophe such as a death in the family. Or perhaps you have just been working too hard and the physical stress has taken a toll on your body. The sugar in your system is there for a reason. It is an energy source that allows you to cope with a myriad of challenges. If your body cannot cope with the immediate problem, the more stressed you become the more your blood sugar levels rise.
The problem facing individuals with diabetes is that these same challenges can trigger additional health problems. For example, a person with Type 2 diabetes may become irritable if the blood sugar level is high. They may experience swelling of the ankles, bruising on the arms and legs, cardiovascular disease, and eye problems.
A person with Type 2 diabetes has to control their sugar intake and avoid stressful situations. However, it is not always possible. We live in a stressful environment and for diabetics it is compounded by the fact that they have to constantly monitor their sugar intake through daily blood tests. They also have to engage in daily exercise, keep close watch on their diet, and avoid sweets and other foods which can elevate their blood sugar level.
We know that stress is the number one cause of many health conditions today, but according to the American Diabetes Association, “The good news is that the recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program study conclusively showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes by making changes in their diet and increasing their level of physical activity. They may even be able to return their blood glucose levels to the normal range.”
In order to help prevent the onset of diabetes, it is important to engage in exercises that promote an inner balance and calm and help control stressful situations, such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, or other meditative methods.