Diabetes and Stress: What’s the Link?



Woman Talking to a Stressed ManStress has negative effects on one’s health, but for diabetic patients, it may determine the quality of life they live. If you’re suffering from this health problem, you should be able to learn healthy coping strategies toward stress to manage diabetes better.

The Connection between Stress and Diabetes

When stress happens, the body responds by going into fight-or-flight mode. This causes an increase in hormone levels and activates nerve cells. As adrenaline and cortisol are released into the bloodstream, breathing and heart rate becomes faster. There’s an increase in blood flow in the muscles and limbs, so you can prepare for and react more effectively to stressors.

In the case of diabetics, however, that fight-and-flight mechanism gets disabled. The body is unable to process blood glucose, preventing it from converting sugar into energy. Glucose then builds up in the bloodstream, a huge red flag for diabetics.

If you’ve been stressing over long-term problems, it’s likely that your sugar level is always at a high, which would tire you out to the point of neglecting diabetes management. Provo health experts then strongly recommend adopting stress-relieving techniques as part of your lifestyle.

Game Plan for Stress Management

Reducing stress should be one of your priorities when dealing with diabetes, and this includes both short-term and long-term stress. There are three ways to handle this. Remember the 3C’s: reduce, reflect, and relax.

The first one entails making efforts to minimize the impact of stress. For example, if traffic jams are one of your stressors, perhaps you can explore a new route or leave home early. The next strategy is to reflect. With this, you should be able to learn how to confront an issue. Most people take on a problem-solving attitude, challenging themselves and asking, “What can I do to address this?” The last strategy is to relax. Keep calm. Meditate once a day. Go to the beach or somewhere soothing.

Stress takes a toll on diabetics’ health. Consult your doctor how you can better manage stress and live a comfortable life.