Effects of stress on blood glucose levels

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Deadly DAFNE Graduate
King's College Hospital, Camberwell
11 posts

Hi All
I had just changed job to a position that carries with it a fair level of stress and anxiety. I believe my blood sugars have surged upwards as a result. Can anyone offer advice on the efffects of adrenaline on blood sugars and how to control the rise in sugar levels?

Thanks

Muncle DAFNE Graduate
University Hospitals, Leicester
8 posts

Hi Deadly,

Apologies for the late reply. I also find that stress and Anxiety at work increased my blood sugar levels so for the past couple of years I have taken up mindfulness which seems to have helped me maintain decent blood sugar levels.

I believe the basis of my improvement is concentrating on the "what is" and not worrying about the "what was" or "what if". There is a free online course on Futurelearn from Monash University in Australia https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/mindfulness-wellbeing-performance and the next course start date is 7th May. I couldn't recommend this enough and have done the same course several times Wink

Although Mindfulness is for everyone, it's probably worth pointing out that it can be uncomfortable in the sense that you get in touch with yourself so if people are having therapy for depression it may be worth discussing with a GP or therapist before starting mindfulness.

Also there is a good book by Dr Emma Mardlin called "Mind Body Diabetes Type 1 & Type 2" which is well worth a read Wink

All the best

Muncle

maturegolfer DAFNE Graduate
Mid Yorkshire Hospitals
1 post

Certainly I have random periods of stress in my personal life and without doubt it raises my blood sugar levels. I just dose to bring it down but I do go through a bit of yo_yo effect, i.e. levels down and up for 48 hours whilst body readjusts. So you have to be careful. Deep breathing, getting things in perspective, what's the worst thing that can really happen, if you can talk to someone it does help. Take care.

JayBee DAFNE Graduate
James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
766 posts

Never managed to find a decent solution to the stress problem, besides asking work for reasonable adjustments as part of my rights under the disability act. The best thing I ever did to be frank - quality of life greatly improved. Work is never worth your health and wellbeing so you're well within your rights to ask for help if you need it.

Kenny131 3 posts

I understand your feelings. I happened to have two jobs simultaneously and stress and anxiety were my permanent "companions". And to cope with it I tried to use cbd oils. Check this informative post. I bet it'll help you.

Warwick DAFNE Graduate
Diabetes Australia-Vic, Melbourne, Victoria
508 posts

Hello David,

Stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol blunt the action of insulin which is why more insulin is required to lower BGLs.

How you control that will depend on your body's response and you will only be able to tell that by trial and error. If the stress remains in the background even after work, then you probably won't experience a sudden drop in BGLs after taking correctional insulin, but if once you leave work, you immediately lose the stress and feel calm, then your BGLs possibly would drop quickly in the absence of the stress hormones.

As others have said, if you can find a way of making the work situation less stressful, then that of course will be the best way to handle this. That could be through breathing exercises, talking with a professional counsellor, going for a walk when things get stressful etc.

If you are able to monitor your BGLs using a device such as the Freestyle Libre, then that is likely to also be helpful in identifying how your body is responding to stress and also the extra insulin that you are injecting.

Hope it all sorts itself out soon.

planehazza DAFNE Graduate
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
4 posts

Stress/anxiety half kills me, sugar wise. In fact, last night, I had a pretty violent/gory nightmare and when I tested, my sugars had risen from 9.7 (10PM) to 13.4(2AM) with no carb on board since 6PM. I have a late dawn phenomenon but it may have been the onset of that. However, I'm inclined to believe that either the high sugar caused the nightmare, or vice versa.

We're strange creatures...