When under stress, the body releases hormones that can cause blood glucose levels to increase. This may cause adverse symptoms in people with diabetes, but management is possible.

If you’re experiencing stress or feeling threatened, your body reacts. This is called the fight-or-flight response.

During this response, your body releases adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream, and your respiratory rates increase. This can increase blood glucose levels if the body cannot adequately process it.

Constant stress from long-term problems with blood glucose can also wear you down mentally and physically. This may make managing your diabetes difficult.

How can different types of stress affect your diabetes?

Stress can affect people differently. The type of stress that you experience can also have an impact on your body’s physical response.
When people with type 2 diabetes are under mental stress, they generally experience an increased Trusted Source in their blood glucose levels. People with type 1 diabetes may have a more varied response. This means that they can experience either an increase or a decrease in their blood glucose levels.

When you’re under physical stress, your blood sugar can also increase. This can happen due to sickness or injury. This can affect people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

What are the symptoms of stress?
Sometimes, the symptoms of stress are subtle, and you may not notice them. Stress can affect your mental and emotional well-being and impact your physical health. Recognizing the symptoms can help you identify stress and take steps to manage it.

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • headaches
  • muscle pain or tension
  • sleeping too much or too little
  • general feelings of illness
  • fatigue

Stress may also cause you to feel:

  • unmotivated
  • irritable
  • depressed
  • restless
  • anxious

It’s also common for stressed people to engage in behavior that may be out of character, including:

  • withdrawing from friends and family
  • eating too much or too little
  • acting out in anger
  • drinking alcohol to excess
  • using tobacco 
How to reduce your stress levels
It’s possible to lessen or limit the stressors in your life. Here are a few things you can do to manage the effects of different forms of stress.

  • exercise regularly
  • practice relaxing activities such as yoga or tai chi
  • practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation
  • avoid known stressors, such as high-stress social situations
  • reduce caffeine intake
  • spend time with loved ones

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