**Stress and Diabetes
-A diabetes diagnosis, new or long-standing, can trigger emotions like grief, stress, and frustration.
-Keeping stress under control can help you control your diabetes.
-A new or long-standing diagnosis of diabetes can trigger a flood of emotions, including grief, anxiety, frustration, disappointment and stress.
-These emotions are natural responses to the diagnosis, whether it’s a new or a long-standing diagnosis.
-Emotional issues may make it harder to take care of you, which in turn can affect blood sugar control.
-Everyone experiences stress, or emotional or physical strain daily, weekly or monthly.
-Everyday events, changes or positive busyness may create stress.
-Stress may be more difficult to manage when someone learns they have diabetes.
-Stress can make it more difficult to control your diabetes as it may throw off your daily routine and can result in wear and tear on your body.
-Hormones from stress increase your blood pressure, raise your heart rate and can cause blood sugar to rise.
-High blood sugar can make you feel down or tired.
-Low blood sugar may result in you feeling upset or nervous.
-Diabetes management is a lifelong process.
-This can add stress to your daily life.
-Feeling stress doesn’t just come from long-term problems.
-It also comes from being busy all the time and not having a chance to catch your breath.
**Stress and Type 1 Diabetes
-Type 1 diabetes often develops in childhood
-Even though someone may have grown up with diabetes, it can still cause stress at different stages of life
-The constant monitoring of blood sugar levels, diet and exercise may take a toll at times on the body and mind.
-When people with type 1 diabetes are under mental or physical stress, they can experience an increase or a decrease in their blood glucose levels.
**Stress and Type 2 Diabetes
-Type 2 diabetes often develops later in life
-Research has linked high levels of lifetime stress to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (www.medicalnewstoday.com)
-Developing diabetes later in life can cause stress due to the new demands to maintain health.
-Like with type 1 diabetes, the constant monitoring of blood sugar levels, diet and exercise may take a toll at times on the body and mind.
-When people with type 2 diabetes are under mental stress, they can experience an increase in their blood glucose levels.
-If someone with type 2 diabetes is under physical stress, they can experience an increase or a decrease in their blood glucose levels.
**How can you determine if stress is affecting your glucose levels?
-Keep track of information, such as the date and what you were doing at the time you were stressed, that may help you determine specific triggers.
-You can figure out if this is happening to you by capturing your stress and glucose levels. If you feel stressed, rate your level of mental stress on a scale from 1 to 10. Ten represents the highest level of stress. Write this number down.
-After rating your stress, you should check your glucose levels. Continue doing this for the next couple of weeks. Before long, you may see a pattern emerge. If you notice that your glucose is regularly high, it’s likely that your mental stress is negatively affecting you blood sugar.
**The Relaxation Response
-The relaxation response is the rest and digest part of the nervous system.
-It basically undoes the work of the stress response after a stressful situation.
-The relaxation response happens when we feel safe, nurtured or taken care of.
-It can block effects from your body’s response to stress.
-This is good for your mental and physical health.
**Effective Relaxation Techniques
-The most effective relaxation technique is one that works for you!
-Different relaxation techniques will help different people at different times.
-What works for you this week, may not work next week.
-But it might work again next month.
-Our needs vary and so it’s important to have a toolbox of relaxation techniques to help you on a regular basis.