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Being diabetic and to manage it with daily life’s ups and downs can be stressful. It is not easy to live with and it only gets harder when many people don’t understand it.

One can’t avoid stressful situations but they can do things which make it easier to cope. This can help stopping building up of stress and also affecting ones mental health.

What is stress? 

Stress is nothing but the reaction of your body to new or difficult situations. This can be something short-term like worrying about a project one has to give at work. Or attending a party where you might not know many people over the weekend. It can also be physical like having an accident or illness.

Stress affect’s one physically, emotionally and mentally.

How can stress affect diabetes

If one is feeling stressed, the body starts to release stress hormones i.e cortisol and adrenaline. This will give one an energy boost for a ‘fight or to respond to a fight’. But in reality these hormones actually make it tough for insulin to properly work, this is known as insulin resistance. As insulin can’t get into the cells, the blood sugar levels increases.

If the blood sugar goes too high, it’s called getting hyper (i.e hyperglycaemia).

If stress stays for too long, it will keep the blood sugar levels high which will put one at higher risk of diabetic complications


Stress from having diabetes

People having diabetes worry about having hypos i.e when the blood sugar level gets too low. This can be stressful as when it may happen and managing it when it happens. One might also call it hypo anxiety. There are things one can do to control these feelings.

Some people might start to feel overwhelmed after getting diabetes, they feel frustrated and distressed about getting it. People worry about having complications. This feeling of getting overwhelmed will also become bad when one feel’s a lot of stress, as looking after the diabetes as well as everything else becomes a burden.

This is understandable if one feels this way from sometime this is known as diabetes distress and one is  not alone. If one can’t manage this distress, things get worse and will lead to burnout

Can stress cause diabetes?

Stress alone cannot cause diabetes. But there are some proofs which show that there can be a link between stress and risk of type 2 diabetes.

Researches show that excessive stress hormones can stop insulin-producing cells to work properly this reduces the amount of insulin production. This also contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Researchers also say that people who release too much cortisol have a higher risk of type 2.

Overeating under stress is also a factor how people develop type 2 diabetes. Many people react to stress by excessive eating which leads them to get obese.

How to manage stress

Everyone manages stressful situations in different ways.

Look after yourself

When in stress, it is even more necessary to look after them and treat themself kindly.

reality it’s not always as easy. If one is too busy working or managing their family then forgetting to eat or take medication is normal.

Most important is to find a proper balance between personal care without putting too much pressure on doing everything perfectly. This can add stress level.

Getting proper sleep and making routine for exercise, rest and relaxation time also helps some people cope up with stress.

Good eating habits ,with foods that donot spike up the blood sugar levels is also effective.One should also avoid or limit their alcohol intake.

Talk to others

Talking about things making you stressed will definately help. It will surely put something into perspective, or you may feel relieved about getting it off the chest.

If you want to talk to someone about things that worries you, then you could think about speaking to your doctor.

If stress is affecting how you manage your diabetes, the your doctors diabetes team will give you advice about what can help. For example, like they can help you and advice that you might need to adjust your insulin.

It really doesn’t matter that if one gets stressed about may not be related it to diabetes. It’s getting right support to manage it that’s important. Getting good support will start to help one think about how one reacts to stress and think about things that one can change to make life easier.

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