Stress causes more health problems than any other factor. It’s considered the “21st century’s silent killer”, and for good reason too. In regard to diabetes, it’s important to know how stress makes the condition worse.
When you’re stressed out, your immune system is weaker. Your body will release the stress hormone cortisol into your blood. In turn, cortisol will cause the body to release stored glucose and fat for energy to cope with the ‘stress’ that you’re feeling.
While the glucose can help you feel better, it’ll require your body to have enough insulin, and herein lies the problem. Diabetes sufferers usually do not have enough insulin to handle the glucose in their blood.
This leads to a situation where the body has high glucose levels and the fat in the blood stream results in you having high ketones too. This is a double whammy.
On an interesting note, different stressors can cause different reactions in the body. If you’re physically stressed, because you’re working too hard or not getting enough sleep, your blood glucose will go up.
On the other hand, mental stress that arises due to financial or marital stress may either make your blood sugar rise or drop. The only way to know for sure will be to do a blood glucose test at regular intervals to monitor how your body reacts to your stressors.
So, that brings us to the most important question – what do you need to do?
The answer is simple, but not easy. You’ll need to set aside time to de-stress. There are many ways to do this and it can vary from individual to individual.
Whenever people talk about de-stressing, the first thought that comes to mind is either meditation or yoga. This whole idea of being calm and still in order to relieve stress has been overly hyped up. In fact, some people may find it more stressful to try and clear their mind for meditation.
The key to de-stressing is to have fun and have a laugh. Laughter is the best medicine. If watching a comedy for an hour makes you laugh and takes your mind off what’s bothering you, that makes it a fantastic form of stress relief for you.
There are no hard and fast rules here and nothing is set in stone. There are many ways to de-stress.
For some people, that may mean talking to someone they trust. Being able to vent their frustrations and worries can be a form of stress relief.
Another method that works for many is journaling. Writing your thoughts and feelings on paper can be. The point here is to get the negative energy out of you. Writing does that for some people.
Others may turn to high intensity sports like boxing or Cross-fit. The exertion will allow you to express pent up energy and give you a sense of release. Once again, it’s all about burning up the negative energy instead of allowing it to grow and fester inside you.
Some people may enjoy a massage, others a movie and for some, even a luxurious warm bath can be soothing to them. Stress relief comes in many forms.
Enjoying nature, trying something new, etc. are all possible ways to release stress. Find what works for you and take time to de-stress. It will help you in the long run.