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What role does stress play in blood sugar control?

Stress, both physical and mental, can significantly impact your blood sugar levels and diabetes management and affect your control of it. When you're stressed, your body responds by releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones trigger the liver to produce more glucose for energy, leading to increased blood sugar levels. For people without diabetes, the body responds by producing more insulin to handle the extra glucose. However, in people with diabetes, this regulatory system may not work as efficiently, causing blood sugar levels to remain high. Chronic stress can make it more difficult to manage your diabetes, as it may also impact your behavior, leading to less exercise, unhealthy eating habits, or forgetting to take medications. Therefore, incorporating stress management techniques, like meditation, yoga, or deep-breathing exercises into your daily routine can be beneficial in maintaining stable blood glucose levels.

References:

  1. American Diabetes Association. (2016). "Stress." www.diabetes.org. https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/stress

  2. Mayo Clinic. (2016). "Stress, illness and high blood sugar." www.mayoclinic.org. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-blog/stress-and-blood-sugar/bgp-20056593

  3. Surwit RS, et al. (2002). "Stress management improves long-term glycemic control in type 2 diabetes." Diabetes Care. https://doi.org/10.2337/diacare.25.1.30

  4. Lloyd C, et al. (2010). "Stress and diabetes: A review of the links." Diabetes Spectrum. https://doi.org/10.2337/diaspect.23.2.121

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