Keep A Close Eye On Your Blood Sugar Levels
Its always important to keep tabs on your stress and blood sugar. Thats why we recommend a fasting blood sugar test at every;yearly physical.If your blood sugar starts to creep upwards, we can be proactive and start measures to help you.
This is particularly important if you have diabetes or prediabetes. In fact, if you have these conditions, we may suggest that you have blood sugar screenings more often. We can guide you through when you should check your blood sugar, and our dietitian can help you select healthy meals.
Causes Of Anxiety For People With Diabetes
People with diabetes may become anxious over a variety of things. These can include monitoring their glucose levels, weight, and diet.
They may also worry about short-term health complications, such as hypoglycemia, as well as long-term effects. People with diabetes are at higher risk for certain health complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Knowing this can lead to further anxiety.
But keep in mind that the information can also be empowering if it leads to preventative measures and treatments. Learn about other ways one woman with anxiety feels empowered.
There is also some evidence that anxiety may play a role in causing diabetes. One study found that symptoms of anxiety and depression are significant risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.
Can Stress And Anxiety Raise Blood Sugar Levels
Everyone experiences anxiety. In fact, studies show Americans are more;stressed out;than ever.
But can stress and anxiety actually raise the level of your blood sugar? And what does this mean for those who have;diabetes?;;
Also Check: Why Does My Blood Sugar Go Up At Night
Does Sugar Cause Anxiety
Contrary to what you may have read online, sugar does not cause anxiety. Anxiety is a mental health issue, and it’s very uncommon for a person’s diet to “cause” anxiety. What sugar does do is create changes in your body that may make your anxiety symptoms worse, or cause feelings that trigger anxiety attacks.
Lets explore the latter.
When you suffer from anxiety attacks, you tend to become hypersensitive to your body. You fear your anxiety attacks, and you notice every single time you feel tired, lightheaded, sick, etc. You notice each and every ache and pain, and you notice when you’re not thinking clearly. Every time you notice any of these changes, your anxiety spikes as a result.
Sugar itself doesn’t necessarily cause any of these sensations. But sugar does stimulate various sensations in your body. Glucose – and the insulin released to counter glucose – can cause fatigue, trouble thinking, blurry vision and general ill feelings. For those without anxiety, many of these symptoms go unnoticed. But for those with anxiety, each and every one makes you worry that a panic attack is coming, and that fear increases your likelihood of getting one. Furthermore, sugar consumption may leave you with a stomach ache, if you each too much of it. This experience of physical discomfort can also trigger or worsen your anxiety.
Managing And Treating Anxiety As A Person With Diabetes
Getting help for anxiety can be challenging for a variety of reasons.
The first is that mental health issues, in general, all come with the stigma of feeling as though you are weak or flawed for struggling in the first place. The reality is that even though things like depression and anxiety are rarely discussed as openly as topics like your favorite insulin pump or recipes for low-carb bread, they are very common, and you are not alone.
Read Also: Is Monk Fruit Sugar Good For Diabetics
Keeping Your Blood Sugar Under Control During Anxiety: Raleigh Medical Group Can Help
This is a team effort.
Dont feel you have to go it alone.
For decades weve been the provider of choice in the Raleigh, Cary and Triangle areas. Our experienced, compassionate physicians and health care team are ready to guide you toward the healthiest life possible.
Scheduling an appointment is easyand now we even offer convenient;telehealth;appointments.
Dont let stress ruin your health.;Contact us;today.
How To Use A Glucose Meter
Glucometers are easy to use. Take the following steps to successfully test blood glucose:
People with type 2 diabetes normally need to test blood sugar concentrations at least once each day.
Those who need to take insulin, which includes all people with type 1 diabetes and some with type 2, have to test their blood several times a day.
An accurate reading of the blood glucose level can help achieve good diabetes control.
Don’t Miss: Where Should Your Blood Sugar Be
Are Some People More Prone To Anxiety Than Others
Thats a difficult question, and theres no one correct answer.
Generally, both physical and psychological factors cause everyone to react to stress differently.
For example, genetics can play a role. Some genes that control the stress response may go into overdrive while for other people, they are under reactive.
Those who experience traumatic life events or are survivors of abuse may be more vulnerable to stress.
Still others may have a combination of factors.
Hypoglycemia And Adrenal Fatigue
You may not realize it, but becoming severely stressed can trigger adrenal fatigue, which can lead to hypoglycemia. This is because several adrenal hormones including cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine play critical roles in the regulation of your bodys blood sugar levels. In fact, epinephrine plays a role in the short-term control of your bodys blood glucose. Epinephrine is involved in the increase of blood sugar when the body encounters stress. Meanwhile, cortisol is involved in the long-term maintenance of your bodys blood glucose levels.
When the body experiences stress, the adrenal glands prepare it for a fight or flight response by releasing the primary stress hormone cortisol. As cortisol levels rise in the body, both fat and muscle in the body become less sensitive to insulin. Because of this, more glucose becomes readily available in the bloodstream.
This activity is all part of the bodys entire NeuroEndoMetabolic Stress Response system. It is made up of the response from several organs and systems in the body, including the heart, liver, hormones, immune system, and the adrenal glands. Using the hormone cortisol, the adrenal glands help ensure that the body has enough energy to deal with the stress at hand.
When this happens, the cells fail to receive the glucose and other nutrients that they need to stay healthy. You may find yourself craving sugar while feeling shaky, tired, and even weak.
Eating Breakfast Kicks Off Metabolism Turns Your Brain On And Begins Regulating Blood Sugar For The Whole Day
If youre a lady, this is especially important for you: we tend to be extra sensitive to hormone fluctuations. Without breakfast, were setting ourselves up for wonky hormone levels that affect everything else we do.
If eating breakfast scares you like it did me when I first started, know that something small is better than nothing. Maybe you could try a balanced protein bar or a smoothie to start. Maybe just a piece of toast with almond butter is all you can get down, and thats ok. I dont take it lightly just how difficult it can be to face the fears of eating breakfast when you havent before; its one of the major things we talk about in Intentional Eating. It may take some time, but it is one of the most healing things you can do for your physical and mental health.
Tingling Sensation Around The Mouth
If your mouth or lips are tingling, you might be experiencing hypoglycemia, according to Harvard Health. You might also feel tongue numbness or metallic taste in the mouth. It’s not entirely clear why this happens, but Cedars Sinai Hospital notes it’s possible that the nerves in the mouth and tongue react poorly to low blood sugar.
Eating Based On Anxiety And Stress May Eventually Impact Blood Sugars
Whether based on meeting a deadline at work, worrying about financial matters, or dealing with a close friends death, unwanted emotions may knock at the door, intrude in, and overstay their welcome.
During such times of stress, anxiety, anger, worry, and other negative feelings, seeking out food for comfort measures is not too unlikely: Emotions have a strong tie and bond to diet choices and unfortunately, the chosen foods tend to be rich in sugar, fat, and calories and consumed in large volumes.
Emotional eating can be further fueled by dopamine, also known as the feel good hormone. Especially in strong emotional bouts, taking to food can release dopamine and activate the reward and pleasure centers and potentially diminish the efficiency of satiety cues , subsequently consuming foods in excess. The art of sugars renowned addictive properties can further instigate emotional eating and fuel the drive towards its intake.
While these feelings may feel resolved in the moment, the cycle often continues and places significant risk of weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes, therefore creating a link between anxiety and high blood sugar.
How to Gain Control of Emotional Eating
Why Do You Worry About Hypoglycemia
So why do people worry about hypoglycemia, particularly whe, in most cases, they can be treated with relative speed and ease by eating a sugary snack? Well, its often because the effects of a hypo can be frightening, embarrassing, uncomfortable, unpleasant and, in their worst cases, fatal.
Getting sweaty, having slurred speech, shaking uncontrollably or being confused may not seem too bad in the whole scheme of things, but having them occur in a job interview or important work meeting, whilst driving home at night or on a romantic date may not be so pleasant! Having just one episode of hypoglycemia that was unpleasant can lead to increased anxiety of it happening again.
This can lead to other behaviours which may lead to further difficulties with managing diabetes :
- Running blood sugars high to avoid hypoglycemia
- Eating more than needed to keep blood glucose levels elevated
- Restricting activities such as driving, exercising, travelling on public transport etc.
In addition to a particularly bad experience of hypoglycemia, there are three further factors that may contribute to excessive worry:
Many symptoms of hypoglycemia, such as sweatiness or an increased heart rate are the same as signs you would experience if you were fearful. This may lead to a spiral of confusion:
When actually what you really were experiencing was nervousness!
You May Like: What Type Of Insulin Can Be Given Iv
Slurred Speech And Clumsiness
Your sugar-starved brain may change the way you sound. Slurred speech is a common symptom associated with blood sugar levels that drop below 40 mg/dL, according to University of Michigan Health Systems. Combined with clumsiness another sign of low blood sugar ;you may seem as though you’ve had a few too many cocktails, even if you haven’t touched a drop, according to the National Health Service.
For more on managing low blood sugar, check out Diabetes Daily’s article “How to Treat Lows Without Sabotaging Your Diet!“
How To Keep Sugar From Contributing To Anxiety
Of course, this isn’t just to freak you out and make you throw out all of the dairy-free ice cream in the fridge. Lots of other things can contribute to anxiety, including stress, coffee, work, and even family relationshipsâso cutting out Oreos isn’t the magic bullet for reducing anxiety. But the impact of sugar on anxiety levels can affect anyone, says Zeitlinâand if you have an existing anxiety disorder, sugary foods will likely exacerbate your condition, she adds.
One way to combat this is certainly to reduce your sugar intake, including processed foods and breads. It’s also a good idea to load up on foods low in sugar and high in fiber âZeitlin says they have a much more even effect on your blood sugar, which can help cut back on feelings of “increased anxiety.” She also recommends stopping eating about two hours before you go to sleep. “This gives your body time to properly digest and process the foodâsugary or notâand let that energy subside in time for you to actually fall asleep and stay asleep.”
When you are eating foods higher in sugar, Burch suggests pairing it with foods higher in fiber and healthy fats. “This slows the absorption of sugar, preventing it from spiking blood sugar as much,” she says, and thus making it less likely to put you in an anxiety spiral.
Additional reporting by Jessie Van Amburg.
You May Like: Is Oatmeal Good For Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes And Anxiety: Everything You Need To Know
Anxiety is very common in people with diabetes, and for good reason.
In life with diabetes type 1 or type 2 there can be a constant feeling of worry and stress throughout every part of every day because your blood sugar is never still. And as we know all too well, blood sugars too high or too low can both have a variety of consequences with varying degrees of danger.
In this article, well discuss what anxiety is, why people with diabetes are more likely to develop generalized anxiety disorders, the latest research on diabetes and anxiety, and treatment options available today.
Dealing With Diabetes Can Cause Anxiety
Lets face it:;Controlling diabetes;is hard work. That in itself is enough to cause worry and stress. In fact, according to the;Centers for Disease Control, those with diabetes are 20 percent more likely to experience anxiety than those without the disease.
We understand this, and were dedicated to helping alleviate your worry by working together as a team to address any distressing issues.
Also Check: What Causes Weight Loss In Diabetes
How To Help Others Help You
Knowing the signs of low blood sugar, having an action plan, and being prepared with your glucose meter and glucose tablets are vital, but sometimes you might need to rely on other people to help when youre blood sugar drops too low. Take these additional steps so youre prepared and they are, too:
Teach your loved ones.;If youre unable to help yourself, friends, family, or colleagues may need to treat you with an injection of glucagon, a hormone that tells your liver to release stored glucose, the American Diabetes Association says. For this reason, its a good idea to teach those close to you what to do. If they dont know how to give you the injection or if glucagon isnt available, they must call 911 and get you the help you need, Evans says. Low blood sugar thats sustained for a prolonged time can lead to irreversible brain damage, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Wear an ID bracelet.;Evan suggests that everyone with;diabetes;should get a tattoo or wear a medical ID bracelet. The bracelet should say diabetes and whether youre on;insulin;or take other medications, the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston recommends.
Talk to your doctor about your low blood sugar risk.;If you have frequent bouts of hypoglycemia, be sure to talk with your doctor. The solution may be as simple as changing how much or the kind of diabetes medicine you take. However,;never make any changes to your medication regimen;without your doctors approval.
Depression And Anxiety May Increase A Patients Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
This 2017 study from Florida and Indiana found that 25 percent of patients with depression and anxiety developed type 2 diabetes within the 10-year period of the study. And concluded that helping patients prevent the development of diabetes should include more adequate treatment and screening for mental health issues.
These findings suggest that screening positive for anxiety is a risk factor for diabetes mellitus in older adults independent of depression and traditional diabetes mellitus risk factors, explained the researchers.;
Anxiety requires greater consideration and awareness in the context of diabetes mellitus risk assessment and primary prevention.
Also Check: What Does Insulin Do In The Body
What The Research Says
People with diabetes are at risk of developing low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. Some of the symptoms of hypoglycemia are identical to those of anxiety.
Additionally, the results of a 2015 animal study suggest that experiencing several episodes of hypoglycemia can increase the likelihood of anxiety. The reason for this may be that hypoglycemic episodes trigger chemical and metabolic changes that physically affect the part of the brain that plays a role in processing anxiety.
- feeling on edge or irritable
- difficulty focusing thoughts
The procedures that healthcare professionals use to diagnose diabetes and anxiety are quite different.