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Can Stress Cause Low Blood Sugar

Low Blood Glucose Levels And Chronic Stress: The Hidden Link

Can Stress Cause Hypoglycemia?

To maintain good overall health, it is important to pay greater attention to your blood sugar levels. This is because any changes in your blood sugar levels may be an indication that you are suffering from adrenal fatigue. In fact, during the advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, you may suffer from low blood glucose levels or hypoglycemia. In this case, proper management of your blood sugar levels is needed to stop hypoglycemia symptoms and prevent adrenal exhaustion from becoming far worse.

How To Reduce Anxiety

First, lets be clear: If youre experiencing anxiety, we want to know about it. We care about much more than your physical health. We know that mental health is an important part of your overall well-being.

We care about our patients, and we are always in your corner, ready to help you.

Following are some useful tips for reducing anxiety:

  • Any type of physical activity, even if its just a quick walk around the block during your lunch break.
  • Reducing or eliminating your alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Getting enough sleep

If your anxiety continues for more than two weeks or if youre finding it difficult to complete everyday activities, you should consider talking to a counselor or psychologist who can provide help and direction. We can provide a referral if needed.

Ways To Combat Stress

Everyone experiences stress from time to time. However, constant stress isnt good for your body, mind, or your type 2 diabetes. Instead of letting stress get the better of you, meet it head-on with some de-stressing techniques, including these:

Stress isnt good for anyone, yet everyone experiences it. Instead of drowning beneath your stress, make an effort to reduce it. Not only will your mind feel freer, but your diabetes will likely be easier to manage.

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What You Can Do

If you have diabetes, a great way to help keep anxiety away is to keep your blood sugar in a safe range. Thatâs not as easy as it sounds. But these tips can make it a bit easier:

Be careful with insulin. Too much of it is the most common reason for low blood sugar. If you’re taking insulin to treat your diabetes, be sure to use the right type and dose every time. When you inject it, make sure to do it just under your skin. A shot into the muscle absorbs too fast and doesnât last as long.

Go low . Some foods make your blood sugar shoot up fast and drop a few hours later. Other foods keep it on a more even keel. A foodâs glycemic index is a good way to know which is which.

It’s a number that gives you an idea of how fast your body turns carbs into sugar. The higher the number, the quicker it happens and the higher your blood sugar will spike. High-glycemic foods include:

  • Simple sugars
  • Carbs like white bread, pasta, rice, and potatoes

Low-glycemic foods include:

Why Your Blood Sugar Drops

Everything You Need To Know About Hypoglycemia

The goal of diabetes treatment is to lower your blood sugar. But sometimes, it drops too low. Most people feel symptoms if it goes below 70 milligrams per deciliter . It can happen when you:

  • Take too much diabetes medicine
  • Skip meals
  • Eat less
  • Exercise more than normal

People who donât have diabetes can get low blood sugar, too. Some medicines and diseases can cause it. It can also happen if you:

  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Eat lots of sugary, high-carb foods

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What Are Symptoms Of Depression

Too much stress sometimes can lead to depression. People with diabetes are more likely to be depressed than the average person. You may be at risk for depression if you have any of the following symptoms for more than a week:

  • Feeling sad or irritable
  • Having lost interest in activities you enjoy
  • Feeling worthless

Other Ways Stress Causes High Blood Sugar

There are other ways that stress can lead to spikes in blood sugar. During periods of stress, people may participate in behaviors that could lead to high blood sugar such as emotional overeating of refined carbohydrates or foods that are high in added sugars. People may also fail to exercise or take their medications when theyre supposed to. Since stress has the ability to change healthy habits, these factors can all lead to elevated blood sugar levels.

Stress can also affect sleep because stress and sleep are both controlled by the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. When a person is under high stress and the axis is encouraging the extra production of cortisol, changes in the axis occur. This leads to problems with getting quality sleep as well as changes in sleeping patterns. When a person isnt getting enough sleep, it can cause glucose intolerance, which describes metabolic conditions that cause high blood sugar levels.

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Can Stress Affect My Blood Sugar Levels

There are several ways that stress may affect your blood sugar levels. Stress induces the well-known fight-or-flight response, in which your body increases its levels of certain stress hormones. These, in turn, cause a rise in the amount of sugar in your blood, where it’s available to be used by your cells as fuel. If your body doesn’t have enough insulin or can’t use the insulin it has in order to get that blood sugar into your cells, your blood sugar levels remain high. Stress may also indirectly increase your blood sugar levels by causing you to abandon your good habits. When stressed, you may not eat well or exercise regularly, or you may drink more alcohol. These habits can cause your blood sugar levels to rise. In addition, you may not take time to check your blood glucose levels as often when you are stressed, so you may not be aware of the effects that the stress is having on your blood sugar levels. If you feel that stress is affecting your diabetes, talk to your doctor.

What To Do If You Have A Blood Sugar Spike

Low Blood Sugar And Anxiety | Hypoglycemia causing anxiety

For those with diabetes, having a blood sugar spike can be dangerous because too much sugar in the blood passes into the urine. This triggers the body to filter out the fluid, which could lead to dehydration or a diabetic coma.

In the event that blood sugar levels spike because of stressors that cannot be managed, its vital to make managing your blood glucose a priority. You can do this by focusing on things you can control, such as your diet and exercise, checking your blood sugar regularly, and taking your medications as instructed by your physician.

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What Happens In Your Body When You Get Stressed

Stress hormones have a big role to play.

When youre experiencing physical or emotional stress, hormones are released that increase your blood sugar. Cortisol and adrenaline are other primary hormones involved.

This is a perfectly natural response. For example, if youre being chased by a barking dog or youre in a dangerous situation, you need these hormones to prepare your body for a fight or flight situation.

But when youre stressed, your body releases these hormones, even if there isnt a major physical threat involved.

The result? Higher blood pressure, increased heart rate and a rise in blood sugar.

The problem becomes more complicated.

If youre consistently under stress, your hormones and sugar will continue to surge.

Over time, this can put you at risk for:

  • Heart disease

This is one reason why its so important to treat your stress and anxiety.

How To Reduce Your Stress Levels

Learning what helps you manage, reduce, and relieve your overall stress level is a vital lesson. Sometimes the simplest thing can help you take a deep breath, lower your blood pressure, lower stress hormones, and release the physical and mental grip of stress.

Here are a few ideas for reducing your stress levels:

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Low Blood Sugar: A Common Cause Of Hormone Imbalance

Last updated on By Jing J.

Blood sugar imbalance is a fairly common, but often overlooked, cause of hormonal imbalance and menstrual problems among women.

Did you know that blood sugar imbalance could be the underlying cause of various unpleasant symptoms you experience throughout your menstrual cycle?

And you dont have to be diabetic or pre-diabetic with an elevated blood sugar level to be affected either.

In fact, low blood sugar is a fairly common, but often overlooked, cause of hormonal imbalance among women.

Hyperventilation And Low Blood Pressure

Can Anxiety Cause Symptoms Of Hypoglycemia

Hyperventilation occurs when a persons breathing pattern changes in a way that reduces his or her CO2 levels. The most common reason this occurs is when the rate of increases , which often happens during periods of intense anxiety. It may also occur when people recognize their breathing rate increases, and try to slow the breathing through taking in deeper breaths. The body has a way of regulating the levels of oxygen and CO2 that is needed, so when a person attempts to control their breathing rate, it not uncommon to take in too much air.

Without enough carbon dioxide, the body has to work harder to function properly. Blood needs to move more quickly, and blood vessels dilate as a result. This dilation causes a drop in blood pressure but still may show up in a blood pressure reading.

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How Stress Affects The Body

When the body is under stress, it releases cortisol. Cortisol is synthesized from cholesterol and then released from the adrenal glands. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is a unit in the brain comprised of the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, and the adrenal glands, is what regulates the production of cortisol and how much of it is released during periods of physical and emotional stress.

When the body sends signals of stressboth emotional and physicalit releases cortisol to help the body respond to a perceived threat, control blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. It is the hormone that is used for the fight-or-flight response so if there is any immediate danger, the body will be ready to face it or run from it.

Cortisol can also encourage the liver to release glucose and fatty acids to help give the body the energy it needs to deal with stress. From an evolutionary standpoint, the release of cortisol to deal with stress was important for survival. However, times have changed and those types of threats to life are now, for the most part, nonexistent. This means that cortisol is released and not used by the body in ways that it’s meant to be used in some situations.

What Happens To My Blood Sugar Levels When Im Stressed

During stressful situations, epinephrine , glucagon, growth hormone and cortisol play a role in blood sugar levels. Stressful situations include infections, serious illness or significant emotion stress.

When stressed, the body prepares itself by ensuring that enough sugar or energy is readily available. Insulin levels fall, glucagon and epinephrine levels rise and more glucose is released from the liver. At the same time, growth hormone and cortisol levels rise, which causes body tissues to be less sensitive to insulin. As a result, more glucose is available in the blood stream.

When you have type 2 diabetes, low blood sugars from too much medication or insulin are a common cause of stress. The hormonal response to a low blood sugar includes a rapid release of epinephrine and glucagon, followed by a slower release of cortisol and growth hormone. These hormonal responses to the low blood sugar may last for 6-8 hours during that time the blood sugar may be difficult to control. The phenomena of a low blood sugar followed by a high blood sugar is called a rebound or Somogyi reaction.

When you have type 2 diabetes, stress may make your blood sugar go up and become more difficult to control and you may need to take higher doses of your diabetes medications or insulin.

During times of stress, individuals with diabetes, may have more difficulty controlling their blood sugars.

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Stay Organized To Improve Your A1c And Lower Stress

Staying organized about all the aspects of your care doctors appointments, at-home blood-glucose monitoring, medication schedules can help with overall diabetes management. According to past research, maintaining solid organizational practices are linked to lower chronic cortisol levels, and finding a diabetes-management routine that works for you will also reduce the risk of health complications.

A Surprising Link Between Blood Sugar And Anxiety

What damage can high blood sugar and oxidative stress cause?

While the sweet stuff is regularly in the spotlight for its ramifications on physical health, the link between anxiety and blood sugar should not be dimmed. We’re shining the light on the surprising association between the two!

Sugar : The latest villain reigning the obesity and diabetes epidemic the U.S. is facing.

While the sweet stuff is in the spotlight for its ramifications on physical health, the link between anxiety and blood sugar should not be dimmed.

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How To Prevent Anxiety Over Hypoglycemia

Most likely, if you haven’t already been diagnosed with hypoglycemia, you’re simply experiencing anxiety. It’s perfectly normal to feel as though your anxiety symptoms must be the result of a health problem, and not anxiety, since in many cases anxiety mimics serious health concerns.

Anxiety is more common than many of the health disorders it mimics and unfortunately people with anxiety commonly experiencing health anxiety which may cause further concern over the symptoms they experience.

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Managing Blood Sugars Increases The Risk Of Anxiety

According to the findings from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, people with diabetes had a 20 percent higher prevalence of lifetime diagnosis of anxiety than those without. A complementary 2013 meta-analysis, featuring a total of twelve studies with data for 12,626 people with diabetes, supports that diabetes is associated with an increased likelihood of having anxiety disorders and elevated anxiety symptoms.

Diabetes may provoke anxiety related to:

  • Anticipating a diagnosis. Some people have anxiety before a definitive diagnosis.
  • Managing the condition itself. Anxiety may be triggered by specific fears associated with managing diabetes, including the risks of hypoglycemia or developing complications, including neuropathy and chronic kidney disease.
  • Worrying about judgment from others. Some people may be worried about what others think, which may result to noncompliance to diabetes management i.e. avoiding insulin injections in public or altogether.

Managing Diabetes with Confidence

If feeling anxious about managing diabetes, seek out the support from family members and friends and consult with a primary care provider, dietitian, diabetes educator, and other interdisciplinary team members as needed.

Their provision of care can not only help identify methods to control blood sugars, but instill confidence to do so and disseminate the risk of anxiousness surrounding the condition.

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A Striking Resemblance Exists Between Hypoglycemia And Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety and panic attack symptoms mimic those of hypoglycemia: A panic attack is a sudden feeling of intense fear or discomfort that strikes repeatedly without warning, while hypoglycemia is a medical event in which blood sugar falls below normal. Although the two are vastly different phenomena, the signs and symptoms of each resemble one another.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, a panic attack reaches a peak within minutes and includes at least four of the following symptoms:

  • Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Sensations of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Feelings of choking
  • Feeling dizzy, unsteady, light-headed, or faint
  • Chills or heat sensations
  • Nightmares or crying out during sleep
  • Seizures

Whats frightening is that hypoglycemia can be a dangerous, even life-threatening condition if not promptly treated. And unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to detect hypoglycemia without using a glucometer. So if suspicious if either, implement the 15-15 rule to help treat hypoglycemia and prevent such serious consequences.

The 15-15 Rule to Treat Hypoglycemia

Consume 15 grams of carbohydrate to raise your blood glucose and check it after 15 minutes. If its still below 70 mg/dL, have another 15 gram serving. The following are examples of 15 grams of carb:

Ways To Reduce Mental Stress

Low Blood Sugar Symptoms: Low Blood Sugar
  • Teach yourself to relax when under stress using deep-breathing exercises or techniques you learn in a stress-management class.
  • Evaluate your schedule and determine if you can make changes to relieve stress.
  • Exercise regularly

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How Your Body Reacts To Stress

When your body detects the presence of stress and anxiety, it sees it as an attack. As such, the central nervous system prepares your body for the battle. It does this by producing increased amounts of adrenaline and cortisol.

These two hormones have a direct impact on your coronary system. Your heart starts pumping blood and rushing it to different parts of your body. This is to ensure that all your organs have enough energy to fight the symptoms of stress. And there are many possible symptoms, ranging from heartburn to trouble breathing.

If stress is a constant in your life, it can result in a number of chronic illnesses. These include severe insomnia, infertility, and even heart attack. Moreover, stress also affects your blood sugar levels, which can worsen the symptoms of diabetes.

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.

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