We all know that feeling stressed out can take its toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. But did you know that it can also affect your diabetes management? Being stressed causes your body to produce extra stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Both amplify glucose production, while cortisol also decreases insulin sensitivity.
To reduce stress, try to minimise the things that make you anxious. Here are some ideas to help you feel better, right now:
1. Get moving: Go for a walk during the day. As well as reducing stress, exercise improves insulin sensitivity.
2. Ignore the lure of the fridge: Ensure your reaction to stress is not to eat. If this causes your blood glucose levels to rise, you can feel worse and struggle even more.
3. Rethink your portions: If you manage your diabetes with diet or tablets and find your blood glucose levels rising through the day, your dietitian may be able to help you plan smaller meals.
4. Plan for it: If you’re on insulin, make a ‘stress day’ plan. Keep a blood glucose diary that shows normal days and stressful days. Then see your doctor or educator for ways to increase your basal insulin or make bolus corrections.