Stress, whether physical stress or mental stress, has been proven to instigate changes in blood sugar levels, which for people with diabetes can be problematic. While stress can affect diabetes control, both directly and indirectly, it can also be caused by various diabetic factors such as being diagnosed with diabetes, adjusting to a diabetes treatment regimen, or dealing with psychosocial pressures of the disease.
When we are stressed, the body quickly responds by releasing hormones that give cells access to stored energy fat and glucose to help the body get away from danger. This instinctive physiological response to perceived threats is known as the “fight-freeze, or flight” response.
Constant stress and frustration caused by long term problems with blood glucose regulation can also wear people down and cause them to neglect their diabetes care. People with diabetes and stress may have lower glycated haemoglobin levels unless they practice techniques that reduce stress. Strategies that increase their coping self-efficacy and their perceived social support can be effective.
High stress levels can also lead to unhealthful lifestyle habits, which can, in turn, increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes. Diabetic patients can contact APSA on 467 5858 to help them deal with their stress.
Sapna Jaggeshar Mudhoo, Psychologist