April is Stress Awareness Month. In our modern-day society, stress has become a much-overused word. Other synonyms you might use are overwhelmed, burnout, and pressure. These words adequately describe the way a person feels when under stress.
What is stress?
However, the scientific meaning of stress is the way the body responds to physical, emotional or mental pressure, commonly called the fight or flight response. During stress your body undergoes chemical changes that can raise your blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels.
Stress and diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes are prone to stress because of the difficulties associated with managing diabetes. Also, when you are under stress, your blood sugar levels rise. Let’s say you are walking along the street and see a speeding car coming straight at you, you experience a rush of adrenaline. Your heart pounds, your breathing becomes shallow, and your saliva may even dry up. This rush of adrenaline causes your blood glucose levels to rise as the body prepares to give you enough energy for fight or flight. At the same time, your insulin level drops, growth hormone and cortisol levels rise, making your body less sensitive to insulin.
Emotional stress may come about when you are overwhelmed either with demands placed on your time at work or at home. Conflict, financial pressures, and health issues can all bring about stress.
Use the infographic below to help increase your stress awareness and learn some techniques that will help you cope with stress.
A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can send your life into a tailspin. It can leave you feeling alone and overwhelmed, but it doesn’t have to. Join my type 2 diabetes network group and get the help and support you need.