Many of us find that periods of stress are often made worse by the fact that it becomes increasingly difficult to manage our blood sugars. This is somewhat of a vicious circle as ‘bad’ sugars can also contribute to stress levels.
As mentioned previously, I am by no means any sort of scientist so please forgive me if I’m wrong buuuut, my understanding of the science of this situation is fairly simple. Stress induces a ‘fight or flight’ response in the body and this causes a number of hormones to be released such as cortisol and epinephrine which in turn increase our blood sugars. The body knows that it cannot tackle a stressful situation with no energy therefore it chooses to increase the levels of sugar in the blood in order to create energy.
Now, this is all well and good if you are someone who has a fully functioning pancreas as the pancreas will release insulin to counteract this stress response and to ensure that the blood sugar remains within a safe range. For those of us with a defunct pancreas though, the blood sugar levels can keep on rising until we take action to stop it.
It amazes me that the body can be so clever in the way it induces this response yet so stupid in that it destroys one of its own organs! Come on body – get a grip!!
Anyway, this whole stress response is something that I have only recently become aware of and it definitely explains a few unanswered questions as to why my blood sugar has risen in certain situations when no food has been consumed and I think I have the right levels of insulin on board. I therefore now ensure that I check a lot more often when I feel that I’m a bit stressed and have successfully been able to avoid that spike on a few occasions. The whole annoying thing about this situation however is that, whenever I am feeling stressed, I am usually too busy and distracted to check my sugars every hour!
Does anyone have any good strategies for coping with this or find any different blood sugar responses to stress?