Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive

Q:

Does stress elevate your blood sugar?

A:

Stress most certainly does elevate blood sugar; it is our "scapegoat" for illness--and rightly so. Many of us may recall high school biology where we learned about the "Flight or Fight" response. If we see a speeding car headed for us, we want to run! Since sugar is fuel, our liver gets the signal to send sugar to the blood stream to crank up our engine in a hurry.

Now, there is both good and bad stress. Good stress, like meeting a deadline on a project that you're really excited and enthusiastic about, is balanced by other hormones to create a positive mood. One remains in balance this way. A mind that is always worrying about how to get through the day will generally have a high acid system. This means our stress hormones become more elevated, which sends that same signal to the liver to make more sugar. Those "good feeling" hormones are not cranking in here to help us balance. Over time, our metabolism becomes more upset, opening the doors for chronic conditions and/or whatever else our genes may have us ripe for. So again, what should we strive for here?BALANCE!

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