Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's Talk About Stress, Baby!

Stress plays a major role in daily life, for diabetics and non-diabetics. Stress affects your entire body, your daily life, your thoughts and feelings, etc.

According to MayoClinic, the effects of stress on your body can include:
  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Decreased immunity
  • Upset stomach
  • Sleep problems
Just to name a few.

Stress comes in different forms as well! It can be physical, mental, or emotional.

Physical forms of Stress:

Physical forms of stress include things like a broken bone, a cold or flu, undergoing surgery, etc. Basically, anything where your body is trying to repair itself back to a healthy condition, it puts your body under stress, whether you realize it or not.

Mental and/or Emotional Stress:

I am lumping these two into the same category because, basically, they go hand in hand. Mental and Emotional forms of stress can include things like stressed about your job, your marriage, your health. Worrying about something. Being angry about something, etc, etc, etc.

Believe it or not, stress also plays a major role in managing your blood sugar!

According to the American Diabetes Association
"When stress occurs, the body prepares to take action. This preparation is called the fight-or-flight response. In the fight-or-flight response, levels of many hormones shoot up. Their net effect is to make a lot of stored energy — glucose and fat — available to cells. These cells are then primed to help the body get away from danger. In people who have diabetes, the fight-or-flight response does not work well. Insulin is not always able to let the extra energy into the cells, so glucose piles up in the blood."
So, what does this mean for a person with diabetes?

It means when you are under stress, whether mental or physical, your body is producing hormones, which in turn, causes your body to produce more glucose into your blood, raising your blood sugar! According to the American Diabetes Association:
"Scientists have studied the effects of stress on glucose levels in animals and people. Diabetic mice under physical or mental stress have elevated glucose levels. The effects in people with type 1 diabetes are more mixed. While most people's glucose levels go up with mental stress, others' glucose levels can go down. In people with type 2 diabetes, mental stress often raises blood glucose levels. Physical stress, such as illness or injury, causes higher blood glucose levels in people with either type of diabetes."

It is important to find something you enjoy doing, that will also help relieve stress. Going for a walk every day helps. Gardening is very theraputic. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress.

I like to garden to help take my mind off stress. This is something I just started doing in the summer of 2010 and have enjoyed it since!

What do you do to relieve stress? Share your stress relieving tips with us! Maybe they will help others find something they will enjoy doing and find it theraputic too!


Meri said...

I like to drive to relieve stress. Drive and listen to music. I like to walk...I like to laugh...and unfortunately, I like to eat. :(

deana said...

I love this entry. It gave me so much to think about! Thanks....I honestly try not to stress. I try to always remember that there are always things beyond my control and worrying about them won't help at all. When I do get stressed, I try to relax with a good book and escape into a world of others peoples drama!lol