Tips to Help Lower Your Stress and Blood Sugar Levels!
SLOW down, take your time; being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was stressful but stress and psychological strain affect your body and will, at times, increase your blood sugar levels as the result of the way certain hormones respond to stress. Studies show stressful situations generate stress hormones, notably epinephrine and cortisol; these in turn raise your blood sugar levels. In one study, adults with diabetes took part in a twenty minute mental stress test which resulted in their blood sugars rising after an hour. These levels continued to be raised by approximately 35 mg/dl (2mmol/l) for another five hours.
Their blood pressure increased also … and the stress triggered a resistance to insulin due to the increase in their adrenaline, cortisol and growth hormones.
Those who were able to produce some of their own insulin found the stress had less affect on their blood sugar levels. So, if you already have high blood sugars and you find yourself in a stressful situation, gosh can you imagine how high your levels could go? Stress increases your blood sugar levels by:
releasing glucose from your liver decreasing the uptake of glucose into your cells
Problems in your family or at your workplace will have the greatest effect on your health. Stress can also affect your blood sugar simply because you will not have as much time to care for your type 2 diabetes when your life becomes so stressful.
Managing stress is not always easy as you probably have discovered, here are a few tips:
1. Introduce meditation into your daily regime … simply focusing on your breathing is one way to give your brain a rest.
2. Eat less carbohydrates … your pancreas will then produce less insulin and this will allow cortisol, your stress hormone, to take a break. Your body needs:
protein in beans, fish, eggs and lean meat essential fats in nuts, seeds and oils, Carbohydrates in fruit and vegetables … carbs in bread, cereals, potato, rice and pasta are unnecessary.
3. Herbs such as Siberian ginseng, gotu kola and oats will help soothe your adrenal glands by realigning them. The benefit from herbal tonics takes a little while to work as their effect is cumulative.
4. Exercise helps release pent up tension, so if you do this four to five hours before sleeping, your mind should be ready for peaceful sleep.
5. Families who talk to each other and use problem-solving strategies are better able to deal with stress. Ask your family for support. If something does not work out the way you would like it to, try to shrug it off instead of dwelling on the downside. A quick stretch can help you shrug off stress.
6. Enjoy a variety of exercise routines including stretching via yoga, weight training or power walking. It becomes easier once you establish a regular behavior pattern.
7. Soothing music will help you relax … experiment to find out what works best for you. Borrow CDs or tapes from your friends, maybe consider styles you might not normally choose, eg. classical, jazz and folk and most others will have styles to help you.
So there you have it: hormones, nutrients, diet and exercise … combined they might just make it easier for you to control your type 2 diabetes and blood sugar levels. You can’t get rid of all the stress in your life but you can learn to deal with it.
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