You may have changed your diet in order to lower your blood sugar and still find it is high. You’ve given up sugar, grains and starchy foods, exercise most days of the week and still do not see those numbers normalizing and are now concerned that you are heading toward diabetes. But what are you missing?
You may not have considered that stress could be the underlying cause but in reality, stress influences everything from mood and brain function to heart health and increased risk of both acute illness and chronic disease. You are probably wondering what that has to do with blood sugar levels. More than you may realize.
Think about what stress does. It activates your fight or flight mode. So, when you’re stressed, your body releases glucose to give your muscles the energy needed to run and escape whatever is threatening you. Our bodies are Intelligently created and if you found yourself in a physically threatening situation, you would need this extra energy to escape to safety.
Today, our stress tends to be more mental and emotional than physical in terms of threat, so you don’t need that extra energy to run to safety. This fight or flight response is a protective mechanism and is only meant to kick in when needed and then shut down. Unfortunately, many people are under chronic stress so they never get out of stress mode. That is very destructive. It’s like putting a brick on your car’s accelerator and just letting it run. Sooner or later you will run out of gas.
So when you are stressed you have more glucose circulating in your blood. The longer your blood sugar stays elevated, the more insulin your body produces, which then causes your cells to become insulin resistant. Now the glucose remains in your blood because it can’t get into the cells, raising glucose levels since you didn’t need it for physical energy.
In addition, when you are stressed your body secretes cortisol and glucagon, which also affect your blood sugar levels. So now your body has to produce more insulin to control blood sugar. When you’re stressed, blood sugar levels remain elevated six times longer than when you are not stressed. Therefore, even if you are not diabetic or pre-diabetic, stress can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels.
So while eating properly (one-ingredient, real, whole foods), limiting carbs, sugar and fructose, regular exercise and adequate sleep will definitely be the first line of defense here, don’t neglect finding an effective way to manage stress.
An extremely effective (and easy!) way to deal with stress is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). It can help reprogram your body’s reactions to the unavoidable stressors of everyday life, calm you by sending the message to your amygdala that you are safe in the present moment and neutralize the underlying subconscious stress triggers. This can reduce your risk for developing chronic illnesses including out of control blood sugar. If you would like to try a short session for free, contact me here.
What do you think about the link between stress and blood sugar?
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