Stress, anxiety, and blood sugar levels are natural parts of our body, each serving an important role in our survival. However, unhealthy levels can be detrimental. In this brief read brought to you by Southern Maryland Medical Group, we look at the connection between these. If you are experiencing chronic and severe stress or anxiety, or if you are worried about your blood sugar levels, then see a primary care physician for an evaluation. Primary care doctors are your first point of contact for diagnosis and treatment of health issues and conditions.
Blood sugar levels refer to the proportion of glucose, or sugar, in your bloodstream. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body, but the concentration of it in the bloodstream must stay within a healthy range. High blood sugar levels can be a sign of diabetes and low levels can cause symptoms like dizziness, confusion, and even a loss of consciousness. Closely monitor and manage your blood sugar level to live a healthy life.
Stress and anxiety are some of your body’s natural responses to threat, or perceived threat. You might experience these emotions when there is a predator around, or when there is a looming deadline for work or school. Believe it or not, stress and anxiety CAN affect your blood sugar levels in a few ways.
First, there’s the hormonal response. When stressed or anxious, the body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which in turn trigger a surge of glucose into the blood stream. This provides the body with energy to react to the threat, or perceived threat.
Persistent stress and anxiety can even increase insulin resistance. As you might know, insulin regulates blood sugar levels by allowing glucose in the blood stream to enter cells. If cells become resistant to insulin, then glucose will remain in the blood stream.
Finally, there is stress eating. During times of stress or anxiety, some individuals turn to comfort foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. Similarly, some people avoid food during these times, dropping their blood sugar levels.
The first thing to do when feeling stress or anxious is to acknowledge your feelings. Signs of stress and anxiety include shallow breathing, nausea, and a fast or irregular heartbeat. Take a deep breath and evaluate the situation. Why are you feeling threatened? What can you do to help the situation?
Some ways to reduce stress and anxiety include deep-breathing exercises, meditation, or yoga. You should also replace comfort foods with a healthy diet, consisting of foods with lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. Finally, get hydrated and adequate sleep.
If you have diabetes, or if you experience severe and chronic stress or anxiety, then it’s important to reach out to a healthcare provider. A primary care physician is generally your first point of contact to address common health concerns. They can provide personalized guidance and support to help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Residents in the area can schedule a convenient appointment with a physician at Southern Maryland Medical Group.
Southern Maryland Medical Group has 3 convenient locations to provide professional medical care services in the Southern Maryland area. Call or schedule an appointment with one of our locations to get medical care help.