12-week wellness program

Reduce Stress to Control Blood Sugar and Diabetes Complications

Managing stress can improve your emotional well-being and help your health.


Stress is a part of daily life—sometimes we have more, sometimes less. For people with diabetes, stress has the added effect of potentially wreaking havoc on blood sugar. When you’re under stress, your body fights back by producing extra energy in the form of glucose, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise—and your blood pressure too. In short, stress can lead to real health problems.

Short-term rises in blood sugar usually aren’t harmful, but ongoing stress can be, especially if you react by forgetting to exercise, take your medication or take care of yourself. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce and cope with stress. Here are a few strategies to put into action to help better control your stress:

1. Exercise.

2. Take 5 slow, deep breaths.

3. Do a few simple stretches or yoga poses.

4. Get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

5. Cuddle with your spouse, child or pet.

6. Take time to do something you really enjoy.

7. Talk it out with a friend, counselor or diabetes educator.

8. Write your thoughts—good and bad—in a journal.

9. Think about something happy or funny.

Before any strenuous physical activity, be sure to talk to your doctor.

By DiabeticLivingOnline.com. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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