Emotions and stress

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
Emotional stress can raise your blood sugar, because your body responds to this challenge by dumping excess glucose (GLUE-coas) into the blood. Glucose serves as fuel during both normal activity, and in situations of danger. Unfortunately, your body can't distinguish between a life-threatening emergency, like an attack by a wild animal, and the stress you might feel from your job, or traffic. If you're going through a difficult time, a doctor may temporarily increase your medication, to keep blood sugar down. However, the ideal solution is to manage your stress. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to relieve tension. This could mean a vigorous team sport, or just a neighborhood walk. In the evenings after work, give yourself time to unwind. Also, try to take short vacations now and then. Not surprisingly, just knowing you have diabetes can be stressful, because you may have concerns about keeping the disease under control. As with many situations, knowledge can be reassuring: read up on your condition, and discuss the latest treatments with a specialist. Also, educate your friends and family, and let them know how they can help. Above all, don't let being upset make you skip meals or medication. This can cause wide fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. For more information on stress and diabetes, consult a doctor.

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