Cortisol - How Does it Affect Diabetics?

Has anyone researched this?

Has anyone been tested for cortisol levels?

I’m trying to learn about cortisol, adrenals, and stress hormones - so anything you can teach me will be appreciated.


Have you looked at and followed it through about cortisol? Or look at physiology sites.
The whole topic can take several seminars analyzing graphs, peaks & troughs, and the internet isn’t bad on the subject of how cortisol and the stress hormones raise blood sugar.
The drug cortisone and its sisters given in a shot to the joints or taken in a 5 day packet raises blood sugar to the extent that about 175% long acting insulin is given to keep the BS under control before the BS comes down to stay. It is a tough management problem since the cortisone level can drop at 2 weeks or 3 weeks or 4 weeks, requiring less insulin and vigilance.

Hey Cheri,

I am intersted in this also. I am newly diagnosed and don’t fit the usualType 2 profle but I tend to stress out easily and had lots of stress prior to my diagnosis. Anyhow, I went to a diabetes class and a very knowledged CDE/diabetes nurse (she specifically works with diabetics and is one herself) and she diiscussed this. She told us an interesting story about her husband. He is not a diabetic but he had shoulder surgery and the stress of this for the many months of pain and recovery actually, test-wise, put him in the diabetic category (A1C tested high - I can’t remember if she said what it was - and sugars were testing high). Anyhoo, he didn’t go on any meds or anything but was retested after he fully recovered - everything was normal. At least this was the basic story she told that I can remember and don’t forget she is a diabetic nurse so she know what she is doing.

Anyhow, I asked her pretty much what you are asking - how does cortisol the stress hormones effect sugars etc? Basically how I understand it now is that cortisol is responsible for creating that stomach fat (viseral fat) and that particular fat creates more insulin resistance than any fat on other parts of the body. But that said stress in general can make blood sugars rise and prolonged periods of stress could very possibly be responsible for an higher A1C and sugars in someone who isn’t actually diabetic. It was very interesting. Especially the story about her husband. The nurse said that researchers are currently doing more studies on the effects of stress/cortisol on things like A1c and blood sugars and how they related to diabetes. I have also read this in several diabetes books I am reading - that they are definatley components in the disease. Every book mentions this at some level or another.

As for me, I am a believer. The only fat I have on my body is that stomach fat and I wouldn’t be surprised if that is responsible for some of my insulin resistance - although the doctor I have recently seen thinks I am genetic predisposed - although how can that be really proven? But I guess you could say that much about stress too. Anyhow, I guess you can get tested for the hormone levels and you can talk to your doctor about it. I talked to mine about it - but I have no insurance and tests like that are expensive. But now, that I am less stressed - I am wonder if the test would be differnent than it would say a month ago when I was very stressed out. I don’t know how long it takes these levels to change - meaning not test at high levels or abnormal levels in your body.

But I am glad to see someone else is interested in this as well. I am a sort of naturally anxious Type A sort of person - I can handle stress at some level but I not a very relaxed type of person sort of speak - always kind of keyed up in a way. I can feel it in my body when stress effects me. Well this is what I know (so far) about this - I hope others have some insight as well. I would love to read a book that goes more indepth into this.