How does stress affect you?

Interesting observation - last week, i had to go away for a weekend workshop, and i was very nervous about getting there on time - i had to take a train and two buses, and i’m always a bit nervous about missing transportation.
My bg woke me in the morning at 180, which i corrected (Humulog), and one hour later it was at 216, i corrected again, but it didn’t drop below 160 until after i arrived about two hours later, then it went back to normal.
Ok stress raises BG, nothing new there - BUT:
Last night i had to do a driving lesson (i have had a driver’s license for over 20 years, but the country i am living in doesn’t recognise it, so i have to do their whole process.)
The lesson was at night (2 hours night driving with an instructor is required by law), it was alternately raining and snowing, and we drove through an unknown section of the freeway that was under construction - it was super stressful as i couldn’t really see anything… and i had to stop and eat 2 glucose tabs because i had dropped from 120 ish to 76.
So why did one stress make me go up, and the other make me go down? Does anyone else get this?

Yes. Other people get this. For me, most kinds of stress dramatically LOWER my BG – especially stress from fear, nervousness, or frustration. Anger, on the other hand causes my BG to rise rapidly. The job that I have requires that I periodically take certification exams. Regardless of how well prepared I am going into the exam, the first time I hit a question to which I am unsure of the answer, my BG drops like rock - anywhere from 50 to 200 points in 4-5 minutes. During one such exam, I literally dropped from 256 to 50 in 5 minutes!

I have discussed this with my endo, and he said it’s not common, but certainly does happen to some people. I am unsure of the mechanism, however - but sure would like to figure out how to avoid this problem! The LAST thing we need in a stressful situation is to go hypo!

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Hi @Kokos,

There have been literally 2 instances (one was labor/delivery of my daughter, two is my monthly cycle) when stress raises my BGs but most of the time stress lowers my BGs. The stress that seems to affect my BGs is physical stress- stress put on my body. Then again, that’s not conclusive because sometimes when I’m sick, my BGs decrease. When I have a cold or a lower level infection or virus for that matter, my BGs don’t rise. they stay pretty steady. That one really throws me. Everyone told me, including my doctors, that my BGs would rise for certain things like illness and stress. I still don’t see it consistently.
I would venture to guess that it has a lot to do with hormones, especially for women. Hormones are either our best friend or our enemy depending on how they affect us.
I have to tell you that I’ve really stopped trying to understand why certain things raise my BGs sometimes and just treat it. I usually wait 3-4 days to see if its a consistent or a one-time event in order to treat it and possibly change my pump settings. The human body is so complicated and well, with diabetes ours are even more so. :smile:


Same happens to me Thas. IT work, taking 2 hr recert tests and just sitting there and stressing (as they are always time limited) my BG goes from normal to I better eat candy fast once I’m done.

I find it fascinating that others have their BG so greatly affected by emotional stress. And I can’t help but wonder why I seem to be such an oddball in that regard . . . because in the four plus years that I’ve been diabetic (LADA), I’ve seen no indication whatsoever that emotional stress affects my BG at all. It isn’t that I’m such a calm person, either. I have such severe “white coat syndrome” that last year my systolic blood pressure was over 200 three times at three different doctor’s offices. Yet on those days or any other time my blood pressure was up, I didn’t note anything out of the ordinary regarding my BG at all.

I guess I should just be thankful. Unexpected BG highs or lows would make control much more difficult. But I’m just curious. I’d think that if stress hormones affected blood pressure that they’d affect BG also.

My stress like my opinions are often more because of my own issues. I can go way high and way low. So if I am really down and angry I can get more so. But if I am angry and high, I will likely play hopscotch and declare myself the winner.

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