Stress and T1

I think we all know on here that T1 is a very difficult condition to manage. Between testing, bolusing, counting carbs, eating, re-testing, infusion set changes, refilling prescriptions, etc, management of T1 can consume the better part of one’s life, especially if someone is managing things properly. There are many curve balls that can affect control, but I want to focus on one that has been particularly hard for me lately - that’s stress.

When I say “stress,” I’m talking about that adreneline-filled, chest-tightening feeling you get when you’re overwhelmed at work or in life. It’s the stress that some people may even refer to as anxiety.

Lately, stress has really been wreaking havoc on my blood sugars. I have what I generally think of as a low-stress job. Nothing too demanding, but we have our moments. Well, we happen to be having one of those moments now. We are working on something really fast-paced. The team is large, there’s lots to do, and I feel like things are moving 60 miles per minute. And this has killed my streak of good control. But it’s an awesome and exciting work opportunity.

I woke up today with a nice 101, a surprise considering I had a crappy night’s sleep. We recently increased my overnight basal rates and this has been working well for me. I was pleased. I bolused, ate my usual breakfast, and was 105 about 90 minutes later. Sweet.


I was working on something with a colleague that involved a long phone conversation this morning, another cup of coffee (shouldn’t have done that, even though I did bolus my usual 0.3 units to avoid my coffee spike), and way too much stressing about our tight deadline. That chest tightness, that vague headache, both crept in and suddenly I realized I didn’t feel so well. I checked my BG before eating lunch and it was 289!! Seriously?? What the fructose?!?!?

This is what stress does to me. It makes my blood sugar shoot up and, sometimes, it takes a while to come back down. I have since corrected with a mega-bolus and am (hopefully) heading downwards. This is something that I’ve never really been good at managing. I need to learn some relaxation techniques or something, because letting stress get to me like this is probably frying my internal organs. And, of course, it makes me feel guilty that I’m “allowing” this to happen, which in turn stresses me out even more.

How do folks deal with this?

Stress does me in faster than anything else. I feel like a cartoon with the thermometer rising soon to break through the top. Easy to say deep breathing & relax, but difficult to do when you feel chest tightening pressure. Takes practice & repetition to be able to do this, but it really helps. That type of stress is feeling out of control, of course. So, I tell myself “I can do this (regarding whatever the situation is), I’ve done it before & I can do it again. This will pass.” I also think of what my grandmother told me–that if won’t matter in 10 years, it’s not worth getting upset. I hold calming pictures in my head, do deep breathing & also think of the funniest, silliest thing I can.

I’m also dealing with this. Due to stress today my bg shot up to 300
Today I have not seen that in awhile. Mega dose of insulin still didn’t bring it down far enough.
Went and loved on my dog and walked… it went down. that is what if do.

I stress like there it is worth Gold or something…

I drink a glass a wine

Take a few deep breathes back to back

Listen to soothing music

And laugh!!!

Take a long hot bath with some bath salt

Stardust31, thank you!! Sometimes endos don’t really acknowledge that, yes, stress does cause your BG to shoot up. I don’t know why. When I’m stressed, sometimes corrections don’t even work (whether they are properly-calcuating corrections or just all-out rage bolusing). It’s really annoying.

Gerri, thanks, you make a good point. I think part of my problem is that I have to start learning how to not let the stress get to me. I have to learn how to block it out or minimize its effects. Easier said than done, but I’m working on it.

It is hard to block stress! I would say that it is very challenging! Rye you have a good point wine and music, and even a funny show like Modern family(or any funny show/movie) will do!