Stress Levels

I think the low BGs we get are one of the major factors that contribute to so many of us getting easily stressed. My private theory on this is this: Low sugars leads to a cocktail of hormones beeing released and this coctail is same as the cocktail beeing produced when your are stressed or getting scared. Hormones countinue to linger in your body long after the BG is back to normal. Maybe your body isn´t even back to normal when next low is coming, maybe not a big one, could be a low you don´t even notice but your body does. After years and years of episodes like this your body goes more easily into a stress response because this is what your body knows, it remembers stress and this response is therefore easily triggered. Stress weakens your ability to cope with stress. And if new stress is coming before the last one has disappeared, you´re in a chronic state of stress.

Just a thought. On top of that you get all the mental and emontional stuff off course.

My life is relatively stress free these days, guitarnut. What I do works for me. For me what it's about is self-soothing and self-nurturing over the long term and then dealing with stress when it arises. As an introvert what works for me to replenish my resources is lots of down time and solitude and that worked well when I was under more stress as well. When I feel nurtured and centered then I can meet what comes my way. But stressors still arrive and usually in bunches.

I'm talking about small things that occur in short time span, possibly even hours. Like this morning for example, got up to get online and research medical issues I've mentioned in another thread. No internet access. Called the ISP and worked on getting someone to come fix it. Didn't want to use the phone as I waited for a call back so couldn't call for doctor's appointments. When I did they wanted a referral from the other doctor who is closed on Friday. Had an errand to do but couldn't go out as now waiting for phonecalls plus internet go. In the background is the logistics of getting medical treatments which are an hour over the mountain and of course what it is they may find with testing. Meanwhile other things to do that I can't get to because I'm dealing with that stuff. Kitten, of course, wants to jump and play when I'm bent over in the corner trying to follow tech support instructions.Oh and time to check my blood sugar and of course it's high so need to correct and check back later (actually it wasn't but that's a good example, or feeling rushed and pulling out infusion set by accident) Basically little stuff in clusters that up my frustration tolerance at a greater rate than they used to.

Although I snap less than I did before diagnosis - my wife says that I'm nicer now that I'm more depdendent - I constantly mourn the loss of time and freedom that managing T1 entails. My life is just smaller than it was 7 years ago,. Not necessarily worse just smaller.

One of the ways that I manage stress is keep changing the goal posts depending on how well I'm doing. A couple of weeks ago, I had two terrible days. I was exhausted by the blood sugars and the effort to control them. For the next two weeks I lightened up a bit testing a bit less frequently, not correcting slightly high numbers, not analyzing the data too closely. Only in the last couple of days have I made some adjustments to get fully back to what I consider my baseline. Of course, now that I've made the adjustments I feel better. But sometimes good enough has to be good enough.

Take care,


It seems like being stressed by D is much more common than being more stressed by other stuff because of D.

That's nice Maurie that you snap less; I hate when I'm snappy. But the "smaller life" we all experience is a bit sad.

I absolutely agree about the goal posts; as a teacher I use the analogy of how much more work it takes for an A than a B and how sometimes it just isn't worth it. B's are pretty good grades, especially if you don't need the A's to get into graduate school.

Hang in there smile; I hope the work stress lets up soon. People always commented on my job (working with mental illness) being stressful and I'd always answer that it's the organizational ■■■■■■■■ that's stressful! (Whatever your job is!) There are times I think organizations are the most dysfunctional of families!

Dead on target Zoe. As one who managed design teams of engineers I spent more time and stress dealing with upper management and the organizational BS and keeping the dead beats off the playing field micromanaging the show!

when i used to run with the new york road runners club in the 90s they offered astanga yoga as a way to stay injury free and limber, as runners are tight as! i always had a bad achilles tendon, started astanga and it was gone. excellent, sweaty workout as well. have a great time!

Thanks for the feedback!! I'm looking forward to it although, of course, I'm cheating and stretching a lot to try to regain the flexibility I've lost since 2009!

i think the stress too can vary depending on what level one feels they have 'control' (if there is such a thing with this) with this disease. If one is constantly having highs - lows, etc...well, that just simply effects us in so many ways, our brains, our bodies, wipes us out. nothing more physically, mentally exhausting when our blood sugars are going all over the place. frankly, it wipes me out and my body just aches. i took time off , only worked part time when first diagnosed, i could hardly function I was so exhausted.

You ever wonder how its effected us without our awareness of it, doing so? Having it, how have we been changed, psychologically?

Yeah, I can relate... offering Zoe his scarred finger tips, etc.

Wow! Now that's a stressful day! And all the stress is crammed into just a few hours!

I agree that health issues definitely have a HUGE impact on our reactions to minor stressors. I find that it usually comes and goes in cycles--a few months getting annoyed at the little things and a few months of being calmer.

I'd just say keep doing what you're doing, since it seems like you know what works for you!

Naw never noticed it. LOL Yes diabetes and all chronic illness is to me a major cause of mental illness. I have been a type 1 diabetic for 37 years, and I always tell people who are in their teens or parents of teen diabetics that the second stop after the Endo should be the therapist.

i really do not think that the ADA faces this issue head on and it is like it is one of the secrets of the disease. Depression especially is a pronounced issue among Type 1's and like many, this depression led to some destructive behavior in my life. I thin disease outcomes would be better if we faced this issue straight on. Imagine some showing up one day and giving you a yellow car. They tell you that no matter what you must care for the care every minute of every day. As it gets older it will require more care, and if you ignore it it might harm you. Oh and here is the catch, you can never get rid of it. It goes on every date, job interview, trip, weekend, and camping trip. It is always yellow, always aging, and never, not even once was it wanted.

Think you might be depressed? I imagine. I knew I was and am depressed.

Rick Phillips

Thanks, guitarnut, sounds like you know what I mean. Most people seem to get stressed out by D itself,which, at least so far, I really don't. But I am just more susceptible to other small stressors, which is annoying to me as I've spent many years working on good coping skills! I just listed those things to give an example of what I meant and that none of it is major as stress goes which is how I know I'm more susceptible. Yep, it does seem to come in bunches!

Sneaky little ■■■■■■, no?

Whether it's overt or covert, the stress is there. How is any other way possible with a chronic disease? I may not feel particularly stressed by diabetes at points in time & think I'm simply doing what I do almost automatically to manage it, but it's relentlessly there. Yes, a terrible toll on our time & energy & how we'd prefer to live a life.

+1! I don't think people realize, who don't have this and that includes health care providers too, what it feels like to be a type 1 diabetic or truly 100% insulin dependent. It's very eye opening when we actually can see this, i.e., our pumps aren't working, blood sugars soar and very fast, incorrect doses and sky rocketing blood sugars, especially if one has been DKA and knows how scary it is and how truly awful one feels - to me, it felt like death. It's like, "sh#!, I really am 100% dependent on this stuff." I use a car analogy sometimes too, feel it's like driving a car with a busted steering wheel, a broken accelerator and brakes that don't work and we're just trying to keep the car on the road without killing ourselves or someone else. the other night I wasn't sure if I injected air or basal, in fact I may have injected air (malfunctioning pen) for my AM dose and that's why I kept having to give tons of corrections during the day too. Bed time and I'm thinking, hum...I don't know if I have any basal on board. If I went to bed without realizing I may have only injected air, I could have died. My endo was like, "it's going to be a long night, don't take another basal shot, wake up every two hours and test and give bolus." Stressed, paniced, yeah. How many days - nights do we all have like this. It takes a toll.

I find this thread very interesting. I have felt since my diagnosis (and my acceptance) of my T1 that my coping skills on all levels have improved. I do feel my diabetes is directly responsible for this. It has changed my perspective entirely. It's like I see the bigger picture better and focus less on the little things that prior to diagnosis could give me anxiety. I do feel my diabetes is a full time job, but it has not hampered my ability to function at full capacity. I work full time, manage my home, cook, run marathons and feel like I have a full life.

The thing that has amazed me of late is how my body responded to a major trauma. I lost my beloved father yesterday. It was a very painful week of long time hospital visits as he continued to worsen. I spent 30 hours at his bedside (never leaving) on his final day. I was certain this event would cause my blood sugars to go insane and elevate due to the stress and adrenaline release. But to my amazement, my sugars stayed in good control. Outside of the terrible grief I am suffering with now, I actually felt good to know that my body and mind could endure this and that my diabetes did not add to something that was already impossibly difficult. So in the end, I think I managed my stress and I do have to say I think my daily management of the stress of diabetes was directly responsible.

I am so sorry for your terrible loss. May your father's memory continue to be blessing in your life.


thank you so much Maurie. He will alway live strong inside me as well as my love for him.

I am so sorry about your loss, drsoosie. Sounds like you are a very adaptive and capable person, but don't forget to allow yourself to crumble if you feel like crumbling and to take extra good care of yourself through this difficult time.