Stress & raised blood sugars? Anyone else

This is a weird story, complicated by the only semi-responsive automode…

So today my husband had an early work meeting and he was out of the house by 4:30 am. The dog went crazy as he was leaving and woke me up. My blood sugar was around 100 then, and usually rises after I get up. I went back to sleep until 6:15 and it was 250, so I took a correction plus counted for caffine. It kept rising to 300. Around 8:30, I took another correction and phantom carb counted for caffeine again. Now it’s 367. I feel awful. I have changed out my tubing and took 5 units via syringe. I don’t trust automode to get it done with glucose dumps,

So my question is does anyone else’s liver like to mess with them over simple little scares (dog jumping on bed at 4:30 am)?

Is there anything I can do about it? Is there a medication to stop your liver from being over helpful? I feel so pukey, out of breath, rapid heartbeat and dehydrated once this gets going. Blech.

Stress takes my bgs to the roof. It doesn’t take much anymore to add. 200+ points, then hold on for. Mr Toad’s wild ride. Usually takes me a day or so and way too much insulin to get back to normal bgs

Stress definitely causes me to run high (took me a long time to figure out why I always run high on Sunday: because I sing in a choir and public performance is, obviously, stressful, even when I’m not soloing). But nothing like the kind of spike you’re describing. Have you seen this pattern before? Sounds like you checked for pump problems pretty thoroughly but for me those kinds of numbers would indicate a delivery failure of some kind!

I find that when I give a lecture to students my blood sugar usually goes up by 80 points, and some diabetics also note that their blood sugar rises even more when they have nightmares. But since it is impossible to anticipate when life will present us with stressful circumstances, or how the subconscious mind will interpret what is happening to produce stress or not, there is no way to calculate blood sugar variations reliably.

I believe metformin would reduce how much glycogen your liver releases.

There are some side-effects to metformin though. Ask around here, you can find many people who use it or have used it.

I’m a singer/musician. I sing Sunday mornings at church and do weddings and funerals and other misc music gigs. I have been battling the liver dump/stress problem for years. I’ll think that I’m calm, feeling no worries, not nervous, etc. It doesn’t matter. I’m guaranteed at least a 100 point jump in blood sugar. I tried metformin for about a year for this very reason. It did nothing for me.

I have tried eating/not eating before music engagements. I have tried walking a mile before singing engagements. None of it matters. The only thing I can do is take a big dose of Humalog (5 to 7 units which would be enough to cover lunch for me) about 45 minutes before the engagement. It helps but it still doesn’t really work.

When the gig is over and the stress is eliminated, I take another 5 or 6 units to set it right again.

When they say the stress hormone causes belly fat, they aren’t kidding. Every time I sing or play out i have to take about 12 units for no other reason than that I’m under stress. I can see how it would make you pack on the pounds.

Try setting a temporary basal increase or extended bolus (square wave or whatever it’s called) the second you get out of bed for a few hours. For whatever reason this is more effective than a single bolus for these issues. I also find eating low-carb or slow-acting carbs really helps if you can anticipate stress coming. I just eat eggs, a scoop of peanut butter and black coffee for breakfast now and use Regular insulin on MDI or an extended bolus on a pump for it. My job is stressful and even if I seem calm I’m not inside and used to have huge spikes in the morning before this when I would eat toast.

I’m on metformin, which is supposed to stop your liver from releasing glucose. It does help a lot with my dawn phenomenon (basiclaly eliminates it). But it doesn’t stop the liver from releasing glucose completely!

Last week I was supposed to meet my supervisor at 8:00 AM to carpool to a conference together. I don’t remember my alarm going off at 6:00 AM. At 6:30 AM my backup alarm went off, and I clearly remember turning it off half asleep thinking, “I’m so glad it’s Saturday…” and rolling over to go back to sleep!

At 7:55 I got a text from my supervisor. I sat bolt upright went, “Oh no!” and proceeded to get ready and out the door in 20 minutes. Luckily, I still made it to the conference on time. During the time I was getting ready and leaving, my heart was racing and my hands were actually shaking from the adrenaline. I could watch my BG go from a flatline at 6.1 mmol/L to 16 mmol/L without food. It took the entire day to get it back down.

So, yep. Stress can definitely impact blood sugar and in my opinion it’s really hard to stop or prevent!


Sure, it is understandable that it does not completely stop it. And stress is a hard thing to compare, because you can’t really create identical stressors in real life. Perhaps only in a lab.

But could you say - in your experience - that metformin possibly reduces the amount of glucose from stress? Like in the situation you described above, without metformin, would it have possibly been worse?

Can you determine that from your experiences with it?

I saw a YouTube video once where a non-diabetic was wearing a Libre while giving a presentation. He was 6.8 with a diagnol up arrow at the beginning and 9.something when finished. I wonder if it is common for even non-diabetics to have elevated blood sugars when stressed/anxious.

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That sounds like proof that they do!

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It is likely for stress to cause rise, and in non-diabetic, the body also responds by releasing insulin, to curb the rise. This person may be undiagnosed, or in early stages that don’t exceed the numbers for diagnosis.

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I also get this. Not to the levels your talking about but I’ve certainly had it when I’ve had work presentations I’m stressed about or just random stressers taht pop up in day to day life.

Unfortunately I think it’s really hard to accurately pre-empt it.

I’ve often thought it quite logical though, it’s basically the bodies way of saying here is some extra energy to deal with the stressful situation. Unfortunately for us diabetics it just forgets to release the insulin also to deal with that!