Stress can be categorized as physical or mental in nature. Whatever the type of stress you may face, there is one important thing you should remember when it comes to glucose tolerance. Stress has both a direct and indirect effect on on glucose tolerance. Here, we will discuss the effect of stress on glucose tolerance.
How Stress Affects Glucose Tolerance
As mentioned, there are two ways in which stress affects glucose tolerance. Indirectly, stress causes you to not take care of yourself well. When you are under stress, you might be unaware of what you put in your mouth, how much activity you get, and other lifestyle habits. You might, for example, consume more alcohol, eat more junkie food, sleep less, and exercise less. All these things, especially in combination with one another, can reduce your glucose tolerance. The number of hours of sleep you are supposed to have is directly related to glucose tolerance. Exercise also has a direct impact on glucose tolerance, as well as dietary habits. If stress is causing you to lead an unhealthy lifestyle, you will have a diminished ability for your body to store glucose in your muscle and liver. This can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.
The effect of stress on glucose tolerance is also present in a more direct way. The hormones that deal with stress directly affect your blood sugar. Cortisol, a stress hormone, is understood to promote the accumulation of stomach fat. Abdominal fat is directly related to glucose tolerance; the more belly fat you have, the less glucose tolerance you will eventually have.
In diabetics, physical or mental stress can either heighten or diminish their glucose tolerance, resulting in bouts of severe hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia.
You Can Make a Difference In How You Deal With Stress
The effect of stress on glucose tolerance is well documented. To lead a healthier lifestyle, you should try to manage stress in a variety of ways. For example, if traffic jams stress you, find another way to work. If your job stresses you out, find ways to make it less stressful. Perhaps you can accomplish this by requesting a transfer, and as a last resort, find work elsewhere. If you have enemies in your family, try to patch things up and move on. Although some or all of these measures may seem too drastic, it is up to you to decide if your health is worth any of the inconveniences that these lifestyle changes may cause.
Other, more direct methods of dealing with stress include breathing exercises, progressive relaxation therapy, and exercise. These are all effective methods of reducing stress that won’t cost you a penny. If none of the above help in allowing you to reduce the stress that can reek havoc on your blood sugar, it may be necessary to see a counselor or psychotherapist.
Learn more about whether stress can cause diabetes, as well as some great stress reduction exercises.