What is the role of stress management in diabetes care?

In previous blogs, we have seen how diabetes triggers other health complications. Hence we know how important is diabetes care and control. Through a healthy diet and best exercises, we can cope with diabetes to a great extent. But now let us understand how stress and blood sugar levels are related.

It is a common question among people that is there a link between diabetes and stress? Well, the answer is yes! Various studies have proven that mental or physical stress can alter blood sugar levels. Stress management is a challenge in diabetes control.

Stress is an undesirable guest in our daily life. But as far as modern life is concerned, stress is an inevitable state of mind. Sometimes it’s because of work pressure, financial issues, family pressure, etc. Also, you may get stressed on hearing the news of your positive diabetes test result too. Since it is an inevitable part, what we can do is to understand the effects of it on the body and try to cope with it. The stress works differently for type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes patients.

How does stress work on the body?

If we feel that we cannot cope with the situation or pressure, then that triggers the state of stress or tension. When we become anxious, our body makes preparation to fight it with excess energy in the body. Thus it releases stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. The adrenaline demands the body to release glucose to fight the stress. The cortisol makes the fat and muscles less responsive to insulin. Overall, this reaction of the body is known as the fight-or-flight response.

How stress affects a diabetes patient?

We have learned in the previous paragraph that the stress hormones demand the body to release glucose. If the body produces glucose in excess, then the blood sugar level increases and makes diabetes control difficult. It’s due to lack of insulin as in type 1 diabetes patients or it can happen because of insulin resistivity as in type 2 diabetes.

Can stress cause diabetes?

Stress is not the sole reason for diabetes, but some studies show stress increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Stress and insulin resistance – The stress hormones, cortisol, and adrenaline make the body produce excess glucose. The fight/flight response does not work properly in people with diabetes. The cells become insulin resistant as the cells no longer require the excess glucose or energy produced by the body. This results in increased blood sugar or hyperglycemia in diabetes patients.

Rely on physical activity or exercises – Exercising daily has many health benefits physically and mentally. There are the best exercises for diabetes management. When you are engaged in physical workouts or any physical activity, your mind changes its focus. Try to work out for at least 30 minutes a day.

Performing yoga can heal both your body and mind. There are some diabetes-specific yoga postures to reduce blood sugar levels. Also, yoga can help you cope with stress.

Talk to your dear ones – If you are feeling stressed, then express your tension to your dear ones. It can relieve stress. Or, you may contact your healthcare team and express health-related concerns.

Join any support programs- You can find any community or online support group where there are many resources to improve the quality of life.

Out of stress, a diabetes patient may forget to take care of their health by missing the drug intake, improper tracking of health, missing to note down the blood sugar, forgetting appointments with the medical team. In this situation, you can rely on telemedicine or digital health application to support your diabetes care. Cankado offers diabetes care with its e-health support. The application helps a patient actively involve in his/her treatment and care.

It is not just diabetes, but stress can trigger several other health complications too. We know stress is undesirable, but it is imperative that we must cope with it.

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Improving medical care with Cankado PRO-React Diabetes

Cankado has an innovation to improve medical care of patients in the phase of diabetes treatment. The digital healthcare application, Pro-react Diabetes that works based on electronic patient-reported outcome[Epro], assists both patients and physicians in tracking the disease progression. The feature of an auto-generated situation-specific symptom questionnaire and answer tailored behavior recommendations on the patient side improves diabetic care.

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