Stress & The Blood Sugar Spike

Living with diabetes

Stress. We all have it. Whether the cause is your job, or kids and spouse, or bills and responsibilities, stress is a fact of life. Did you know that stress can have an adverse effect on your health? This is especially true when you are living with diabetes. Keeping stress levels low is an important part of making managing your diabetes easier.

When you are under stress, your body reacts by making stress hormones. These stress hormones can cause your blood glucose levels to go up, which can make it more difficult to stay within your target range. When your blood glucose levels are high, you can become tired and may not have enough energy to power through your day.

Symptoms of Stress can include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nervousness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Stomach Upset
  • Depression

Stress can also cause you to lose focus and stray from your daily routines, which could result in making less healthy food choices or skipping your daily exercise.

Though completely avoiding stress is unrealistic, managing stress in a healthy way is a very attainable goal. Here are some great ways you can reduce or manage your stress:

  • Talk with someone you trust, like a family member, a friend, your diabetes care and education specialist, or a therapist
  • Set time aside to meditate or pray
  • Delegate some of your daily responsibilities by reaching out for help with tasks instead of managing everything yourself
  • Hold firm boundaries with the people in your life, so you don't overextend yourself trying to help others
  • Do some sort of daily physical activity or exercise
  • Spend time enjoying a hobby
  • Try techniques to relax, such as deep breathing or yoga

Taking some time daily to de-stress can be a powerful tool in your health and wellness journey.


Cleveland Clinic. Diabetes: Stress & Depression.—depression. Last accessed online March 11, 2022

American Diabetes Association. (ADA) The Diabetes Advisor. Diabetes and Stress. Last accessed online March 11, 2022