How to Stop the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster (Continued)
Stress can cause your body to release glucose-raising hormones like adrenaline. Being stressed, angry, or upset also causes more cortisol to circulate in your blood stream, which makes your muscles insulin resistant. Physical stressors like illness or infection can also increase blood sugar levels. Here are some tips to help lower the stress!
De-Stressing Check #1: Try doing a de-stressing activity (like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or stretching) for 15 minutes. Anything with a calming effect helps reduce your body's release of glucose-raising hormones and may help stop the roller coaster. Check you blood sugar before you start and within one hour of finishing this activity.
De-Stressing Check #2: For round two of de-stressing, try a different 15 minute activity and compare the results to the first activity. Whichever one lowers your blood sugar most successfully may be the one you incorporate into your life on a more regular basis (even if it's just deep breathing). Measure and record your blood sugar before you start and an hour later to see its effects.
Overtreating Low Blood Sugars
One final note: If you have diabetes (and especially if you use insulin or certain oral medications), you are very likely to experience a low blood sugar reaction (hypoglycemia) on occasion. The trick to avoiding the blood sugar roller coaster is to treat your lows effectively without overtreating them. Admittedly, it's hard to control your eating when you're low, so plan ahead and have set amounts of carbs (like glucose tablets or regular soda) ready to treat a low. Overtreating frequent lows, in addition to sending your blood sugars on a rebound high, can cause you to gain weight.
Reflections on the Roller Coaster
On the last day of your week of roller coaster reduction, take a minute or two to review your body's response to various foods, activities, and destressors over the week. While these responses can vary from day to day, it's good to have a general idea of what affects your blood sugar the most. If you have cut out even one high or low blood sugar this week with any of these changes, you were successful. Keep up the good work!
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NOTE: This information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.
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