Sugar and Stress: Why diet monitoring alone isn’t enough for diabetics

Image: Sugar and Stress: Why diet monitoring alone isn’t enough for diabetics

Life moves fast.

It’s easy to lose track of your sugar levels in the midst of living. Individuals living with diabetes are able to keep track of their meals and sugar intake, but some may forget to check in with their personal stress levels and mental state of mind. According to Dr. Louise Chang from, “when stress hormones kick in, they raise the body’s existing sugar levels to help supply more energy to burn”. She compares it to the fight-or-flight response.

Our biology is hotwired so that when our bodies sense stress, it goes into a heightened state of hormone creation. Unfortunately, our bodies can’t differentiate between the non-life threatening stress of a job or an actually dangerous event. Therefore, it’s important to monitor your stress levels as much as you monitor your food intake.

Here are the top warning signs of stress related symptoms for those living with diabetes:

  • Sudden and intense headaches
  • Chest pains
  • Exhaustion
  • Blurred vision
  • Shaky hands
  • Confused and disoriented
  • Quickened heart rate
  • Sweaty

Stress can intensify these symptoms dramatically; even the slightest onset of any of the above should render caution. It’s important to conduct regular mental check-ins with yourself or a loved one who is diabetic. Being able to detect the signs of stress early on will help you manage your diabetes and improve your quality of life. Still not sure if you’re stressed? Take this stress test.