Stress can cause an increase in blood glucose. In addition to mental stress, your body is under physical stress when you are sick with an illness or infection. Finding ways to relax can help. It’s also key to make sure that you take other actions that lead to healthier living.
- Eat healthy meals.
- Sleep at the same times and for the same amounts every day.
- Take your medication.
It sounds simple and obvious, but doing these simple things can make a big difference in how you feel.
Here are some recommendations from the National Mental Health Association to help you reduce and cope with stress. Some may help right away, while others may take a bit of time. It’s important to give these techniques a tincture of time, determination and persistence, while knowing your choices include accepting or changing the situation, as well as your responses to it.
- Be Realistic. If you feel overwhelmed by some activities, learn to say no! You may be taking on more responsibility than you can handle at the time.
- Shed the Superman/woman Costume. No one is perfect. Give yourself a break. Reach a balance about what really needs to be done, and don’t hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Also be willing to make adjustments when necessary. (So you leaped over a crack in the sidewalk instead of a tall building — so what? You tried your best.)
- Don’t Look Too Far Ahead. Doctor Mom always said to “take one thing at a time.” This philosophy can do wonders for people under stress. Sometimes even everyday, ordinary work can seem out of control. If this occurs, focus on one task at a time, not the whole basket. Little steps are a lot easier to take than one big leap.
Alcohol & Diabetes
Alcohol & Diabetes
Many drink alcohol to relieve stress. As a diabetic, it’s important to know how alcohol affects your blood glucose levels and to control and monitor your intake of alcohol.
Drinking alcohol, especially if you take insulin or certain diabetes medications, such as sulfonylureas and meglitinides, can cause low blood glucose, called hypoglycemia. These effects can last up to 12 hours after drinking. Less often, alcohol can cause blood glucose to rise. This is due to the carbohydrates in alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer or mixers such as orange juice. Other diabetes medications may have a more serious effect when mixed with alcohol.
You should NOT drink alcohol if you:
- have a medical condition that may not agree with alcohol.
- have pancreatitis, high triglycerides or neuropathy.
- take medications that say to avoid alcohol.
- are pregnant.
- have had an alcohol problem in the past.
Written by Bobbie Hasselbring
Reviewed by Beth Seltzer, MD
Last updated June 2008