Diabetes: Can feeling anxious or happy raise blood sugar? Expert take | Health - Hindustan Times

Diabetes: Can feeling anxious or happy raise your blood sugar? Here's what an expert says

By, New Delhi
Nov 18, 2022 01:57 PM IST

Your emotions too can spike your blood sugar even when you haven't eaten anything. Here's what to know from an expert.

If you have diabetes, eating well and exercising regularly may not be enough to manage your blood sugar levels at times. Your emotions too can cause that unexpected spike in your glucose levels even if you haven't eaten anything. According to experts mental health of a person can have an impact on how well they are able to control their disease. Also, diabetes not just affects us physically but also emotionally. Here's how our emotions may play a key role in diabetes management. (Also read: World Diabetes Day 2022: Doctors on tips to become diabetes-free and achieve remission)

Here's how our emotions may play a key role in diabetes management.(Pixabay)
Here's how our emotions may play a key role in diabetes management.(Pixabay)

When we feel anxious, fearful or even happy like landing a new job or topping an examination, it could result in production of certain hormones like cortisol which could lead to raising of blood sugar levels.

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"When one is in stress, which may not necessarily be physical but also mental, one’s body tends to produce hormones like cortisol. This can raise blood glucose level irrespective whether the person has eaten or not. There may be a risk of developing Type-2 diabetes due to emotional stress. It thus becomes a matter of high importance and one should talk to their consulting doctor of therapist of how they are feeling," says Dr. Kavita Prabhakar Pai, Consultant Endocrinology & Internal Medicine, Masina Hospital, Mumbai.

Living with diabetes itself can affect a person's mental health due to the many aspects of its management and one may need emotional support from others to cope with the disease better. So if you are feeling stress, low, depressed, or burned out, this could all be part of diabetes distress.

There is an intricate connection between diabetes and emotions. One may feel agitated when blood sugar levels are high, while low blood sugar levels can cause nervousness.

"Among diabetics, higher blood glucose or hyperglycaemia, has historically been associated with anger or sadness, while when blood sugar dips, or causes hypoglycaemia, this has been associated with nervousness. Persons with diabetes can be vulnerable to mood disturbances as a result of blood sugar fluctuations," says Dr Pai.

Mental health issues are common in diabetics and depression, anxiety and eating disorder could be some of the common issues.

"People who have diabetes do experience high rate of mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Eating disorder is also one of these mental health problems that people with diabetes may face. One should be making sure that any and all with diabetes should have access to treatment, which also include psychological treatment, and additionally there should be support in reducing psychological distress, and help one with improving self-management," says Dr Pai.

How to manage mental health in diabetics

Talk to your doctor or therapist about how you're feeling. You may need help managing your emotions.

To balance that, you might need to:

- Exercise often. It lowers depression, anxiety, and stress.

- Get enough sleep.

- Stop the blame game, try to stay positive in most situations.

- Reward yourself.

How to support someone with diabetes

- Know what diabetes is and how it's treated.

- Try to not be judgemental and be comfortable providing the kind of help they want, or at-least to address and listen to their grievances

- Look out for the symptoms of low blood sugar.

- Serve a variety of foods.

- Be a workout buddy.

- Offer mental and emotional support.

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