Why is stress bad for your blood sugar?


It may seem surprising that there is such a strong connection, but when you get to know the physiology of stress response, this is very sensible. When you are stressed, your body activates its physiological response to a "battle or a run". Part of this response is that your body releases blood sugar into the bloodstream, so you can use it immediately in an emergency. For example, if you were running away from a dangerous situation, you would need the fast energy that your blood glucose supplies. The problem arises when you are always stressed. When this happens, you get a constant release of sugar in the blood, which also causes the release of more insulin.

This high state of insulin, called hyperinsulinemia, essentially causes your body to try to force glucose back into the cells. Insulin is also one of the hormones that signals to your body the storage of fats, which explains why people in the stressful times often indebted – even if they do not change their eating habits.

If you were to look at the body while all this was happening, you would see that the brain sensed stress or anxiety and as a result release the cortisol from the adrenal gland. Then you will notice a message from the brain that travels to the body to release blood sugar and increase gluconeogenesis of the liver – a process that regenerates glucose. When the stressed event is over, the signal stops.

This is fine if it happens infrequently, but for most of us, this happens several times a week, every day or even an hour! It can leave your body really confused and with plenty of unnecessary glucose floats around into the bloodstream so that the muscles and the body do not actually need it.


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