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Stress can raise your blood sugar

Por Lic. Nina Nazor Robles* -
Stress can raise your blood sugar

The pace of modern life is such that quiet moments in which to relax are few and far between. Stress can seriously affect your health and even raise your blood sugar, so it is really important to learn to handle it in order to maintain your quality of life and control your diabetes.

What happens to our bodies when we are under stress?
Stress triggers an emergency reaction in our bodies that is intended to prepare us to fight or flee from danger. That is why, when we are faced with a stressful situation, our body boosts its production of the emergency hormone, adrenaline. Adrenaline triggers a series of reactions in our body so that we can face the danger. These include the following:

• Our heartbeat speeds up and our blood flows through our arteries faster to make sure all our muscles receive oxygen so that we can fight or run away from the danger as necessary. This, of course, raises our blood pressure.
• Our skin turns pale and our digestive system shuts down operations because blood is being diverted to our muscles.
• The liver, which keeps a store of glucose and fats for emergencies, unleashes this stored fuel into the blood so that it is available for immediate use. This raises the blood`s glucose and fat content.

The problem is that instead of fighting or running in the face of danger, we often just sit down and all the fat that has been transferred to our bloodstream is not used up.

How can you control stress?
There are several ways to control stress and they can also help you feel good in general. Some of them are quite simple. They include:

• Exercise.Exercise is one of the best ways to relax. It also helps control your blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight. Exercise should be a regular part of your life!
• Massage.From a foot massage to a full body massage, a massage can work wonders in terms of immediate relaxation. Massage sessions should be done by professionals, however.
• Soft music.Music that has a gentle beat and instrumental music are good options for the end of the working day. You can listen to music in the car or when you get home; it has a wonderful calming effect.
• Contact with nature.Strolling through the countryside, taking a walk around the park, buying flowers, watering the plants or getting in touch with nature by listening to waterfalls, the sound of the sea or the rain are all ways to relax.
• Deep breathing exercises.Learn to breathe deeply. Use your full lung capacity and the muscles of your diaphragm to breathe in and out deeply and rhythmically.
• Yoga or meditation.These ancient disciplines are based on deep breathing and help a great deal in relaxation. They are easy to do, provided you get proper guidance.
• Share your problems.Talking to a good friend can help reduce stress levels.
• Have a good laugh.The curative and relaxing power of laughter is wonderful. Read a joke book or call your funniest friend when you`re feeling stressed out.
• Hug people.Contact with the people we love is one of the best ways to relax.
• Creative visualization.Conjure up vivid, positive, and happy images in your mind of nature or of yourself that help you relax. Several studies have shown that just closing your eyes and imagining scenes of nature alters your brain waves and relaxes you.

Controlling stress is simple: you just have to make relaxation activities part of your life. When you reduce the stress you experience, you`ll feel better and it will be much easier for you to handle your diabetes.


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