Stress has been shown to have a significant impact on A1c levels.*
Studies have shown that individuals who suffer from work or emotional stress are more likely to develop diabetes, and have greater difficulty controlling their A1C levels. When we’re stressed, our body triggers a fight or flight response – releasing hormones that increase the level of glucose and fat available to our cells. This response was designed to give our cells the energy needed to help us fight or escape in dangerous situations. In individuals with diabetes, insulin isn’t always able to allow glucose into our cells – so the extra glucose stays in our bloodstream.
We don’t always have control over the things that cause us stress, but we can change how we react to stressful events. A regular stress management practice has been shown to improve long-term glycemic control in patients with diabetes.* This can include practicing yoga, mindfulness and mediation, or regular physical activity.
Stress and A1c Among People with Diabetes Across the Lifespan
Stress Management Improves Long-Term Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes
Start a Daily Yoga Routine
Diabetes is exacerbated by stress, and yoga is a proven method of reducing stress. A study in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that those who practiced yoga for just 30 minutes a day had fewer fluctuations in their blood glucose levels.
Yoga doesn’t have to be an intense workout either – simple poses alone can help us reduce stress, as well as improve our flexibility and range of motion.
Mindfulness is the art of observing and nurturing your thoughts and feelings. When we practice mindfulness, we’re able to slow our thoughts down and focus on the present.
Through mindfulness, we can more carefully examine our wants and needs, and better understand ourselves. But mindfulness has other benefits too – studies show that practicing regular mindfulness can help reduce blood pressure and stress.
Learn to Recognize Stress Signals
Stressors can come from a variety of places. Life stressors can include factors such as the birth of a child, death of a family member, relationship difficulties, and financial problems. Work stressors can include job demands, lack of support, or a difficult relationship with coworkers and peers.
Identifying our stressors is the first step to managing our stress. By learning how to better manage our relationships and emotions, we can control stress – rather than allow stress to control us.
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