Be a Blood Sugar Sleuth
Seven sneaky factors that can affect blood sugar readings
1. You’re bogged down by stress
Whether it’s “bad” stress (you’re unhappy in your job, your kid is struggling in school, or you’re caring for an aging parent) or “good” stress (you’re getting married, moving, or planning a vacation), your body responds in a similar fashion. “Rising levels of the stress hormone cortisol can contribute to insulin resistance and may also affect other hormones related to blood sugar management. The end result is that there’s more sugar in the blood, and your cells are not using insulin as well as they normally would. It’s a double whammy,” explains Nicole Bereolos, Ph.D., M.P.H., CDE, a clinical psychologist and a Diabetic Living advisor.
You can’t scrub stress out of your life completely, but you can work on changing how you respond to it. A session with a behavioral health specialist (inperson or virtual; many are covered by insurance) can help you develop strategies and coping techniques for daytoday stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed in the moment, try belly breathing: expand your belly as you inhale and contract it as you exhale. With regular practice, this technique may help lower cortisol levels and lessen the negative effects of stress.