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Can Stress Levels Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Stress is the single most under appreciated cause of blood sugar issues.

When we have acute or chronic stress, we activate the sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system.

One of the jobs of the sympathetic nervous system is to raise our glucose (blood sugar) levels so we will have the energy to “fight or flight”.

This is fine in the case of a workout for example because we end up using up the glucose.

But- when we are stressing and sitting at a desk all day, for example, we are not actually using up the glucose so it contributes to a rise in blood sugar & insulin levels.

Another hormone that impacts our blood sugar levels is cortisol, “the stress hormone.”

When we are stressed, excess cortisol is produced which inhibits insulin production which can keep glucose levels high.

In someone with chronic stress who now has low cortisol, we often see high levels of insulin which then can cause hypoglycemia.

For these reasons, in times of stress or with chronic stress, we may be more inclined to crave carbs/sugar!

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