The Effect of Stress on Blood Sugar Levels

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • For the first time, I'm really noticing the effect of stress on my blood sugar control.

    This has been Sienna's first week of daycare, and we're both adjusting to the new situation. From what I've been told, it's perfectly normal for babies to have a difficult time when they first start daycare. Plus, Sienna is at the prime age for separation anxiety, so she gets very upset as soon as she realizes I'm gone.

    Although Sienna is perfectly fine and well cared for, she's not able to fully understand that mommy will return. It's going to take awhile for her to be familiar with her caregivers and the new surroundings. In the meantime, she's upset and so am I. It's so heartbreaking to leave while she's crying and know that I'm the one that can easily calm her fears.

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    The bond between mom and child is so intense. Even though I'm not consciously thinking about her every minute, on some level my mind and body are tense while we're separated. When I pick her up in the evening, and hold her again, I feel an emotional and physical relaxation. It's the feeling that everything is right in the world again.

    I didn't feel this strongly about being separated from her when she was with my mom. Obviously, I trust my mom (a.k.a. GaGa) and feel confident in her parenting style. Plus, she was able to give Sienna individualized attention all day long. I'm sure that once Sienna is more comfortable in her environment and I'm more used to the arrangement, it will be easier.


    The separation anxiety has extended to home as well. That means Sienna is back to waking up once or twice and night and needing to be comforted back to sleep. I've rearranged my sleep schedule to maximize the number of hours I get a night, which means going to bed before 9:00 p.m.! During the mornings and evenings, while we're all home, Sienna won't let me out of her sight! She's never been a very clingy baby; in fact, she was often happiest playing on her own. Now she can't get enough of mommy, which is sweet and wonderful, and pretty exhausting.


    Obviously parenting isn't an easy job and there are going to be countless times during my lifetime as a mother that stress will increase in my life. As a diabetic, I have another barometer for measuring the stress in my life: high blood sugars!


    My first method of handling these rising numbers was to adjust my basal rate. Like most diabetic women, I have a basal pattern labeled "monthly," which increases the basal rates throughout the day. I've been using this basal pattern for the last week and noticed that it controlled my blood sugars better. Also, going to bed earlier and trying to get enough sleep is important. I tend to go for sugary, unhealthy pick-me-up foods when I'm particularly tired, so sleeping is actually an important factor in keeping my blood sugars in control.


    What other tactics to you or a loved one use to manage stress and blood sugars?


Published On: November 13, 2008