Most of us experience some stress in our lives. Those people who have Type 2 diabetes have a harder time keeping their blood glucose at the right level when they are under stress. This cycle of stress, not taking care of your diabetes, and the resulting poor health can hurt your quality of life and cause complications that can be life threatening. A combination of high stress and diabetes can cause cardiovascular problems, kidney disease, blindness, and amputation of limbs.
Managing your stress level is an important factor in preserving a healthy quality of life. There are many ways to reduce stress. Some will exercise, use prayer and meditation, and breathing techniques to lower stress. Biofeedback is another form of therapy. It measures the stress level in the body through body temperature and muscle tenseness and helps a person deal with stress when they recognize the symptoms. Recently studies have been made to discover if biofeedback could be paired with relaxation techniques to lower their blood glucose levels.
We already know that patients who have extra stress also have problems controlling their blood sugar levels. They often are unable to control their eating habits, or maintain an exercise plan because of stress. The results often are uncontrollable blood glucose levels, then sickness, and acute complications.
Using relaxation methods and biofeedback to recognize the signs of stress, patients have been able to change their responses to stress. That also helps control glucose levels. When a person becomes stressed, the body releases a chemical called cortisol. That chemical keeps the body from absorbing insulin properly. Patients who were educated about stress in their lives didn’t do as well as controlling their levels as the patients who also went through biofeedback and relaxation therapy. They found that those who had relaxation therapy and biofeedback also lowered muscle tension, anxiety, and depression.
This gives us one more good reason to control stress in our lives. Do you recognize your body signals for stress? Do your muscles tighten in the shoulders and neck? Maybe you have a hard time taking deep breaths. Maybe you clench your teeth, or feel hot all the time. Whatever your body tells you when it is stressed, you need to use the signs to start relaxation techniques.
We know what stress can do to our bodies, and our mental health. How do we release stress? One of the best ways to ease stress is to exercise. Exercise will benefit in more than one area. It will help you lose weight, lower your blood glucose levels, and reduce feelings caused by stress. If something at work is causing you stress, try to stand up from your desk, or take a short walk. Exercise will have many wonderful benefits to your over-all physical and mental health.
Using relaxation techniques will help reduce the risk of complications. Exercise is just one way to relax. Listening to music, praying or meditating, and breathing exercises can also help release tension and stress from your body.