Stress is not officially a cause of diabetes but it’s been shown that diabetes can develop in times of high stress and if you already have diabetes, stress can raise your blood sugar levels. If you’re in a highly stressful job or life situation and you have any of the other risk factors– you’re overweight or inactive -it’s important to consider how you manage your stress. Meditation, t’ai chi, yoga and massage are healthy ways to reduced stress levels. If time is an issue, there are mediation CD’s available that you can download and play on your daily commute (as long as you’re not driving). Something as simple as taking deep breaths in stressful situations or a soothing bath can also manage stress. Talk therapy can also make stress manageable and is usually covered at least in part by most health insurance.
If you believe that it’s possible that you have undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes, get screened. If you are one of the millions of Americans who have diabetes and don’t know it, you want to start treating it before it causes other health problems, like kidney disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease in the U.S. There are two important tests that can determine diabetes and prediabetes – the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG) or the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). For both tests, you must fast overnight. Ask your doctor about both of these tests.