Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Stress & Blood Sugar

Over the weekend I had some external stress that wreaked havoc on my blood sugar. Since my diagnosis it has been very rare the I've had a bs reading of over 200. When you have a sister whose a holistic medicine doctor, exercise and nutrition guru you tend to become really good at counting carbs. So this weekend when I had 2 readings in the upper 100s and 2 readings above 200 I knew something must be up. I assumed by carb:insulin ratio couldn't have changed 10 units overnight and I wasn't eating any exotic foods, therefore I attributed the highs to some external stress. I don't want to go too much into my personal life but a canceled vacation can really affect a guy!

I've been reading alot about how stress can affect diabetes and trying to determine if stress can "cause" diabetes. While most of the literature I've read indicates stress can't cause type 1 diabetes but it can be the factor that makes the symptoms prevalent. In the period leading up to my diagnosis I had taken the GMAT twice, applied to 4 MBA programs, and had a major restructuring at work. It has become apparent that the combination of those factors led to the final shut down of the beta cells in my pancreas. While I no doubt had some sort of auto-immune issue that caused my body to attack the beta cells it was the external stress that brought on the final knock out punch. Although there is research that says stress has no effect on the onset of diabetes, I'm of the mindset that the extreme mental stress I put myself under for about a year was the equivalent of Michael Spynx making Mike Tyson wait about 45 minutes for their fight back in the early 90s - it riled him up and well 90 seconds later Tyson looked like the baddest man on the planet, so the stress made my t-cells attack my beta cells that much more violently.

This past weekend as my personal life was causing alot of emotional anguish my blood sugar was alot harder to control. To combat this I played some extra golf and then ran harder than normal on Tuesday. Previously my best half hour distance was 3.5 miles. Yesterday I shattered that by running 3.56 miles in 30 minutes; all the golf, time spent outside and hard run helped me put my blood sugar in check and reinforced my belief that through sweat and hard work diabetes is alot more manageable.

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