Let’s talk about stress! It is a hot topic in health these days, as is stress management. But what does stress have to do with cortisol and blood sugar? One would argue, everything! But first, let’s define what types of stressors there are and go from there.
There are two types of stressors: Life-threatening and non-life-threatening. Life-threatening stressors are those that could cause grave harm. Non-life-threatening stressors do not. Non-life-threatening stressors are challenging for our bodies to differentiate from their very dangerous counterpart.
Examples of life-threatening stressors:
Examples of non-life-threatening stressors:
A short-term stress response is ok and can be beneficial, especially when it keeps us alive. However, when our bodies are in a constant reactionary state, this triggers the fight or flight response, which does not turn off. This means our cortisol levels never drop. And the same goes for the hormones Epinephrine and Norepinephrine.
Increased cortisol levels create a host of issues like weight gain, especially around the midsection, elevated levels of depression and anxiety, sleep problems, and digestive issues, to name a few. Cortisol also interrupts the body’s ability to process sugar, which causes elevated blood sugar levels, making people more prone to Type II Diabetes. And there we have it! The connection between stress, cortisol, and blood sugar.
So how can we fight this stress response?
We hope this helps clarify how our system is all interconnected. Let us know how helpful our six tips for managing stress work for you.
Special thanks to Darby Jackson for your contribution!
The article used:
CDC Recommendations for travel and recreation: