The connection between stress and blood sugar that we don’t talk about enough

Today, stressful events such as loss of family or a problem at work are known to be risk factors triggers the onset of diabetes6. In addition, studies have shown that childhood traumatic experiences, family chaos and behavioral problems are is also associated with diabetes7.

So what explains this connection? It turns out that the main stress hormone, cortisol, causes a rise in blood sugar8. Technically, this is an evolutionary adaptation. When we are trying to fight or flee, we need sugar in our blood immediately to fuel our muscles and cells to survive the dangerous situation.

So it makes sense that when faced with a threat, our bodies do what they’re designed to do, shutting down digestion and other less critical bodily processes, such as repair and cleansing mechanisms, and redirecting their resources to the heart, brain, and muscles. The only problem occurs when the stress is chronic. Too much cortisol can lead to chronically high blood sugar, which can contribute to diabetes and insulin resistance.

If you have a blood sugar problem, I’m sure that your gut-emotion connection plays an important role in your imbalance, and that healing requires an approach that addresses both the physical causes of the blood sugar imbalance, such as the gut. microbial imbalance and excessive sugar intake – and emotional, such as chronic stress or the effects of trauma.

Excerpted with permission Gut Feelings: Healing the Shame-Fueled Relationship Between What You Eat and How You Feel. Copyright © 2023 Will Cole. Published by goop Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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