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How Stress Hormones Raise Blood Sugar

In this excerpt from “Think Like a Pancreas”, certified diabetes educator Gary Scheiner describes why this happens and what to do about it. (excerpted from Think Like A Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes With Insulin by Gary Scheiner MS, CDE, DaCapo Press, 2011) Last weekend I decided to stay up late and watch a scary movie. It had something to do with super-gross vampires who get their jollies by eating the flesh of unsuspecting hotel guests. Anyway, after the final gut-wrenching, heart-pumping scene, I decided to check my blood sugar. I’ll be darned – it had risen about 200 mg/dL (11 mmol) during the movie. With blood that sweet, I felt like the grand prize for any vampires that might happen to be lurking in my neighborhood. As you may be aware, the liver serves as a storehouse for glucose, keeping it in a concentrated form called glycogen. The liver breaks down small amounts of glycogen all the time, releasing glucose into the bloodstream to nourish the brain, nerves, heart and other “always active” organs. The liver’s release of glucose depends largely on the presence of certain hormones. Of all the hormones in the body, only insulin causes the liver Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. Msmoonpie

    Why does my insulin make my blood sugar rise/do nothing sometimes?

    My blood sugar was 224, so I took my insulin like directed, I waited 15 minutes, 235. I tried to calm myself down but my anxiety started to rise (anytime I go above 200 I feel like the worst person, that my doctor will think I'm the worst, all kinds of terrible things). I waited another 15 minutes and now it's 255. I took my insulin, novolog so fast acting, I haven't eaten in over an hour, and I took correct amount of insulin with my meal. Why is this happening? Is this normal? Also, sometimes when I go high, I start shaking and feeling like I'm low, though obviously I'm not. Any ideas?

  2. Msmoonpie

    Update. 30 minutes after the last reading it's at 263 and I'm giving more insulin

  3. Msmoonpie

    So after an hour and a half, and 8 units of insulin, it's dropping, slowly, but it's dropping. I am on my period, could this just be hormonal stuff?

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