Stress hormones & blood sugar spikes
When you’re anxious, angry, or upset, adrenaline and cortisol are released into your blood stream. These stress hormones signal your liver to produce more glucose for a burst of energy, which is meant to help you in a fight or flight situation. If you’re a Type One Diabetic, this means an unexpected blood sugar spike, most likely followed by a crash.
You may be training your body to release stress hormones more often.
Diabetic or not, when you find yourself in a continual state of agitation, your receptor sites for serotonin can actually shrink, and you can become in the habit of constantly releasing adrenaline and cortisol. This can lead to decreased blood sugar control, more sick days, and burnout.
Here’s what to do:
1) Box Breathing
One method for bringing your heartbeat back to normal is called box breathing–a technique used by Navy SEALs to reduce anxiety and keep calm. You breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, breathe out for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and repeat this cycle until you feel your body start to release tension.
Save these gifs to your phone and follow along the next time you need to take a small break to reset. If you’re not alone and don’t want to take deep breaths in public, take a walk, find a bathroom, or leave to grab a cup of (decaf) coffee.
If you feel your heart start to race and you’re not being chased by a lion, it is important to signal to your body that you are safe, and that you don’t need to fight nor flee from the situation.
Your sense of smell is directly connected to the emotional part of your brain (the limbic system) that controls your hormone production. This means you immediately feel about a smell often before your brain can even identify the source. When you smell something soothing and are mindful of breathing, you signal to your brain that you are ok, and you definitely don't need a big burst of adrenaline. It's surprisingly powerful.
Lavender essential oil is not only antispasmodic and a muscle relaxant, but the sweet aroma is also powerfully calming. You won’t need to search long on PubMed to find evidence of lavender’s soothing effect on the nervous system and so much more. Try a roll-on lavender oil that’s easy and portable, or buy a bottle to use in a diffuser or apply topically.
Be mindful of where you buy your oils by the way... even health food stores carry many synthetic or untested oils. Essential oils are 50-70 times more potent than the plant they come from, which means that any pesticides or other nasties are amplified an incredible amount.
3) CBD oil
CBD oil is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis. It has a fast-acting effect on anxiety and stress, bringing you back to a calm state. Curbing frantic feelings stops your stress hormones, and thus a blood sugar spike from a fight-or-flight glucose burst.
Did you know that our bodies naturally have their own endocannabinoid system? Runner’s high is an example of this system kicking in, and CBD stimulates those same receptors.
Like most things, it’s important to source responsibly and learn about dosage. For the abbreviated recommendation, we love Tonic CBD. We’ve used their products so much that we asked for a discount code for you guys. Use chronicallyhealthy at checkout for 10% off.
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