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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stress. Pain and Increased Blood Glucose levels

As stated in a recent Blog post, I have noticed for some time a relationship between physical and emotional stress (pain) and higher blood glucose levels. I have also read about possible elevated blood sugar levels from wearing "Flector self adhesive patches" for back pain. Turns out I was right. Diabetes after all is a complicated disease and you have to constantly watch possible reactions to stress, drugs, emotional and physical pain.

My glucose levels have been elevated above normal for a few days now  and I had a hunch that it was either an interaction or synergism between natural supplements such as Niacin and drugs such as Niaspan, and also a possible reaction from wearing Flector back patches as I had a recent flare up of back pain this week from shoveling snow.

Here is an excerpt from the link above, that lends credence to my thinking:
 Link to BG levels Affected By Synergism

Can Pain Increase Blood Glucose Levels in Diabetics?

Pain increases the blood glucose level, which in turn can lead to further pain for diabetics. Understanding how the cycle works and what you can do about it can help you reduce the amount of pain you experience, cut off short-term glucose spikes and live a healthier life despite having diabetes.
  1. Pain raises blood glucose levels, which can be unhealthy for both diabetics and non-diabetics.
    Image by, courtesy of Devin
    Pain raises blood glucose levels, which can be unhealthy for both diabetics and non-diabetics.
  2. Pain and elevated glucose: A cycle that feeds on itself

  3. Pain, because it is a stressor, triggers a series of metabolic responses that lead to increased glucose levels. High glucose levels in turn can provoke further pain by aggravating conditions caused by diabetes, such as diabetic neuropathy. Diabetics often have lowered tolerance for pain, which makes pain more difficult for them to deal with and feeds into the body's metabolic reaction, creating a vicious cycle.
  4. How it works

  5. When stressed, the body responds with a rapid release of adrenaline (also known as epinephrine). This is often called the "fight or flight" response because it prompts the liver to release extra glucose so you have the energy to fight off or run away from the source of the stress. This can wreak havoc for a diabetic.
  6. Pain and diabetes: Often hand in hand

  7. Diabetics routinely experience pain, from using a lancet to draw a small amount of blood for a glucose check to dealing with the effects of painful complications of diabetes. With chronic pain, pain signals are amplified or misinterpreted by the central nervous system, making the pain seem much worse than acute pain. This enhanced pain perception can make it harder for a diabetic to maintain good control of their diabetes. A Finnish study published in the June 11, 2008 Oxford Journal of Rheumatology concluded there is "a significant association between diabetes and (chronic widespread pain) in the adult population."
  8. Avoiding the cycle: Good glucose control

  9. If you have diabetes, the best thing to do to avoid the pain of chronic conditions associated with the disease is to follow your health-care providers' advice, take your medications, get more exercise, follow the diet recommended for you, have your blood tests done and make it a habit to stay on top of your glucose levels. Maintaining tight control of your disease will delay or prevent development of painful complications.

Read more: Can Pain Increase Blood Glucose Levels in Diabetics? |

It may not always be your diet. You may be doing everything right, eating like you should, and factors sometimes beyond your control, may be the culprit in temporary HIGH readings.


Disease does not occur unexpectedly, it is the result of constant violation of Nature's laws. Spreading and accumulation of such violations transpire suddenly in the form of a disease - but it only seems sudden.

1 John 3:8  "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."

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