ZocdocAnswersCan your emotional state affect your blood sugar?

Question

Can your emotional state affect your blood sugar?

I feel like I get shaky, like I haven't eaten in a while when ever I get stressed. Can stress cause physical reactions like this? I have extreme moods that I have a lot of trouble with, I don't know.

Answer

Stress itself should have very little effect on your blood sugar. If anything, if it did effect your blood sugar, stress should increase it before it decreases it. This is because of the effect the hormone epinephrine has on blood sugar. When you are stressed, your body releases more epinephrine (adrenaline) into the blood stream. This causes your liver to increase the amount of sugar it produces and releases into the blood stream. This is why your blood sugar does not drop when you are stressed. With that said, your blood sugar may not be the reason that you feel shaky when you get stressed. Likely, this is just the way your body reacts to the stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol. In fact, high stress levels can cause numbness, tingling, and also swings in your mood and temper. Therefore, I am not surprised that you are experiencing these symptoms. You need to find a way to reduce your stress levels. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a more detailed history of your symptoms and perform a thorough physical exam. If there is anything physically wrong with you, your doctor will likely be able to figure it out. In addition, your doctor can help you figure out ways to reduce your stress.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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