Friday, 22 August 2014

Sweaty palms and monster spikes: what stress does to diabetes

I did my best to pretend to the surgeon operating on my wrist that I was fine, even taking the opportunity to look at the exposed tendons in my cut-open hand moving around as I wigged my fingers, but my dry mouth and twitching foot gave me away as a fraud; the surgery was stressing me out.

'The Club'
If you were to ask me what the most impactive factor is on blood glucose (BGs) I would tell you  carbs, illness and stress, in that order.  And yet very rarely do I have my eyes open to it when a stressful day at work leaves me snapping at the heels of 20 mmol.  Or when my BGs go ape-shit when I travel.  I usually blame it on the food.  And likewise, when I tell myself that the week off work I just had was nothing to do with why my levels are better than that of a non-diabetic.  It must be a stroke of luck.

Two days ago as the Queen Alexandra hospital kitted me out with 'the club', my BGs stayed between a beautiful 5.4 mmol and respectable 8 mmol all morning.  Even during and immediate after surgery they were dancing gently around 6 mmol.  But an hour later, as I tried to figure out how a simple mocha could have me flying vertically upwards that I remembered the sweaty palms that gave me away in surgery, and realised that no coffee in the world could do this:

If ever I needed a reminder of the impact stress can have, my trusty CGM was happy to oblige!

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