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Stress & Blood Sugar: The Vicious Cycle

When stress strikes, our bodies kick into high gear, initiating a cascade of physiological responses designed to help us cope with perceived threats or challenges. At the forefront of this response are two key stress hormones: cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones, often referred to as the body's "fight or flight" messengers, mobilize resources to fuel our immediate response to stress. Cortisol, in particular, plays a central role in regulating blood sugar levels by promoting gluconeogenesis, the process by which the liver produces glucose from non-carbohydrate sources like amino acids and fats, and glycogenolysis, the breakdown of stored glycogen into glucose for energy. PMID: 37796203

As a result, when stress hormones surge, so too can our blood sugar levels, providing us with the energy needed to tackle the perceived threat head-on. While this response can be beneficial in the short term, chronic or persistent stress can disrupt the delicate balance of blood sugar regulation, leading to long-term consequences for our health. One such consequence is the development of insulin resistance, a condition in which cells become less responsive to the effects of insulin, the hormone responsible for transporting glucose from the bloodstream into cells for energy. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to elevated blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders. PMID: 31617047

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