Home Emotional Effects Diabetes and anxiety: What is the relationship?

Diabetes and anxiety: What is the relationship?

by Julie Ryan Evans
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Anxiety and stress levels can both affect blood sugar levels and diabetes management. You may also consider lifestyle changes, medication, or therapy to address anxiety and stress.

Diabetes is usually a manageable disease, but it can cause additional stress. People with diabetes may have concerns related to regularly counting carbohydrates, measuring insulin levels, and thinking about long-term health. But for some people with diabetes, the concerns can be even more intense and cause anxiety.

Read on to learn more about the relationship between diabetes and anxiety and what you can do to prevent and treat your symptoms.

Research has consistently revealed that strong connection Between diabetes and anxiety. One study Americans with diabetes were found to be 20% more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder than those without diabetes. This turns out to be especially true for young people and Hispanic Americans.

The relationship between anxiety and blood sugar levels

Stress can affect blood sugar levels, but research tends to be mixed on this effect. Some people experience increased blood sugar levels, while others experience decreased blood sugar levels.

at least one study It also shows that there may be a link between blood sugar control and mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, especially in men.

but, another study found that general anxiety does not affect glycemic control, but diabetes-specific emotional stress does.

other the study The researchers found that type 1 diabetics appeared to be “more susceptible to physical harm from stress,” while type 2 diabetics did not. The effect seems to be determined to some extent by the person’s personality.

People with diabetes can feel anxious about a variety of things. This includes monitoring your blood sugar levels, weight, and diet.

You may also be concerned about long-term effects as well as short-term health complications such as hypoglycemia. People with diabetes are at higher risk for certain health complications, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. Knowing this can make you even more anxious.

But keep in mind that information that leads to prevention and treatment can also be empowering. Learn other ways women with anxiety can feel empowered.

There is also some evidence that anxiety may play a role in the cause of diabetes. One study We found that symptoms of anxiety and depression are significant risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.

Anxiety may initially result from stress or stressful situations, but it’s more than just feeling stressed. It’s an excessive and unrealistic worry that can interfere with relationships and daily life. Symptoms of anxiety vary from person to person. There are several types of anxiety disorders. These include:

Although each disorder has unique symptoms, common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • nervousness, restlessness, or nervousness
  • feelings of danger, panic, or fear
  • fast heart rate
  • Breathing quickly or hyperventilating
  • increased or profuse sweating
  • tremors or muscle spasms
  • weakness and lethargy
  • Difficulty concentrating on anything other than what you’re worried about or thinking clearly
  • insomnia
  • Digestive problems such as gas, constipation, and diarrhea
  • a strong desire to avoid things that cause anxiety
  • Obsession with certain thoughts, a sign of OCD
  • Perform a specific action repeatedly
  • Anxiety about specific past life events or experiences (especially indicative of PTSD)

In some cases, anxiety can cause panic attacks. A panic attack is a sudden, intense bout of fear that is unrelated to an obvious threat or danger. The symptoms of a panic attack are very similar to those of hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition in which blood sugar levels drop too low.

Symptoms of hypoglycemia

panic attack symptoms

  • chest pain
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty breathing
  • shortness of breath
  • hyperpnea
  • fast heartbeat
  • I feel faint
  • Hot flashes
  • cold
  • tremble
  • sweating
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • Tingling or numbness
  • feel that death is imminent

Both conditions require treatment by a medical professional. Hypoglycemia is a medical emergency and some people may require immediate treatment. If you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia, even if you suspect anxiety, check your blood sugar levels and try to eat 15 grams of carbohydrates (equivalent to a slice of bread or a small piece of fruit) immediately. Check your symptoms with your doctor as soon as possible.

There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and each has different treatments. However, in general, the most common treatments for anxiety are:

Lifestyle changes

Exercising, avoiding alcohol and other recreational drugs, limiting caffeine, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep often help relieve anxiety.


If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to deal with your anxiety, your doctor may recommend seeing a mental health professional. Therapies used to treat anxiety include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) teaches you to recognize anxious thoughts and behaviors and change them.
  • Exposure therapy. In order to control our emotions, we gradually expose ourselves to things that cause anxiety.


In some cases, medications may be prescribed to treat anxiety. Some of the most common ones include:

  • antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety drugs such as buspirone
  • Benzodiazepines to reduce panic attacks

There is a strong relationship between diabetes and anxiety. People with diabetes may want to manage stress through healthy lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and other stress-relieving activities.

If these changes begin to cause symptoms that you cannot manage, consult your doctor. These can help you determine the best strategy for managing your anxiety.

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