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Manage Diabetes With Stress Reduction

If you try different relaxation methods you can learn how to ease and prevent stress. That can help you take care of your health. Stress hormones can raise your blood sugar. When you can take care of stress, you can lower your blood sugar. Plus, with less stress you can have the energy you need to eat right, exercise, and check your blood sugar. Having ways to bust stress can also help you sleep better. That’s great because when you don’t get enough sleep it’s not good for your blood sugar. That can make it rise.

Try these to help keep stress in check and your diabetes under control:

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Even before you notice symptoms, high blood sugar can damage parts of your body. That's why certain diabetes tests to check blood sugar control and to catch problems early are so crucial. But many patients aren't getting key diabetes tests at least annually, such as the hemoglobin A1c test, a dilated eye exam, and a foot exam. "If you look at the nationwide data, it's sobering," says Enrico Cagliero, MD, a diabetes researcher and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "A lot...

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  • Relaxation exercise. Close your eyes while sitting in a comfortable chair or lying down. Starting with your toes, slowly clench one body part at a time. Hold for 5 seconds and relax. Keep going until you've tightened and relaxed every part of your body.
  • Deep breathing. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Then close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose, filling up your lungs. Hold for a few seconds. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Let all the air out of your lungs like you're letting air out of a balloon. Repeat many times.