Can stress cause high blood sugar levels in non-diabetics?
Yes, the answer to this question is very straight-forward that, yes, stress can cause high blood sugar levels in non-diabetic patients. Such type of high blood sugar level is called Stress Hyperglycemia or Stress-Induced Hyperglycemia. High blood sugar or Hyperglycemia is reported as a secondary condition to stress in different medical studies and clinical trials across the world.
Chen et al conducted a study over 1257 non-diabetic patients with hip fractures. They noted the glycosylated hemoglobin and fasting blood glucose for all the patients. They concluded that about 47.89% of the patients have high blood sugar due to stress.
High blood sugar level is also noted in the 30% non-diabetic trauma patients due to stress. And such high blood sugar after trauma increases the death ration in trauma patients.
Similarly, in another study, it has been noted that stress not only increases blood sugar level, but is also a cause of high mortality in STBI (Severe Traumatic Brain Injury).
It is also proved in a study that stress decreases insulin sensitivity and low sensitivity of insulin is correlated to high blood sugar levels in non-diabetic patients. During data analysis, they show that sugar level was high even in the non-diabetic patients due to stress.
Why Stress Increase Blood Sugar level?
The scientific reason behind the statement ‘that stress increases the blood sugar level’ is that during stressful conditions the body shuffles its normal routines to fight the stressful situation. These routines may be hematological, Endocrinal, and immunological. In simple words that mind is 2% of whole-body and consumes 98% of the total energy. To handle stress the mind needs more energy for which the body increases the supply of glucose to the bloodstream to meet the high demand of energy. Whose effect appears as the high blood sugar level.
How Stress Increase Blood Sugar Level?
The mechanism that increases blood sugar level is very complex. It depends on multiple factors, some of them we will discuss in this article. One of these factors is that during stress the secretions of pituitary hormone increases in response to the body increase the blood sugar level.
The other reason behind such type of high blood sugar level is that stress puts the adrenal gland to increase the secretion of steroids by 10 times. These steroids compel the body to release more glucose into the blood to meet the demand of muscles and brain for energy. Because in stress the brain and muscles need more energy.
The response of Neuroendocrine in stress also increases blood sugar level and insulin resistance even in non-diabetic patients. Similarly, as mentioned above the stress decreases insulin sensitivity which leads to high blood sugar levels.
During stress condition, the body converts the stored glycogen in the liver to glucose and release it into the blood, which also contributes to the high sugar level of the blood.