October 24, 2006
Question from South Windsor, Connecticut,USA:
Can a teenager’s emotional state affect their blood sugar? My 15 year old daughter is taking honor classes and playing field hockey. Presently, we are having difficulty controlling her blood sugar. When she is high (200 mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] and above), she goes to the nurse and corrects. She has missed classes and she is not doing well in school. She is very upset about her classes and her blood sugar has been in the 200s mg/dl [over 11.1 mmol/L] during school hours during the school week. She is on a pump. Our school has banned all sodas and sugary snacks. We tell her that health is first, but she is very upset about her classes. We have taken her off the field hockey team so she can have more study time and a more structured dinner schedule. However, she has fallen behind due to missed classes and is worrying about her classes. Is her emotional state affecting our ability to control her blood sugar?
Yes, emotional stress can affect blood glucose.
Why must she go to the nurse and miss classes at all to correct when on a pump? She should just correct. Talk with your diabetes team.
[Editor’s comment: You may also wish to review our web page on Diabetes at School.