It has been widely accepted that stress associated with release of stress hormones, often results in an increase in blood sugar levels. Besides, stress can also affect dietary intake, exercise schedules and other self-care habits resulting in poor metabolic control of diabetes.
Stress management training employing progressive muscle relaxation (i.e. gradual relaxation of muscle groups from head to toe or the other way round one after the other), breathing techniques like diaphragmatic breathing, mental imagery and modification of cognitive and behavioural responses to stress (the way we perceive and react to stress), is known to improve blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes patients. A study conducted on 60 patients of type 2 diabetes has shown ≥ 1% fall in the average blood sugar level (determined through the Glycosylated hemoglobin test) in 32% of cases, after 1 year of stress management training. Besides, the stress management training group demonstrated 0.5% reduction in the average blood sugar level (again determined through the Glycosylated hemoglobin test) in comparison to the control group. It was found that this seemingly small change brought significant decrease in the risk of complications (involving the eye, nerves etc.) of diabetes mellitus.