Stress-induced diabetes, or stress hyperglycemia, is a type of temporary diabetes that appears in patients who are experiencing physical stress, states the National Center for Biotechnology Information's PubMed. Doctors often reserve a diagnosis of stress hyperglycemia for patients who have no previous history of diabetes.
The development of stress hyperglycemia depends on several factors, including a patient's glucose tolerance, the disease itself, and the severity and stage of the illness, states PubMed. While Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes result from faulty insulin production in a person's body, stress-induced hyperglycemia results from an imbalance of counter-regulatory hormones brought on by illness. When these hormones reach a specific imbalance, the body begins producing excessive hepatic glucose and starts resisting insulin. The high levels of hepatic glucose in the blood appear to be the major trigger of stress hyperglycemia.
Once thought to be harmless, stress hyperglycemia may actually put patients at more risk than doctors who diagnosed it previously thought, according to a study published in PubMed. Doctors, however, require more research to study the condition's causal relationships with diabetes and to find the most effective way to treat this specific type of hyperglycemia. As of 2015, doctors treat stress-induced hyperglycemia without regard to cause.