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High Blood Sugar And Aggression

Diabetes Can Take A Toll On Your Emotions

Diabetes Can Take A Toll On Your Emotions

And this psychological component may make it harder to control the blood-sugar disorder, experts say Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional. HealthDay Reporter THURSDAY, May 17, 2012 (HealthDay News) -- Many people know diabetes -- both type 1 and type 2 -- can take a serious toll on physical health. But these blood-sugar disorders also can affect your emotions and, in turn, your emotions can wreak havoc on your diabetes control. Extremes in blood-sugar levels can cause significant mood changes, and new research suggests that frequent changes in blood-sugar levels (called glycemic variability) also can affect mood and quality of life for those with diabetes. Depression has long been linked to diabetes, especially type 2. It's still not clear, however, whether depression somehow triggers diabetes or if having diabetes leads to being depressed. More recent research in people with type 1 diabetes has found that long periods of high blood-sugar levels can trigger the production of a hormone linked to the development of depression. People with type 1 diabetes no longer can make their own insulin; people with type 2 diabetes need insulin treatment because their bodies can no longer produce it in sufficient quantities. "Diabetes gives you so much to worry about that it's exhausting. It can make you feel powerless," said Joe Solowiejczyk, a certified diabetes educator and a manager of diabetes counseling and training at the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute in Milpitas, Calif. "I think it's important to ackno Continue reading >>

Sugar Levels Affects Behavior Of Children With Diabetes

Sugar Levels Affects Behavior Of Children With Diabetes

Behaviors such as aggression, delinquency, and hyperactivity In children with type 1 diabetes, are associated with high blood glucose (sugar) levels. Dr. Fergus J. Cameron stated that, "It has always been important to try and normalize blood glucose levels for long-term health and in addition to this it now appears that it is also important to normalize blood glucose levels to optimize behavior.” Cameron, of the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues note in their paper that "parents of children with type 1 diabetes often report that they can detect elevations in their child’s blood glucose due to changes in outward behavioral patterns. These reports, however, are entirely anecdotal, and to date, there has been little direct inquiry in this phenomenon." The researchers therefore investigated this issue in a study of 42 children ages 5 to 10 years who had type 1 diabetes for more than 2 years. The average A1C at recruitment was 8.2 percent. A1C is a commonly used measure of blood sugar that reflects the average levels in the past 2 to 3 months; a normal level is less than 7.0. Forty children were receiving insulin in a twice-daily mixing regime and two were receiving insulin in a three to four injection regime. Each subject wore a continuous glucose monitor over a 72-hour period on two occasions 6 months apart. Parents completed the Behavior Assessment System for Children at both time points. The overall average blood glucose value was higher than normal, as was the average externalizing behavior score. The overall average percentage of time spent in the high glycemic ranges was 42.4 percent. A statistically significant association was observed between the average blood glucose and the average externalizing behavior score. "For every 5-perc Continue reading >>

In Sickness And In... Case Of Violent, Irrational Lows

In Sickness And In... Case Of Violent, Irrational Lows

{Editor's Note: This post is not meant to make light of domestic violence, which we recognize is an issue that needs to be taken seriously. Rather, this post is just a guy relying on his sense of humor to help him to cope with some of the worst effects of diabetes.} So, I beat my wife. Seriously. I've resorted to spousal abuse twice in the past few years and I can't guarantee it won't happen again. OK, hold on. Before I end up being the subject of police raids or adult protective services calls, maybe I should back up and explain. Don't worry: there've been good reasons. 1. I thought my wife was an alien trying to poison me with apple cider. If I didn't fight back, she might take over my body and clone me for nefarious alien invasion purposes. 2. She was a secret Communist spy trying to crush my patriotic views of the United States, evidenced by her trying to pin me down to confiscate my American-flag-skin-wearing insulin pump. Both situations led me to slugging her, and once she even came down with an infection after I decided to claw at her in self-defense. I think that was the alien response. OK, OK.... Maybe I should back up even more. Context might be relevant here. (It might also come in handy if I ever find myself in front of a judge...) You see, I'm one of those people living with type 1 diabetes who sometimes has violent, irrational hypoglycemic reactions. They take away all sense of reality and toss me into what seems like a sci-fi movie script. Or a political thriller. Take the aliens or spy scenarios as key examples. There have also been times when I'm convinced the dog is trying to eat my head... but that's not the point here. This happened even when I was young (diagnosed at age 5). Back then, the lows would hit me suddenly overnight, and I was suddenly su Continue reading >>

Understanding Hypoglycemia

Understanding Hypoglycemia

When you think about diabetes and blood glucose control, the first thing that comes to mind is probably avoiding high blood glucose levels. After all, the hallmark of diabetes is high blood glucose, or hyperglycemia. But controlling blood glucose is more than just managing the “highs”; it also involves preventing and managing the “lows,” or hypoglycemia. Most people are aware that keeping blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible helps prevent damage to the blood vessels and nerves in the body. But keeping blood glucose levels near normal can carry some risks as well. People who maintain “tight” blood glucose control are more likely to experience episodes of hypoglycemia, and frequent episodes of hypoglycemia — even mild hypoglycemia and even in people who don’t keep blood glucose levels close to normal — deplete the liver of stored glucose (called glycogen), which is what the body normally draws upon to raise blood glucose levels when they are low. Once liver stores of glycogen are low, severe hypoglycemia is more likely to develop, and research shows that severe hypoglycemia can be harmful. In children, frequent severe hypoglycemia can lead to impairment of intellectual function. In children and adults, severe hypoglycemia can lead to accidents. And in adults with cardiovascular disease, it can lead to strokes and heart attacks. To keep yourself as healthy as possible, you need to learn how to balance food intake, physical activity, and any diabetes medicines or insulin you use to keep your blood glucose as close to normal as is safe for you without going too low. This article explains how hypoglycemia develops and how to treat and prevent it. What is hypoglycemia? Blood glucose levels vary throughout the day depending on what you eat, how Continue reading >>

Unhappy Marriages Due To Low Blood Sugar?

Unhappy Marriages Due To Low Blood Sugar?

Feeling peeved at your partner? You may want to check your blood sugar. A new study suggests that low levels of glucose in the blood may increase anger and aggression between spouses. The researchers say their findings suggest a connection between glucose and self-control, but other experts disagree about the study’s implications. Glucose is a source of fuel for the body, and its levels in the blood rise and fall throughout the day, as the body metabolizes meals that include carbohydrates. Researchers have suspected since the 1960s that low glucose or swings in glucose may play a role in human aggression. In two 2010 studies, psychologist Brad Bushman of Ohio State University, Columbus, attempted to figure out just what that role is, first by measuring vengefulness among people with symptoms of type 2 diabetes (a disease in which the body can’t regulate glucose levels properly), and then by providing sweetened drinks to strangers competing on a computerized task. Both studies suggested that higher glucose levels can make strangers less likely to treat each other aggressively. Bushman wondered about the relationship between glucose levels and aggression among romantic couples. So he and colleagues at the University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina recruited 107 married couples and equipped them with blood glucose meters, voodoo dolls, and 51 pins to record their glucose and anger levels over time. Get more great content like this delivered right to you! By signing up, you agree to share your email address with the publication. Information provided here is subject to Science's privacy policy. For 21 days, the couples used the meters to measure their glucose levels each morning before breakfast and each evening before bed. They also assessed how angry t Continue reading >>

Are People With Diabetes Prone To Violence?

Are People With Diabetes Prone To Violence?

Most people with insulin dependent diabetes have experienced the slipping, sliding loss of control and reason. A few units of insulin too many – an accidental overdose – can trigger a hypoglycemic episode. These experiences vary from person to person. In the case of Mike Hoskins, who lives with Type 1 diabetes, it can get pretty bad. Aliens invade. Conspiracy theories march through his mind. His wife wakes up at the middle of the night at risk of physical violence, because once his levels sink below 40, Mike bites, hits, and scratches. When he turns violent, they have a plan of action. “My wife, she’s smaller than I am. So we have a standing rule when I get uncooperative or even violent, she’ll call the paramedics.” Fortunately, this hasn’t happened in a few years, because Mike uses a continuous glucose monitor to alert him of dangerous lows. Hallucinations and aggressive violence are not part of everyone’s reaction to a dangerously low blood sugar. I, for example, tend to fall mute and still, paralyzed by confusion. Anyone who has experienced severe hypoglycemia knows the powerful effects of the condition. But is severe hypoglycemia the only cause of aggressive behavior related to diabetes? Several recent scientific studies have examined aggressive behavior and propose more facets to the relationship between blood sugar, exertion of self-control, and aggression. Some research even suggests that due to problems metabolizing glucose, people with diabetes are more prone to aggressive behavior and violent crime, including murder, rape, and robbery. Self-Control: A Finite Resource The most recent study of the relationship between blood sugar and aggression, published earlier this year, “Low glucose relates to greater aggression in married couples,” recei Continue reading >>

Are People With Diabetes More Prone To Aggression?

Are People With Diabetes More Prone To Aggression?

Relationship Between Blood Glucose Level and Self-Control Blood sugar can make people do crazy things. According to a recent scientific study on the link between low blood glucose level and relationship clashes (Bushman et al, 2014), being hungry makes an individual generally cranky and act more hostile to others. In the study, couples who are hungry tend to have a much higher tendency to exhibit aggression towards each other and become more impulsive in their reactions. This phenomenon is often referred to “hangry” (meaning feeling angry when you are hungry). If this irritable state can happen to any healthy person who experiences a change in their blood glucose level, imagine the ordeals individuals with diabetes frequently go through on a daily basis. However, do not jump to the conclusion that diabetes leads to aggression. In fact, scientists find a more direct correlation between blood glucose level and self-control. I recommend reading the following articles: In a way, you can visualize self-control as a muscle that requires a lot of energy to sustain so that it does not become ineffective quickly. This energy source comes from the glucose in the blood. So what kind of activities can wear out this “muscle”? Any daily activities that require self-discipline such as forcing yourself to get out of bed early to exercise, resisting from having a soda drink or another cookie with your meal, stopping yourself from smoking, dealing with stressful situations at work and at home, and abstaining yourself from road rage. As you can see, self-control plays a crucial part in restraining inappropriate and aggressive behaviors. So when people are low in glucose, the self-control mechanism cannot function properly to prevent these outbursts of hostile actions. In a researc Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Mood Swings: Effects On Relationships

Diabetes And Mood Swings: Effects On Relationships

Diabetes is a condition that impacts the way a person's body uses sugar for energy. However, diabetes affects much more than blood sugar. It can impact nearly every body system and have an effect on a person's mood. Stress associated with managing diabetes as well as concerns about potential side effects can all contribute to changes in mood. In addition, the actual highs and lows of blood sugar levels may also cause nervousness, anxiety, and confusion. It is important for people to recognize their own individual symptoms of high or low blood sugar. They must also ensure they seek support for any concerning mental health symptoms they might experience. Watching these mood swings can often be difficult for friends and family to understand. However, learning why a person may experience mood changes related to diabetes and being supportive can help to promote a stronger, healthier relationship. Contents of this article: How do diabetes and mood swings go together? Diabetes can have many effects on a person's mood. For example, managing diabetes can be stressful. A person may be constantly worried about their blood sugar and whether it is too high or too low. Adjustments to their diet and constantly checking their blood sugar can also add to a person's stress and enjoyment of life. As a result, they are more likely to experience feelings of anxiety and depression. Blood sugar swings can cause rapid changes in a person's mood, such as making them sad and irritable. This is especially true during hypoglycemic episodes, where blood sugar levels dip lower than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Hyperglycemic episodes where levels spike higher than 250 mg/dL may cause confusion in people with type 1 diabetes, but are much less likely to in those with type 2 diabetes. When a pe Continue reading >>

High Or Low Blood Glucose Making You Cranky? Here’s Why

High Or Low Blood Glucose Making You Cranky? Here’s Why

Mood changes can be a common experience in people with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. Medtronic Diabetes Clinical Manager Gina, who has lived with type 1 diabetes for more than 39 years, addresses the affect blood sugar levels can have on your everyday emotions. The other day, I was driving and was suddenly overcome by a feeling of intense sadness; I started to cry. At the time, I thought I was reacting emotionally to a stressful week; I had been looking for a home to purchase, and my offer on a townhome I really liked had been rejected. Then, my Low Predictive alert sounded on my pump, and I realized the reason for the sudden change in my emotions was because my blood glucose (BG) had been dropping and was approaching a low level. Once my BG stabilized, I was fine. The sadness went away as quickly as it had come. Has this ever happened to you? There is a Reason: Your Brain! Well, there is an explanation! Your brain, the center of your thoughts and emotions, needs glucose to do its job. If you don’t have enough glucose to “feed your brain,” your brain can go “haywire”. Even though it seems like you are overly emotional, this is really a physical response to low BG (hypoglycemia). You don’t have to be below a certain number, like 70 mg/dL, to experience this. Your BG may be in the 80-130 md/dL range, or possibly higher, when the reaction occurs. It can be due to a rapid drop in your BG level instead of the actual level (1). Can high BG’s (hyperglycemia) affect your immediate emotions? It probably will not surprise you the answer is “yes.” High BG’s can make it difficult to think and concentrate. I know some people with diabetes tend to get grouchy and irritable when our sugar is high because any blood sugar outside of our desired range can make us Continue reading >>

Are Diabetics Angry...?

Are Diabetics Angry...?

(See Also: Diabetes and Anger -- Is there a Deeper Connection?) This angry diabetic has been really bewildered for the past few weeks with many new and personal challenges... As we know, life's problems do not stop at diabetes, or any other chronic illness, nor do they care if we're having to juggle other things. In fact, in the storm of life... sometimes when it rains, it just pours. (I need to buy a raincoat.) So, I thought... why not take a little time to address a common, and often overlooked, issue with diabetes? Anger. In the past few weeks, my blog has registered many, many Google searches for "anger and diabetes," "do diabetics suffer from anger," "do diabetics need anger management," etc. I fear many of these folks might be family members really wanting to understand, and care for their loved ones... or maybe folks just wanting to understand themselves a little better. Before I get a little further into the discussion, I want to add that while the emotions we experience through the ups and downs of illness, and life, are perfectly normal... this blog post is in NO WAY a justification for aggression, violence, or abuse. It might be an EXPLANATION of a course of events, but in the end... we are responsible for our own selves, and how we manage our health, and our emotions. Got that? Okay... :) Diabetes is a PERVASIVE disease... Now, in order to make some of kind of sense of the emotions a person with diabetes might feel, we need to understand one thing: Diabetes is a PERVASIVE life change. It is one of the most pervasive life changes an 'afflicted' person will ever have to face. While it may not seem as such in the beginning stages (especially for type 2, and often during a "honeymoon phase" for a type 1), with time, an individual will soon become painfully aware Continue reading >>

Low Blood Sugar Appears To Cause Aggression And Relationship Disharmony

Low Blood Sugar Appears To Cause Aggression And Relationship Disharmony

Back in 2011 I wrote a blog post that focused on a case of alleged domestic violence. In short, a judge had come home after work, but his wife was busy giving support to a visitor. The judge took himself off upstairs as dinner was clearly going to be delayed. Later that evening, it was alleged the judge repeatedly punched his wife in the face. The judge was subsequently found guilty. In my blog post, I put forward the idea that perhaps the delayed dinner was a factor in the alleged violence. I suggested that hunger and low blood sugar can trigger mood changes and increased aggression and excitability that could contribute to violence and anti-social behaviour. I was therefore very interested to read a new study in which researchers attempted to assess the relationship between blood sugar levels and aggression in married couples [1]. Aggressive impulses were assessed by asking individuals to stick pins in a voodoo doll representing their partner (I know, not necessarily a nice thought). Aggressive behaviour was assessed by allowing individuals to play sounds into headphones worn by their partner. Individuals were free to choose the loudness and level of the sound. Louder and more sustained sounds were taken as a sign of higher aggression. The researchers found that lower blood sugar levels were associated with an increase in both aggressive impulses andaggressive behaviour. Of course, undue hunger and low blood sugar may have some other adverse effects too, such as driving individuals to overeat (often none-too-healthy foods, too) and drink more alcohol than they otherwise would. In short, those seeking to make healthy eating and harmonious relationships as easy as possible should avoid getting too hungry. A snack of something sustaining (e.g. nuts, biltong, cold meat, a Continue reading >>

Can Diabetes Affect Your Mood?

Can Diabetes Affect Your Mood?

My husband has type 2 diabetes, which is now being controlled by medicine. I find that he is sometimes particularly irritable or even mean, which is very out of character for him. Is this common with type 2 diabetes, or with high or low readings? — Sally, Florida It is great that you are seeking a better understanding of your husband’s illness. Diabetes is a disease that not only affects individuals but also those close to them. As a result, those who have good family support in the care of their diabetes do much better in managing their illness. There are a few reasons for behavioral changes like those you see in your husband among people with diabetes. One is the effect of abnormally low glucose levels in the bloodstream. The other reason is depression, which can be triggered by the diagnosis of diabetes, the burden of daily management, and fear of complications. Low glucose levels can cause symptoms including impaired judgment, anxiety, moodiness, belligerence, fatigue, apathy, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, and a lack of coordination. I would advise your husband to check his sugar levels at the times when he is irritable. If his mood is indeed due to low glucose levels, the symptoms will improve if he raises his blood sugar, for example, by drinking orange juice or taking glucose tablets. It is also important to consult with his doctor to adjust his medicines or dietary intake. On the other hand, your husband’s irritability can be a manifestation of depression. Many people with depression are undiagnosed and thus do not receive the necessary counseling and treatment. Also, depression symptoms vary from person to person, which can make it difficult to diagnose. Signs such as lack of sleep, overeating or lack of appetite, poor concentration, and other sym Continue reading >>

Warning Symptoms Of Hypoglycaemia

Warning Symptoms Of Hypoglycaemia

What Is Hypoglycaemia? Back to Related Health Issues When the blood glucose levels start to drop at the stage of mild hypoglycaemia, then usually there are warnings signs/symptoms of the impending hypo. These are usually: Sweating Trembling Pallor Weakness Hunger These are called the adrenergic effects of hypoglycaemia because the body reacts to the low blood glucose level by the production of counter-regulatory hormones, mainly adrenalin and glucagon. These hormones are the ‘fight and flight’ hormones that the body releases when there is any danger. Hypoglycaemia is a danger and these hormones give the warning symptoms of an impending hypo and trigger the release glucose from the liver. If the mild hypo is not treated for any reason, then the blood glucose drops further and the symptoms of this are less obvious to the person with diabetes – the signs are usually: Confusion Irritability Behavioural changes such as aggression, excitement or violence Sensory changes such as blurred vision These symptoms are much harder to recognise and can be missed and so remain untreated. This can lead to a severe hypo and unconsciousness. These are the neuroglycopenic effects of hypoglycaemia because the blood glucose level has dropped to lower levels and the brain is starved of glucose. This results in reduced cognitive function with confusion and behavioural changes. The person who is hypo may well say that they are “definitely not hypo” but in reality this may be part of the confusion caused by the neuroglycopenia. Research has shown that brain function can be impaired when the blood glucose falls below 3.5mmols. Important to remember: The warning symptoms vary from person to person and can vary in the same person at different times. Many people have found that the warning Continue reading >>

Sugar On The Brain

Sugar On The Brain

I know that I shouldn’t feed my two daughters, who are eight and twelve, dinner at 7:30. It’s too late. But my wife and I are overscheduled and sometimes it just happens. And so, a few weeks ago, faced with yet another late meal, my younger daughter fell into one of those anger vortices. Annoyed at a perceived inequity in chore distribution, she slammed my glass of soda onto the counter, somewhat inadvertently splattering the liquid onto the floor and me. She told me, “You’re not being nice! You’re being a stupid old parent who knows nothing!” Maybe so: when these evening outbursts occur, I feel responsible. After all, as a parent I’m supposed to provide them with timely calories. Shortly after this particular blowup, I came across a study in which men and women stuck pins—sometimes many pins—into voodoo dolls as a measure of their resentment and annoyance with their spouses. The researchers found that the subjects were more likely to stick in lots of pins when their glucose level was low. I was intrigued—the findings seemed to illuminate my experience with my kids (and people in general), and offered a clear solution: eat regularly, enhance self-control. My response was common, I think, because the study got a lot of attention—stories on the “Today” show, ABC News, NPR, and lots of newspapers around the world. Part of the study’s appeal is its obviousness: anyone with kids, or a partner or friends or any level of self-awareness, probably knows on some level that hunger begets irritability. It’s somehow comforting when science confirms what we already know, as if the researchers are just now catching up to our common sense. “Self-control is a limited resource,” says the Ohio State psychologist Brad Bushman, who led the study. “With le Continue reading >>

Hypo And Aggression???

Hypo And Aggression???

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community I've been reading some research papers that claim type 2 diabetes hypos are tied to aggression. I fully appreciate that someone can be irritable and may even lose their temper in a hypo but I find it hard to believe that someone experiencing a hypo can be aggressive. After all to be aggressive you'd need at least normal if not high blood sugars. What do other people think? When your blood sugar drops you release adrenaline; hence the shaking, sweating and aggression associated with hypos. The hypo/adrenaline release causes the aggression not the other way around by the way. Type 2 hypos would normally self correct unless you are taking insulin as your pancreas although impaired would still respond. About 12 years ago I had a big hypo, and believed we were in the middle of a nuclear war. I also believed my mother was not helping me to escape. I started screaming at her that if she did not save me I would trash the house and smash everything in sight. So hypos definitely can cause aggression! From my experience aggression occurs at very low blood glucose levels. Adrenalin, the fight or flight hormone ,is released by the body when blood sugar drops below normal levels and causes the symptoms of hypoglycaemia such as sweating, shaking etc. If the brain continues to be starved of fuel due to glucose dropping to very low levels then confusion, aggression and violence can be symptoms accompanied by no recollection of your actions. It certainly isn't a conscious decision to become aggressive when experiencing a severe hypo and it is frightening to hear how your behaviour has changed in this situation. I am type 1 but found that before i was diagnosed, when my Continue reading >>

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