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Monday, 11 November 2013

My Diabetes - Angry Diabetic Syndrome

One of the most common things I hear about diabetics and I have experienced it myself many times is what I will call my 'Angry Diabetic' syndrome.

I liken this to a real life Jackal and Hyde situation.  One minute I am a kind rational person and the next even the most simple thing anger me.

By monitoring my blood glucose and my moods I very quickly noticed there is a direct correlation between my mood, rationality and my blood sugar levels. As the blood sugar drops and the amount of sugars available in my brain also drops.  I become angry, anxious, confused and my higher reasoning functions seem to drop away and I become a like an aggressive animal.

I put this down to the fact that I as a human being are basically a violent animal and we had to be to survive and end up at the top of the food chain.  But realistically the only thing that separates me from other animals is my larger brain(which needs lots of food) and my associated higher functioning centres. When these higher functions get switched off or suppressed due to lack of sugar then then not surprisingly I revert back to a lower animal state.

I liken this to a 'kill to eat' reflex and if you want to see it in action trying taking food away from a very hungry pet.  If they are not too hungry they will let you, but there becomes a point where they will growl and fight you for it.

The thing which is fascinating about this is that moment the blood sugar comes back even slightly up I am immediately calmer and like nothing has happened.

It's not just diabetics who show aggression there blood sugar levels drop.

It's been know for centuries that a hungry army is more violent, aggressive, less rational and more likely to take risks.  Interestingly, after a great battle and plunder there was often a great feast and the soldiers and commanders became less violent and began to behave with some compassion, until the food ran out?

Some years ago european lager companies brought out strong beers with no sugars in them.  Suddenly there was a massive rise in bad behaviour and violence linked to these beers.  Drinking sugar free alcohol and an empty stomach is a sure fire way to make anybody hypoglycaemic,  out of control and aggressive.

From my own experience I noted that violent drinkers had very poor diets preferring to drink alcohol rather than eat.  Most likely causing a very drunken Hyde to visit.

This is certainly an area requiring study.

Learning Point:

1) To avoid Hyde coming out to play and becoming an angry diabetic, I make sure my blood sugars do not drop too low.
2) It appears to me from my monitoring that if I stick to the very low levels of blood sugar demanded by my medical advisers, then I can quickly become Hyde from the simplest mild exertion.
3) If I have low blood sugar and my meal is delayed for whatever reason, then Hyde comes out to play.

For me there is a definite tradeoff of ultra low blood sugar, hypo and anger. With slightly higher blood sugar I remain calm and rational.

It is up to the reader to decide in discussion with your medical team and family what is acceptable and best for you.  I was making my own life and that of Debbie a misery with Hyde outbursts until I found the best levels for me.


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