Can Diabetes Cause Mood Swings?

Whether you have hypoglycemia—low blood sugar—or hyperglycemia—diabetes, you can expect mood swings. With diabetes, the mood swings can occur because of the stress from the disease and the anxiety and depression it can cause. While a lot of focus is on managing the physical problems caused by diabetes, it’s also just as important to pay attention to the mental stress it causes.

Why do blood sugar levels affect your mood?

What’s the fuel for the brain? Glucose—sugar that’s in the blood. There’s a lot of evidence that moods follow high and low blood sugar levels. For instance, a quarter of the people with diabetes suffer from depression. Those with a history of hyperglycemia often have sadness, anger and depression, while drops in sugar or hypoglycemia, is associated with anxiety and nervousness—sometimes anger.

It’s not just diabetics that suffer fluctuations.

Sometimes, stress and poor dietary habits take their toll. People who are otherwise healthy can face the spikes and valleys of blood sugar levels, too. If you’ve been abusing your body with an unhealthy diet and one day, decide a sugary cake is the perfect lunch, you’ll get that nervous energy and sometimes shaking that occurs with a sudden spike or other symptom. It doesn’t take long before your sugar levels drop and you feel wiped out, sometimes angry, but definitely not good or at your emotional best.

Learn to identify times when you’re feeling mental symptoms.

One of the hardest problems is not knowing what’s causing the problem. Once you realize it’s the fluctuations that affect your mood, share that information with close family and friends. Explain that if you start acting angry, nasty or withdrawn, it’s probably your blood sugar levels that are causing it. Explain that at that time, they need to help you by providing aid in testing blood-sugar levels if you’re diabetic and teach them ways to help you offset the high or low. Sometimes, it just takes a glass of water or a high protein snack for high blood sugar or some crackers, fruit or raisins if it’s low.

  • If you have diabetes, follow your diet closely, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. If you aren’t diabetic, but are having emotional issues you can’t explain, try making changes in your diet, get plenty of sleep and exercise. You’ll probably see it helps.
  • Stress can take its toll negatively, so learning ways to manage stress levels help. Whether you learn breathing techniques, forms of meditation or simply use exercise to burn off stress hormones can help.
  • Getting adequate sleep and a consistent sleep routine can help maintain blood sugar levels, too. It also provides other mental health and physical health benefits.
  • If you find that your blood sugar is more unstable and your facing frequent dips and peaks, first talk to your health care professional. See if increasing your intake of protein and fiber can help.

For more information, contact us today at Craig Long Fitness

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