Let’s Lighten The Mood, Shall We?

Think back to a time when you’ve dealt with someone exhibiting a bad mood or a temper. How did you deal with what person? How did their mood affect your interaction with them? Did you do the typical thing and tell them to calm down?

That’s usually the worst thing you can do. Never, in the history of humanity has that ever worked. If anything, telling a person to calm down usually just fuels the fire and makes things worse.

Anger, frustration and rage are symptoms that are all too common to someone suffering from type 1 Diabetes. Fluctuating blood sugar levels can cause sudden and violent mood swings, which can often be misunderstood by those around you.

I can remember times when I was a teenager, that I was a real a$$hole. Those who know me personally who are reading this may wonder, What’s changed? Don’t get me started…

But seriously, there were times in my youth where my anger outweighed my ability to control it. And this is one of the lesser knowns symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes.

Depending on what source you look into, low and/or high blood sugar will affect different people in different ways. For example, most medical sources will say that low blood sugar will lead to aggression and irritability. For me, high blood sugar has always led to my bad tempers. In fact, I’ve damaged and even ended relationships in my youth because of my temper. In hindsight, I wish I had been aware of these symptoms back then.

According to an article posted by HealthyPlace.com, severe drops or spikes in blood sugar levels can cause several emotional responses including but not limited to, increased doses of cortisol within the brain, which affects the level of adrenaline in the body as well as a number of systems in the brain that affect things like fight-or-flight and self-control.

This is an effect known as “Diabetic Rage“. As most people would agree, feeling anxious, depressed or angry are normal human responses. Things get a little dicey when that anger intensifies and starts being projected on others. Here’s the article, if you wish to peruse: https://www.healthyplace.com/diabetes/mental-health/diabetic-rage-can-diabetes-cause-aggressive-behavior

The first and most obvious step in preventing such mood swings is the proper and frequent checking of your blood glucose levels. Preventing severe highs and lows will help to stem the symptoms. The deeper issue is learning the difference between what’s caused by Diabetes and what’s caused by normal mood and emotion.

Needless to say, it may be difficult to control oneself in the face of these mood swings but if you feel a sudden fit of rage, it may be in your best interest to test your blood glucose and adjusting your levels as needed. Barring Diabetic symptoms, deep breathing exercises and meditation often works for me although having someone tell me to calm down usually sets me off… ☯

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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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