The Angry Type 2 Diabetic: Are Diabetics Angry...?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

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 of just how MUCH diabetes will demand of them.

Diabetes demands that we (and often our loved ones) learn a LOT of information in a short amount of time, and often more than many medical professionals; that we completely change how we view our eating habits, and what we consider healthy according to the whims and demands of a little electronic gadget called a 'glucose meter;' that we throw away the information we once thought made SENSE, for a new, and obscure world which we merely go about feeling, through the grace and support of others who have been there before us; that we are on alert to protect ourselves from the harm of careless outsiders, or clueless third parties. It demands that we learn to 'forecast' how meals will affect us, depending on their level of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat, and sometimes... algebra, and the phases of the moon! :) And yes... just to throw a nice wrench in it, diabetes often demands FAMILY UNITY and outside support. Diabetes... is a THIEF of spontaneity. It demands you plan out almost every moment of your life.

Let's face it, if most of us got into a relationship with someone who was like this, we'd call them CONTROLLING... And most of us can't handle change very well, let alone pervasive change. A social network like Facebook changes how some things look, and feel, and millions of people get up in arms, and feel imprisoned! Living in harmony with a controlling, and demanding disease like diabetes, is NOT an easy feat for the weak-hearted, or for those who fly off the seat of their pants. It is HARD work; often 24/7 work. It is like chess; one always needs to think 2 or 3, or 4 moves ahead. If you snooze... you lose.

Diabetes makes us feel judged... 

Being diagnosed with diabetes, in itself, can be anger inducing. We often feel like we have failed somehow. Whether it's type 1, or type 2, folks often feel a big burden of guilt over past habits or parenting, or perceived flaws (however erroneous those might be.) Often, folks who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may have been fighting, or struggling with weight and eating habits for years, before feeling like they were given a 'death' sentence for 'failing' to make the grade at these tasks. To top it off, few medical professionals discuss how BIG the role of our genetic make up is when it comes to diagnosis, and how even folks who are thin, or otherwise in relatively good health, can end up with a diabetes diagnosis.

Instead, diabetes is portrayed as the disease of the obese and inactive, and not simply a disease in which our immune systems are more sensitive to unhealthful triggers, thanks to our genetic make up. Many things like alcohol, smoking, other medications and illnesses, as well as pollutants or pesticides, may trigger a diabetes diagnosis. Some of those triggers, we may work at reducing their influence; some, we may not. One works at REDUCING the risk of getting diabetes, but the use of the word "prevention" is a potentially judgment inducing misnomer.

Diabetes is poorly understood... 

Diabetes doesn't just bring with it a lot of self blame... It often brings with it the blame of outsiders who poorly understand this disease. This is, in part, the fault of our current medical professionals, and in part, the fault of our media who is looking to market to, and cash in, on a 'growing' population.

One would think that for such a deadly disease, there would be many prepared and able medical professionals, and certainly... there are some great ones out there. However, the amount of uneducated, misguided, and often, dangerous medical professionals out there, is staggering. Many patients, particularly type 2s, are left out in the dark... with little information as to what they have, and how to proceed. They are often kept from access to specialists, educators, testing tools, and insulin... so managing this disease, and learning how to do so in what one would think should be a safe environment, are often HUGE, and frustrating, hurdles. Many folks end up erroneously thinking this is a disease of avoiding sweets -- which it is not -- and are left not understanding why they can't make strides, and worse, being judged and labeled as "noncompliant."

The amount of new information we are learning about diabetes, every day, is far outpacing the amount of continuous diabetic education many medical professionals are receiving. This leaves us with a world of antiquated guidelines, and outdated diabetic organizations... leaving many patients out there, clueless, and confused.

Diabetics are poorly understood... 

It follows that because diabetes is such a pervasive disease, and such a complicated and misunderstood disease, that diabetics themselves would be misunderstood.

Many folks can understand the need to keep a home free of elements that might provoke a deadly allergy, in a family member, such as nuts... Few folks can understand what it's like to have to completely re-structure a life after a disease, and require the support of the entire family unit to achieve it. Often, family members or friends, might think that diabetes is just the person's problem, and that they don't need to contribute or support in any way. They don't want us to "cramp" their style, or to have to change on our account, in any way. Often, for example, if a person with diabetes is the cook in the home, they end up making different meals for their family, or may even get little acknowledgement for their desire to have a healthier pantry in the home.

Feelings of frustration, anger or resentment, are often met with snide comments of disbelief: "What's the big deal? You can eat that...," "Just diet and exercise and your diabetes will go away...," "So? Just stop eating sugar...," "I don't see why you feel so sick, you must be faking...," "You brought this on yourself, anyway... It's your fault... I'm not the one with diabetes...," "Please don't bore me with your disease...," "At least it's not cancer...," etc...

For the diabetic, it's often a lonely world, especially if one does not have a support group to vent in. Our struggles often go unacknowledged, and we can be viewed as drama queens, or hypochondriacs 'obsessed' with our disease. It is a 'nuisance' for others to change, especially if that change is INDIRECTLY related to them. Diabetics will often feel left out of activities involving food, particularly if the items are challenging and no longer doable for them.

Diabetes brings scam artists and opportunists... 

Often, our loved ones who DO try to help fall prey to media misinformation, scams, and opportunists. This is not surprising, since there is so little accurate information out there, it presents an information vacuum for predators and those who want ratings and readership, and a trap for folks who want hope, and are not getting the right education and attention from their medical teams. We live in a society that wants quick answers, and quick remedies, and quick blame... and is prone to gullibility. Unfortunately, scammers want a quick buck, too... and many "doctors" have long abandoned their Hippocratic oath, over worship of the all-mighty dollar. (If it's a TV doctor, or a doctor with complaints or cures about EVERYTHING, and an opportunity to sell you an expensive supplement or product to fix it, or a book to cure it... He is NOT a true doctor. If every doctor or 'specialist' in the article you just read looks like a super model of some sort, they are most likely NOT 'nationally renowned.')

Unfortunately, actual medical professionals have been guilty of misleading regular folks with promises of gastric bypass cures, and diet cures, as well. Telling folks if they just lost weight, they wouldn't have diabetes anymore... or treating them like school children who need pass and fail grades. Recently, a famous 'study' hawked the 'curative' properties of gastric bypass, but what NO ONE noted was that the company sponsoring and paying for the study was the medical company PROFITING from the gastric bypasses. (Yes, I am sure cigarette companies would just LOVE to tell me how healthy cigarettes are for me, if left to their OWN designed studies.)

Now, a well educated diabetic, constantly on their toes about misinformation can CATCH these tricks full of smoke and mirrors, but a relative who is not in the middle of the fray, or a well meaning friend or person, is not as apt to pay attention, and more likely to assume or rely on the 'goodness' of the medical establishment. I mean, why not? This crazy study was published EVERYWHERE; even the New York Times.

Opportunistic journalists often feed on opportunistic headlines from opportunistic profit seeking groups, or doctors, and this creates a world of hurt, trouble, and often anger, for many persons with diabetes.

Diabetes is PERVASIVE in ignorance... 

I wish diabetes was JUST a misunderstood disease; the problem is people will make decisions BASED on that ignorance, and misinformation.

Doctors choose to not educate themselves because it's a disease that can be 'avoided' and it's the person's fault; insurance companies choose to not cover services, supplies and medicines, and testing tools, because it's a disease that could have been 'avoided,' and it's the person's fault; employers choose to not respect diabetic's needs because they see them as 'making stuff up' because according to many poor doctors, it's 'no big deal,' and it could have been 'avoided,' and it's the person's fault... and it keeps snowballing and snowballing.

You get the idea.

For diabetics, proving themselves as worthy patients, employees, friends, and family members, is often a daunting task. NO ONE today would dare go accusing someone with AIDS of giving themselves a disease, and chastise them; however, this is often the bread and butter of diabetes... Especially, type 2 diabetes and small children with type 1 whose parents often get accused of having given them 'too much sugar' as babies. I mean, who thinks that? Do you know any moms out there who filled their baby's bottles with pixie dust sticks? I don't...

Diabetes BRINGS mood swings...

Anger, depression, loneliness, you name it. When our blood glucose levels get either too high, or too low, our moods WILL swing back and forth. Mood swings can vary between just general grouchiness, irritability, to violence (especially, during low blood sugars, when we may have little control over who we are.)

It's bad enough dealing with this scenario, but often friends just make us feel 'belittled' when they ask "Can you check your blood sugar?," if we share our emotions, or our frustrations. I admit, it's sometimes not so easy to tell... but if you're in the middle of a rational argument with someone, do not stop to ask them this; it's quite the same as asking a woman if she's on her period. I don't condone violence, but I can't say violence WON'T happen if you happen to reduce someone's honest views or emotions to a blood glucose episode.

How can I help? 

Be an active "reader", and consider your friend or loved one with diabetes, as an open book; that is, listen more, and talk less. Read more, and assume less. Seek to learn, and seek ways in which you can be of help. Instead of suggesting actual tasks to 'police' your diabetic's behavior, you may ask an open ended question, such as "Is there anything I can help you with?" Or, "I have noticed you struggle with x, y, and z... is there anything I can do to make that easier?"

We can help our diabetics by "dividing and conquering" tasks, like bringing back up glucose supplies, or calling ahead to find out what meals will be served at events, or friends' places. We can even help by making a favorite diabetic's dish to bring. I don't know why, but these small things that take away my 'spontaneity,' are the ones that peeve me the most. If I have someone else as a back up for my forgetful mind, I don't have to feel so vulnerable at those times.

Invest your life alongside your diabetic friend or loved one's life -- I mean, you want them around for a lot longer, right? Why not go to their support groups with, or their diabetes educator sessions...? Ask thoughtful questions that do not put a person on the spot; you can ask about what a hypoglycemic event is, and feels like, when the person is NOT in the middle of one, for example.

Embrace a HEALTHIER life. Do not treat the diabetic's new life changes like they are a death sentence, but as a wake up call to the entire family that they need to be a bit more conscientious of what they eat, portion, and manage. If they are related to you by blood, it might benefit you ENORMOUSLY to follow their eating regimen and lifestyle, and get used to it now... while you don't have the strong pressure of complications looming over your head.

Finally, if your loved one, or friend, is greatly struggling with uncontrolled anger, and depression, remind them that it is OKAY to feel that way, and that it is OKAY to need some help sometimes with the overwhelming burden of managing a controlling, and demanding illness. Diabetes is as much a  psyco-social disease, as it is a physical disease, and it WILL require outside support, and often require therapy.

This blog post is by no means exhaustive, but I hope to have at least shed SOME light for many of you on how being a diabetic can change one's world view, and bring with it, many unwanted frustrations, resentment, and often anger. Much of that anger we can grow from, and overcome, and some of it will forever linger... as is the nature of the disease, and the world we must face as diabetics.

Do you have questions, or topics you would like for me to cover? Feel free to let me know. :)


  1. Amen. I think that this also ties into, the last part especially, the need for routine mental health screening for diabetics, because of all that you listed. I'm lucky in that my Endo practice asks all patients how they are doing mentally, and not just looking at their meter numbers. Even on the form you fill out when you sign in there is a question flat-out asking: "do you want a mental health referral?"

    Excellent post.

  2. Thank you for this article. My husband was just recently (7 weeks) diagnosed with diabetes. His sister also was diagnosed about a month before him. Anyway, I have noticed the creeping anger and irritability. I know this diagnosis has thrown him for a huge loop! On top of that his father was just diagnosed with Stage3 Pancretic cancer which is inoperable. So, my poor husband is getting pretty close to the "edge" I think. I didn't even realize there were support groups for diabetics but thanks to your article I am going to try to find one in our area. I have changed my habits along with my husband but I lost 15lbs and he gained 2 lbs. He is so frustrated and we have just begun this non ending journey. Any advice you want to throw our way on top of your great article will be greatly appreciated!

    1. Pam, I deeply sympathize with what your family is going through. Thank you for being a much needed support for your husband. My best advise to you is to not lose hope, and be patient. Easier said than done, right? But the thing is... Diabetes is a condition which can't be controlled overnight, and will require some time and effort for our bodies to return to a more healthful state.

      The high level of glucose in our blood can be somewhat compared to a river with high levels of silt -- the process of clarifying that water is gradual, and slow. Achieving this process too quickly can often bring trauma into the life force of that river, and so it can for a person's health, and organs. It is more ideal for a gradual return to normalized numbers.

      The best way to find 'peace' with diabetes is to find doable baby steps, and use our glucose meters to test every meal we have (pre and post consumption), so that we can learn what foods do to us, and how they affect our glucose response.

      Non-starchy veggies, leafy greens, lean proteins, and omega healthy fats are great for the blood glucose.

      Whole grains, starches, cereals, pastas, and rices are NOT so easy to handle, and should ideally be portioned out.

      Sugar, when it has a bit of fat in it, is a lot easier to handle than regular sugar: 1/2 a cookie might be just fine for the blood glucose, but a 1/2 cup of soda might not be doable.

      It takes one's glucose meter to TEST it all out. :) Keeping notes, or a spreadsheet, helps, too.

      I have another blog in which I've written more extensively about diagnosis, and finding one's way... which you're welcome to read, and visit... or ask any questions from it.

      Thanks for commenting. :)

    2. This link contains all the posts I have done on that blog: Musings for the Sweetly Bemused

    3. I would also add that it's difficult to lose weight when our blood glucose levels are unstable, often making us gain weight from the insulin resistance issues and excess glucose being stored as fat, despite having what would seem like a 'healthy' diet. Once his levels normalize a little more, this process should become somewhat easier...

    4. One issue with weight loss and newly-diagnosed diabetes is that the therapy that brings our blood glucose levels back to "normal" also allows our bodies to more efficiently use the food we eat (leading to weight gain if portions are not lowered); another is that some of the medications used to treat diabetes (for example, sulfonylureas) have weight gain as a side effect. It's a bit like being kicked in one's sensitive parts with a steel-toed boot when one is already down...

  3. Thank you so very much for this amazing and well-written post! I was in tears as I read it because you are so perfectly spot-on with your observations and suggestions! I think the tears were from relief that someone out there "gets" me and what I'm going through; and from reassurance that I'm not alone in my feelings and struggles. I will be keeping this article to share with those few friends who show an interest in my diabetes and want to know how it affects me and how they can help. I enjoy your blog immensely (and thank you for introducing me to Marian Call!) -- and want to let you know your work is very much appreciated!!

    1. Joyce, thank you so much for your kind words. :) Isn't it freeing feeling acknowledged and understood? I am so glad this post has helped you feel that much needed relief. I'm glad you enjoy the blog. :D I really just started writing for myself; to vent my own frustrations, and to have 'release.' I guess a lot of people have joined me along for the ride. :) I sure appreciate it.

  4. Hi,
    After a long talk with my sister-in-law, I got the real story of how my brother is doing with his diabetes. He is buying & eating all sorts of sweets, candy, chocolate syrup, you name it..everything he is not supposed to eat. He has also suffered from 'depression' and 'temper tantrums' all his life.

    His sugar spikes up & down like a roller coaster along with his moods and he is lying to his Drs. When my SIL told me that he got a pistol, I got very upset. I am feeling that he will either use it on himself or perhaps his wife/grandkids (who knows?). She enables him by staying and doesn't confront him because of his rages, however, if she leaves (as I suggested) she is very much afraid that when he no longer has access to his grandkids since his son-in-law won't let him be alone with them, he would use it on himself. I fear this as well.

    As it is, it seems like he's trying to kill himself instead of treating the disease that he has. And unless something is done, I'm afraid it will end very badly. It's his life, yes, but he's my only remaining older brother and he has had mental problems even before he got diabetes. He sounds fine when he talks to me over the phone, but I get a whole different story from his wife. She asked me to do as much research on Diabetes & rage as I can which is now what I'm doing.

    We feel pretty helpless.

    1. Hello friend. I am very sorry to hear that your family is going through this struggle. It's a difficult thing to watch someone we love self-destruct, or even possibly hurt someone else in the process. You have my deepest sympathies.

      I am not a medical doctor, by any means. I'm just a private citizen who has dealt with diabetes personally, and through other health struggles. But, from your story, it sounds like your brother might have other health struggles beyond diabetes -- which are exacerbated by poor control. He might have a thyroid illness -- which may cause extreme mood swings, including, exacerbating any potential for depression, or extreme rage. Illnesses like hypothyroidism are more frequent in a person with diabetes. It could also be that he is very 'burned out' from taking care of himself (if he ever did so, previously), or that he is in deep denial, and is scared, or angry, at his fate... lashing out at feelings of victimhood. It is not uncommon for depression to both cause diabetes, and diabetes to cause depression. Obviously, out of control numbers will compound this situation, and exaggerate any feelings he is experiencing.

      Your brother sounds like he might benefit from therapy to handle his emotions, and the burden of managing a chronic illness... and confronting his self destructive behavior. There are therapists for these things... and support groups (usually managed by local clinics, or hospitals.)Your SIL could also choose to attend doctors appoints with your brother, and while in the office, speak on the various issues affecting his temper, and his lifestyle choices. He might be less likely to lash out in front of a stranger... Or, if this is not an option, perhaps she should speak to the doctor privately, and relay her concerns.

      The question is, can he still be reasoned with, at any point, when he's not irate? Does he still have reasonable moments?

      If you feel your brother is a serious potential danger to himself, and his family, then I strongly urge you to seek assistance from his doctor, immediately. They will know how to advise you, and how to proceed. If he is potentially, in a rage and violent state, I'd call the police, and get their help (and specify that this person has mental health issues and is being violent). There is NO BLUFFING with mental illness and violence, and no coddling this dangerous behavior. Sometimes patients have to be institutionalized, before they can be stabilized, and gotten to a reasonable point... and there's no shame in that. We need the help that we need, and it won't happen by continuing to ignore the patient -- especially if he has a gun in the home.

      I would have an ultimatum that if he is to have a gun in the home, he has to go have counseling, and his wife is to be allowed to go to doctor's appointments. NOT NEGOTIABLE. If this is too scary to say, again, I'd speak with someone and get some help. Probably the police.

      Again, I am so sorry you are going through this terrible situation. It's hard for me to gauge the seriousness of it, but I do hope you are safe, and take steps to stay safe... and that your brother will get the treatment and help he needs.

      Best of luck,


    2. Hello, my name is Phil, I am now going through how you described your brother to be... huge mood swings and blood sugar levels and the last 2 paragraphs of your post describe me currently to a tee.i'm not sure how a may help how ever I might be able to provide some insight to his thoughts and feelings, and it might also me see me. if this site will allow it here is my email, I'm sure my wife is having sure a hard time dealing with me.... as am I. email if you'd like. maybe I might be able to help with some insite from one how is trying to cope. Thanx for the time.

    3. Hang in there! I was diagnosed with Type II almost 3 years ago and did the same thing. Obviously I knew I had diabetes and could absolutely feel my blood sugar spike extremely high when I ate poorly, but did it nonetheless. I was (am still am) angry that I can not eat what I want when I want. All the food I love is now on the Do Not Eat list :( Since I am a foodie, and food has always brought me much comfort, that is a very hard thing to wrap my brain around. Unfortunately, for me, drugs did not control my blood sugar at all and only served to make me feel like absolute shit!! That only made me more depressed, and I ate more. Stupid I KNOW! But it's like being under the grips of some demon. Finally, after getting past my daughter's wedding and my mother's hospitalization (on the same day!) I realized that I was living in a Diabetic and Medical Fog. I was in extreme pain from the medication which my doctor kept attributing to my 'fatness' and got to the point where I literally wanted to commit suicide rather than live in such agony. So, about a month ago, I took my life in my own hands and made the change that I should have made 10 years ago. I am not recommending this to anyone, but I stopped all my meds, started Weight Watchers, and exercising! I feel better now than I have in 5 years! My doctor was not happy but I think he woke up to the fact that not everyone reacts the same to the meds, and he is working with me to find alternatives. I have to monitor my blood sugar like a hawk, but my levels have come down significantly in just 3 weeks ~ more than they ever were on meds. I liken myself to an alcoholic. I had to hit rock bottom to make the change. I am saddened that I literally fogged through my daughter's wedding, but I can't go back, and it was beautiful even so. I will NOT allow myself to be subjected to ignorance by my own doing or anyone else's ever again. At this point, I can only pray that my determination lasts! I will pray for your brother as well.

    4. That is wonderful!!! Impressive - please keep it up and tell others your story! tx

  5. My partner has mood awings and depression . He has no breakfast or fliud . Only rolls at lunchtime and crisp then evening meal I have prepared. But his blood sugar levels are ok he is type 2 on tablets metforium I think twice a day help need to know what to do

    1. Does he go to his doctors appointments regularly? Does he know what to do, or does he not care what he needs to do? It might be that you both don't know what foods are best for him to eat. You could ask his doctor for a referral to a Certified Diabetes Educator, or to a Registered Dietitian. Go to his appointments with him, and then it'll be easier to learn, together.

      If your partner knows what to do, and is depressed... he might need help dealing with his moods. Perhaps he might need to visit a therapist to help him deal with how to manage his condition, or with managing mood swings.

      Remember, you can support a partner, help find him tools to deal with their challenges, but you cannot make them care for themselves. He has to want to care for himself. Maybe a conversation about goals, as a couple, might be in order... and ask how diabetes might get in the way of those goals.

      Thanks for reading,


  6. I am sat here on my own on a big guilt trip having just had a bad mood swing. We were meant to have a family day in a friend's woodland. I became really irritable and sent my wife and children on without me. "I am not worth being around right now."
    I have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for a couple of years now. I have followed the advice given at my diabetic clinic closely. I got rid of my car, cycle to work, pretty much gave up alcohol and processed food. I was not very good at checking my blood, I must admit.
    I thought I was doing okay until I noticed that my vision was becoming blurry and my head just felt 'woolly.' I was sent home from work because I operate an industrial machine. My fasting BG was 25.6 mmol/L.
    I have been to my clinic and have been on sick leave for the past 3 weeks with one more week off. My employer wants me to 'Get it sorted' before I come back.
    I was then told about 'False hypos' by my nurse. (I cannot believe that they let me carry on for two years without that crucial information.) The advice given that I should drastically cut my calorie and carb intake to 'normalise' my glucose/insulin levels.
    So here I am. Seven days into an <800 calories per day low carb regime. My mood is terrible.
    I know that you do not offer medical advice as such, I get that. But, in your opinion is there any merit at all in going through this?
    What I intended to write was a simple "Thank you for putting into words what I have been unsuccessfully trying to." It has helped A LOT.
    I just have to wait for my wife and kids to come home and ask me what my blood count is and to tell me that sitting here won't do me any good... ah well.

    1. In my personal and nonprofessional opinion, unless you are so obese that your life is in immediate danger, there is NO merit to having a diet of less than 800 calories per day, simply to try to achieve normalized numbers. You can still achieve normalized numbers with a lowered carbohydrate diet (which is the crucial part, for controlling your glucose levels), and not have to have such a lowered calorie diet. You are, I'm sure, a big guy. You probably need at least, a 1600 - 1800 calorie diet. Just stick to lean proteins, leafy greens, non-starchy veggies, omega 3 fats, nuts, and don't worry too much about the fat content of anything that isn't full of trans fats. The occasional mayonnaise, and two slices of bacon will not kill you, so long as they're occasional. Try to eat to your satiety signals, when you're physically hungry, but not until your stuffed. Try to pay attention to what you're eating, and eat it slowly so you're not feeling disappointed when it's all gone, and end up just eating more even though you're full. Drink a lot of water with meals. It helps control hunger signals. Eat as much non-starchy veggies and lean protein as you want -- but measure any grains or starches you might have, and really, really limit them. Stick to a half a cup of rice, for example, or a half a baked potato, or a very small amount of baked french fries... (10 or so, is my limit.)

      Always test... before a meal, or after a meal (75 minutes is usually best, though do 2 hours for heavy carb meals, like pasta or pizza.) Always test when you feel sick, or off. If you are having a false hypo, do not eat carbs... have a piece of cheese, or meat, instead.

      If you want to have a few more carbs, have them... and then go for a walk, after eating.

      Diabetes is not meant to be a medieval torture device. But it's best when we make changes, in baby steps, and then it's easier to make those changes permanent, so that we can keep fighting this marathon of a condition, forever.

      Good luck.

  7. My husband has been a type 1 for almost 25 years we have been married for six.... We have a grain and cattle farm, and he takes insulin shots twice a day, and he has been doing this since he was diagnosed.... I wish there was a support group for the spouses of diabetics, my husband is very criticizing, argumentative, nasty insulting to me... Most arguments don't even make sense and even if I agree with him he gets angry with me... No matter what I do it wrong what I say is wrong if I look at him I looked at him funny, a talked when I should of been quiet, I was quiet when I should of talked, I was to slow I was to fast .... Tonight I stirred powdered milk wrong in a pail,?? Is THAT normal behaviour for a diabetic? Or is my husband just MEAN ? And what exactly am I suppose to do ? Some of what was written here says it not their fault, they can't help It's my fault then? Every thing that goes wrong around here he finds a way to
    Link it to me!

    1. I'm so sorry you're going through this right now. First off, let me say that this article is in one way an exoneration of all persons with diabetes, and much less routinely verbally abusive people. There are some persons and some situations which are just not fair, and in no way, should be blamed on diabetes.

      One thing does jump out at me about your situation, though... and that is that you said your husband takes only two insulin shots a day. This strikes me as a very unrealistic way of managing type 1 diabetes. Unless your husband is a type 2, who later on had to use insulin, two shots a day is simply not enough for a person with type 1 diabetes. If your husband is indeed a type 1 diabetic (ie, his pancreas suffered an autoimmune attack from his own body), then I suggest that his blood sugar is probably not under the best control, and is either suffering from too many highs, or too many lows. The prudent thing is to study on how insulin works, through such books as "Think like a Pancreas," by Schneiner, or "Using Insulin," by Walsh, and use both fast and long acting insulin, through the day. He ought to dose for each individual meal he has (fast acting insulin), aside from taking a bolus insulin in the morning (or slow acting insulin). This method is called MDI or multiple daily injections. Even if your husband happens to be a type 2, who just takes insulin, MDI might be a better solution for him. It's simply just unrealistic to manage diabetes on just two shots a day, especially if one has had it for so many years. This kind of constant 'sugar roller coaster' from the imbalance of not treating sugars more directly, causes all sorts of mood swings and sour behavior.

      Your spouse probably needs a new doctor, or endocrinologist, who is more current with the times as to the best treatments for managing diabetes (of any type.) As to how to broach this subject with him, I'm not sure... but maybe perhaps consider attending a doctor's appointment with him, and asking the doctor some direct questions about his insulin regime.

      This is a group I manage, on facebook -- it has persons with diabetes, as well as spouses. You're welcome to join, if you like. You are also welcome to look into forums such as "" which has a large diabetic community, and even groups which are just for spouses.

      I wish you the best...


  8. I meant to say that this post is 'in no way.' Sorry about that.

  9. I like the woman who said... wish there was a wife group. My hubby finally after years of genetic type 2 but probably now type one refuses to get treatment. He got sick the other day throwing up, which he has been doing for about a year now. This is one more issue to add. He has given up and will not stay the course, so finally after 15 years he lashed out violently at me. Sadly I have no choice but to leave, so I have. But it breaks my heart that I have actually met doctors through others that have offered to figure out his form, they feel strongly he is not type 2, but the combination of both. Your blog was posted to his facebook page to read & he has. Hopefully with the support here since what you have written is what I have known and told him about for years. He is a wonderful man, but the illness is now totally in control and I have lost him. it is so sad, I am adhd and take meds to control my issues. He makes sure I take my meds all the time... but never his own. uggg Im rambling, thank you for your blog. You may have helped with the first stone coming off in the wall of issues

  10. Thank you soooo much. I have searched all of the professional sites and all they discuss are the physical symptoms of diabetes. I am crying as I type. My sister was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes many years ago after I suggested she got tested because she had terrible recurring cysts all over her body and constant outbursts of thrush. Until recently, although she attended the clinics for monitoring and sometimes took the medication as instructed, she largely ignored her diabetes in the hope it would somehow go away. During sugar high/lows her mood swings produce a different person. She turns from a loving, caring and considerate person into a demon. She becomes aggressive, vindictive and persecuted and even when things return to normal truly believes that it was those around her being deceitful and obstructive that caused the havoc left behind. In the last year she has finally started paying attention to her diet but only in the hope that she will not have to start taking insulin - her greatest fear. Recently her friend died, she had had diabetes for many years and had gone blind from the effects of this terrible disease. My sister has become even more erratic and no fun to be around. Thanks to you I have been reminded that it is not her. Apart from the greif, she has probably lowered her medication again hoping to prove to herself and her consultant things are not as bad as they are so she can avoid the insulin - which to her is the start of the slippery slope to the end. Whenever I am out with her I carry sweets/biscuits - she doesn't understand why but is always grateful that I do when they are produced at the appropriate time. I do this without thinking but sometimes get frustrated - thinking why does she not do this for herself and what happens when I am not there. If we go to a family gathering or meal it is me who calls ahead, making sure of the timing whilst she just gets really angry because no-one else has anticipated her needs. This, of course, is just another symptom of her denial. Thank you once again. You have reminded me of and vindicated my long held belief of how diabetes can play havoc with the mind and how this is not being addressed. I need to rebuild my reserves of patience and understanding to continue to cope with and love my sister xx

  11. My son was diagnosed with type 1 Diabetes when he was 8 years old - he is now 45. He has just started having severe rages, and acts like a person that I don't even know or recognize anymore. Is there any type of psychiatric medicine he can take to help control this? The symptoms are very similar to BIPOLAR, or an abuse perpetrator. Thanks. D Boyd, LMFT

    1. I am very sorry to hear about the difficult situation with your son. Unfortunately, I do not have the type of professional training or licensing that would allow me to recommend any type of medications, or treatments.

      The best advice that I can give you is that to suggest to your son that he see a psychiatrist, or at the very least, a therapist who specializes in helping folks manage the stresses of living with a chronic health condition. I believe there are a few who even specialize in type 1 diabetes.

      It has to be his decision, though. We can confront people with the information that they are not well, and that they need to take action to change, but it is always up to them.

      Best of luck.

    2. Thanks for your reply - I felt very supported. I have been living with various manifestations of this disease with my son for almost 40 years, and this is the first time that I have ever seen this particular reaction. That's why I am so bowled over - it was a very bad situation that happened that caused me to have to go to the ER, and end my vacation early.

      Funny you mentioned therapists who specializes in chronic diseases, because that is my vocation and specialty. However, you can never do therapy with your own family. I did suggest a Psychiatric evaluation, but he was not open to that. Thank goodness he is seeing a therapist regularly, and seems to like her a lot (she's so much better than me, of course - lol)!

      I was just doing some research on my own, and was amazed to discover absolutely nothing from other professionals on the net regarding these rages and possibly helpful medication (in addition to diet, regulation, pumps, and all of the rest). I know that it's an endocrine d/o, but all body symptoms are ultimately controlled by the good old brain. I will start researching Cymbalta, because it has been shown to help a great deal with peripheral neuropathy. Maybe it has a more systemic effect also, and can be helpful with the rages and mood swings (along with all the other things). If nothing manifests in that line of inquiry, I will consult Psychiatrists, etc. that specialize in chronic disease.

      I would appreciate hearing from anyone especially, with type I diabetes, that takes Cymbalta, or any psychotropic medication, especially if they also have rages, anger or mood swings. This is not medical advice, just anecdotal or experiential information - I need some leads folks! I will keep everyone informed about anything I find out. Thanks, Deborah Boyd, LMFT

    3. It is no problem, Debbie. I do know that Lyrica is often prescribed for peripheral neuropathy, and is quite effective for that. I am not sure how helpful it might be with rages... though many medical sites list anger as a symptom of depression. Of course, mood swings also highly depend on how well he's managing his diabetes. But, I also wonder if he has problems with his thyroid. Often, patients with diabetes can present having thyroid imbalances, and this can bring extreme mood swings from it as well. When I don't take my thyroid meds, the world had better watch out. lol And it will be very much like bipolar -- going from sad, to angry, etc... It is something to consider.

  12. hi,
    my mom is type 2 diabetes, and it is bad. no amount of meds or insulin can control it. on a good day her blood sugar is 400, she just recently lost her husband 4 months ago. she has been depressed, but today her mood has went from depression and spiked 100% to anger. angry with me for moving her into my home after dad's death to help her with daily living, as her health has been bad, I was afraid to leave her alone 2 hours away from me. today she has been mad at the world, blaming me for making her move and how I am controlling her. she is mad at her dog because it reminds her of dad. it has been a weird day. I believe it could be the result of her uncontrollable sugar. she threw out all her medicines and told me she didn't care anymore, she smacked me when I attempted to retrieve her meds. to me for some time now, I feel like she has given up on life and wants to die. but in the same time she has good days that she is thankful to be here. can the diabetes that is out of control as mom's be affecting her mind in such manner? I try to help, she has to get around on a wheelchair and walker, so, she has lost her independence. I understand how frustrating it is for her, but I am trying to make it as comfortable as possible. she has no bills and no worries. please help me to understand what is going on, is this a final stage for her? I am confused. one minute she is mad as hell, and next she is crying and acting like a little child.
    thanks for any information

    1. Hi Darlene,

      It really does seem like your mother is at her wit's end with her diabetes. I think it is paramount that your mother get her numbers under control to be in good health, and to stem off any other complications. Incredibly high blood sugars do cause extreme mood swings like depression, and anger. Of course, her lack of mobility and independence will add to this as well... and the stress of the situation will also cause high numbers.

      I don't know what kind of treatment she is going through, but it seems like she is in desperate need of something new -- perhaps some after meal insulin, if she's not already on that. Sometimes doctors put type 2 patients on just long-acting, once or twice a day insulin, and it is just not enough. She deserves to have well controlled diabetes, and a medical team willing to get that for her -- and if her doctors won't work with her on this, she should find new ones that will.

      Of course, diabetes control doesn't happen with just our medications -- it is also what we choose to eat. If she is having a diet very high in processed foods, junk, or just carbohydrates (even if they are whole grain ones), they might be contributing to her numbers.

      It also seems that your mom is going through some depression due to her having lost her husband... and it's contributing to an already bad situation. I really would suggest having your mom visit a therapist, and certified diabetes educator, to help her overcome these challenges. If she feels overwhelmed, you can offer to go with her... Or to help take some of the burden of diabetes management.

      Best of luck,


  13. I've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and have for the last 2 years strived to control it via diet and exercise, weight loss has helped but I've found myself getting annoyed and angry, especially with my partner who seems to be at the foremost of it minute I'm fine then the feeling of anger comes in "waves", sometimes I cant even remember the incident. Its almost like being Jackyl and Hyde! Is this the norm...does anybody else suffer this way?

  14. Wow. It is New Years. I am kind of sad. My partners health has been on a downward spiral. She has been having burning pain and numbness is her feet on and off for a year now. She had some blurred vision over the Summer. I am pretty sure she has some out of control type two diabetes. We have a drs appt for a full physical next week with a Dr that I trust. (She doesnt trust hardly ANY drs) she has been vomiting often recently as well. I read tonight that diabetic nerve damage affects digestion like that sometimes as well as may be causing her foot pain. It all clicked into my head this evening... All the "strange" symptoms are making sense.. I just wish we had known SOONER.. I wish we had started going to the dr more regularly for this. She is so dear to me. Truly the love of my life. I did actually find this blog from googling diabetic mood swings.. she has been completely out of control this past week. It feels so lonely sometimes, like I am the ONLY ONE dealing with ANY of this. Thank you for your writing, and thank all of you for your comments. I have read all of them. Mayb

  15. My husband has diabetes type 2 for some 12 years now He hasnt seen a dr for 3 years now and has really bad mood swings and a burning sensation in his knee which he says is gout. I am really at the end of my tether I feel like I am walking on Glass, Think I will have to leave him for my own sanity

  16. Thank you so much for writing this article. I was diagnosed a little over a month ago with Type 2, after having gone undiagnosed for what appears to be some time even though I had no real symptoms other than extreme fatigue. While I am overweight (and have been most of my life, though for many years it was not for lack of exercise), it is also part genetic for me - runs on both sides of my family and my dad developed it in his late 50s. I also have PCOS and hypertension (also hereditary) to contend with. But other than that I always considered myself a healthy person. I'm active, I eat healthy, I look after myself. And here I get slapped with a Type 2 diagnosis. I felt like I'd been issued a death sentence. While my husband's late mom was diabetic, he is not, and there are so many times where it feels like I am on my own and he just doesn't understand. I was in tears as I read through what you wrote because it felt like someone finally understood, that someone 'got' how I was feeling. I am controlling my diabetes through 3 metformin tablets daily, exercise (struggling with to do it regularly though) and healthy eating. My blood sugar has been brought down to much more acceptable levels now and I am slowly learning what I can eat and what foods are big no-no's for me. But I hate it. With every breath of every minute of every day and with every fibre of my being, I hate it. I hate the fact that I have to plan everything, that I can't just be spontaneous, that if I do eat something I have to think how it will affect me and how I can offset it with exercise (which I have so little time for as it is). I hate how it can make a social occasion with friends awkward or tricky. I am luck that our diet only required a small amount of tweaking to get it healthier than what it was, but hubby doesn't completely follow the way that I eat so what often happens is that I cook a main meal and swap out certain parts for myself compared to his version (e.g. he gets potato and I don't, or he gets pasta and I get brown rice). He still eats a lot of things that I can't have any more (which I often have to go and buy for him) and to a large extent that doesn't bother me too much but it does make life difficult at times. Friends reactions have been varied. Most were shocked when I told them, and often because it is an 'invisible' disease, they forget. We went to a friend recently and she'd made a huge tray of chocolate brownies swimming in chocolate sauce. When I politely turned down her offer she remembered and was very apologetic. Again, I mostly don't mind but sometimes it feels like just one more way to rub salt in the wound. but where my friends are generally understanding, work have been incredibly judgemental and I've found that very hard to deal with, with the CEO - who I deal with often - going as far as to label me as 'unhealthy'. Often this feels like a battle, day in and day out, and I have yet to feel like I am winning on any level. I still feel incredibly isolated from the people around me. The same way most people won't truly understand something until they have been there themselves (e.g. migraines), it feels like they can't truly understand what this is like and what it means and how overwhelming it is unless they themselves are in the same position. Maybe that is too much of a pity party, or selfish on my part, I don't know. I just wish more people understood.Thank you again for your article. I felt better knowing that at least someone out there understands.

  17. I'm not a person of many words and never will be
    But thank you for this, I thought I was going mad

    1. Chris Beane-MartinAugust 28, 2014 at 5:06 PM

      Paul, You are not Alone!!!

  18. My husband has been diagnosed a few years ago and presently is on various medications. When we first learned about it I dragged him to the doctor's PA about changes in eating habits who only said "we know good nutrition is important" that was it. I do not know if the doctor asks him about checking his glucose level and he lies.. but he does NOT check it. He DID change his eating habits but not much, prefers potatoes, noodles, meat and cheese, plus nuts. Very little veggies pass his palate, not fruit (supposedly too sugary) so he has mood swings and drastic glucose level changes, so the fire department knows our address. The last time his count was 20 and the paramedic said "wow, that was a close one" .... while they administered glucose intravenously. So far he has been lucky someone was always there when his count went out of whack. But tell him to the doctor and you get flak. I asked him the other day if he asks whether he checks the glucose level--- he says yes, and when I retorted "and you lied to him" he kept quiet. .I fear his wild tantrums which he had before he became diabetic and which seems to be a family trait... and when he argues with some firm about the medications that he gets in the mail I ignore it since my interference would be unwelcome and might create an argument. Everybody says you cannot change people, our youngest daughter who lives close by had been a witness to this and at times
    helped with medications when he had a bad cold. she has rushed over with an arsenal of over-the-counter- drugs and it has always helped immensely. But how to change it? At times is has been so difficult to stay. Other people I know at least hear you out..... I get "I will take care of it"
    even though I have reminded him of the 4 times we called 911 .... . At times I just want to be away....
    I am older than he is and only have elevated blood pressure, lucky me! Under control. Changed my eating habits a lot, my favorite drink is Gerolsteiner mineral water (high in calcium and potassium)which combats my fatigue. Lots of fruits above all and a special cereal with nuts which I love. Having developped an aversion to most meats I enjoy cheeses and a special yoghurt SIGGI. Though many members of my maternal family have diabetes I am free of that. It is hard to watch my husband, though with his emotional ups and downs, at least our youngest daughter tries to help out and at times admonish him. I just hope it does not get worse.... or that his doctor some day gets wise and REALLY TALKS TO HIM>
    He also has already compromised kidneys and just found out the meds he was taking cause cancer, there is a huge lawsuit over this, and only recently did he stop taking them since their price became exorbitant. Again, my suggestion to sit down with the doctor and review the pills fell on deaf ears. I think with distinct meal planning he might be able to take less pills..... but I just hope and pray. And keep buying good foods if possible; I think eating regular meals would help ... often he skips meals and then gets ravenous. (There always is food around, though inc. nuts).

  19. My wife is 70 and just got diagnosed with gastroparesis. I did not know she had high uncontrolled glucose for 10 years! I have been struggling with her for the last year to get it under control but she won't. No meds, no glucose monitoring, " I bruise", Just starting to eat better but now her stomach nerves are damaged and she doesn't digest well. She gets crazy angry and starts accusing me of all kinds of crazy things!
    I feel like she is killing herself and I do not want to stay and watch her decline, which from what I read is really horrible. I feel so guilty but I think I have to leave.

  20. One thing that really gets on my nerves is the distance my diabetic clinic nurse puts between diabetes and associated symptoms - the disgust I felt at all the needles, the smell of the sharps box, blood everywhere made me almost suicidal and what did I get "Oh, you need to make sure you don't get depressed" as if it was nothing to do with her. She now knows I have anger management issues as does the rest of the surgery and a lot of its patients . . . . and if anyone else mentions Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to me again I will do damage to someone. Diabetes is a death sentence, left untreated - the sooner the wider world wakes up to this and stops acting as if it's just a phase fat people go through and that it will kill you and your descendants without fear or favour, the sooner we will get respect and dignity whilst we fight to stay alive

  21. Thank you so much to this blog, it explains a lot of the emotional ups and downs I was just diagnosed with diabetes, I may have come to late to save my marriage, but has helped with my own dwellings of why I was distance,angry, and uncareing with others around me... I honestly thought I was going crazy.. but putting what you have spoke about in this with diet factors and real day living... has giving me at least an explanation I needed... I am not the crazy, moody, guy my spoce called me...... I'AM A DIABETIC.

  22. My husband has been type 2 for 5 years now he did good at changing his eating habits for a short time he now will not eat what i fix and i am always trying to make good healthy meals he just refuses to eat he will then stay up at night until 4 or 5 am and eats whatever he can find and i wake him up for work at 8am he can say the most hateful and mean things to me and others he gets mad at i have ever heard him say in our 38 years of marriage I do understand he is this way because of the him being a diabetic but he doesn't seem to want to help me help him and i do love him and i am concerned for him but he just seem to want mt help. And i am a believer of Jesus Christ and i pray for him always and our Family and i believe for his healing.

  23. I am not sure if it is the diabetes or the medicine or the lack of medicine...but somewhere along the lines anger definitely comes into play. My boyfriend has type 1 and has for over 25 years. He has crazy anger mood swings. I have learned to not argue sense into him but to love him in his weakness. you cannot talk sense or reason into someone in a rage. but you can plant a seed in those moments of clarity. A happy word or ten always helps. forgiveness and kind words too..It is imperative to remember every crazy fing word that comes out of your loved ones mouth is just that crazy.. they hopefully will see that in a moment of clarity.. Do not get mad or try to force them to listen in anyone except with extreme acts of love. for example today my beloved and i were putting away groceries, first the oldest son used up all of the sandwich bags which caused a miffed grumble which i ignored then when I questioned my loved one as to why he was rushing at the job... he began to get angrier.. From then on anything I said or did only escalated his anger... I have had to train myself not to blow up back at him... even tho he is acting nuts.. I should just walk away but i fear his anger will get worse if not addressed. I have began to talk to him when he is willing about his anger and I always ask him to check his sugar. I tell him I love him and speak kindly.. he got madder. I began to cry because I am a sensitive girl when someone I love is mad at me and I love them too much to yell back..or as I think of it sink to the diseases level...He stopped and looked at me. He still was mad and began to justify his crazy anger. I dropped to my knees and said please please stop... He finally stopped and calmed down...This may not be the official way of fixing this but it seems to be working for us... It is wen we argue back and get caught up in the insanity that it starts to get out of control. As the caretakers we must find a way to not encourage the anger ... reminding my diabetic loved one that love him and using calming none aggressive or none belittling tones. Find the patients soft spot and use it.. be patient and understand its not their fault.. someone is going to have to take care of them and if we leave them to their own devices they will surely not do better...

  24. I knew I was pre-diabetic and recently learned via a health screening that I am now diabetic. Being that I do not have health insurance I have tried to read books and change my diet to pretty much of an Atkins way of eating. Low carbs, no sugar, no bread. The thing that has really popped out at me on these posts is the fact that my attitude, patience, and general happiness has really changed. It makes sense that the fluctuation of sugar levels contributes to these mood changes.

  25. The mood swings from my mum are horrific, at least 4 or 5 times a day, I have tried to handle it but after 2 years solid it is really getting me and my 8 year old really down

  26. my mums mood swings are really getting out of hand from first thing in a morning to last thing at night she has my young son in tears most of the time we both cant take much more it is affecting us.

  27. My husband found out he was a diabetic 8 years ago. Even tho i knew nothing about the disease i read up on it but i just didnt understand it. This past year has been the worse it has ever been. The violence and out of control anger has just about had its toll on me and my son. He gets so mad that he throws things and hit my son once and knocked me to the floor and i had a tiny fracture on my hip. Mood swings come and go with his suger being so high and gets so out of wack and takes several days to get back right. Im so exhausted that im at the point of divorce. When he gets like this i have to call his sister to come get him. If anybody has anything else i could try, please respond. Thank you.

    1. Violence on such a level is unacceptable. Even with diabetes. I suggest reading some of my pointers here -- -- and perhaps seeking professional help. If you are in danger, please call the proper authorities. Physical violence on yourself or your son are never okay.

  28. I am relieved to have found this site. My sister was diagnosed as having Type 2 diabetes a couple of months ago. I do wonder though whether she has had it for some time - maybe even years. For eight or so years now I have been commenting to people that I am sure my sister didn't used to be 'like that' and that if she had been, I couldn't see how I would have failed to notice. The truth is, she has been shouting at me now for years and gets at times into an almost spitting fury over absolutely nothing. I have found her immensely upsetting at times especially as it is me who makes the effort to drive the five hours (one way) to go to see her and it is difficult to know what it's all about. What has confused me somewhat is that she seems to reserve a special spite/anger/call it what you will for me. I know that she has had the odd falling out with other people over the years (haven't we all) but by and large she is very sweet with her (now grown) children. I know that she is not well, having to go to bed for 3 or so hours virtually every afternoon and hardly managing to do anything bar keep her home in a semblance of order. Something else which confuses the situation is that she smokes and I am not just talking tobacco and she drinks about half a bottle of wine a night - the latter she may have stopped or cut down on since the diagnosis. Her anger is sudden and largely irrational and downright nasty. The number of times I have thought that I won't bother with her any more are many but I always go back for more so to speak. Sometimes she can be okay but largely when I go to see her she can't be bothered or isn't capable of doing anything with me and can't, by and large, be bothered to make much if any conversation. In recent years I have only seen her once or twice a year for two to three days at a time largely because of the distance. For the most part I leave feeling upset and wondering why I made the effort. She can be similarly short-fused on the phone and if I occasionally text even a simple question or remark, she can't most times be bothered to reply. I don't know quite why I am writing all of this apart from to say that it is 'interesting' to read of other people's experiences. Also, I would like to know whether you think it is likely that my sister has been diabetic for some time. All this wouldn't explain though as to why she seems particularly to 'pick on' me. Also, as I say, her other behaviours confuse matters.

    1. While I can't comment directly on her behavior -- and definitely know that things like substance abuse and alcohol can affect moods -- I can say with certainty that many, many people are undiagnosed for YEARS before they just get SO sick, the diagnosis becomes inevitable. Many people are walking around, undiagnosed right now -- sometimes for a good decade before it's caught. I know I had it for a good 3 years before doctors caught on and told me I had a problem. I know this because I saw some blood work from 2006, and my fasting sugar was 143 -- a number far higher than what is normal for a fasting number (anything higher than 126 is suspected to be diabetes.)

      It occurred to me that maybe your sister could be dealing with a lot, and feeling awkward by small talk, or conversation... especially if your relationship has had any other issues in the past. I wonder if it makes her feel 'on the spot,' especially if she is a more introverted or private person.

  29. Just went on Insulin a month ago. Feel 100% better than when I was on oral medications because my stomach no longer hurts as it has for the past 15 years and I don't have the horrible bloating and burping. That was awesome!!!


    Over the past week, having mood swings. Have discovered that my blood sugar is bouncing up and down like a super-ball. 200-300 swings. High and low... low and high. Mood swings... rage... hit like a wrecking ball. Then gone, all that is left is the guilt of what I said and how I acted.

    I have to get this under control. I am not sure that the sugar swing is causing this, but something is. After it is over, I can't believe what I did and said. I feel horrible. This isn't me.

  30. I have been a isulin dependend diabetic for 22 years now ,i have had mood swing this past 3 months that i cant explain where i have lost time and not lnown what has happened . my dr keeps saying the test are good but still no help . i have moved out away from my family bc i dont want to hurt anyone . i have asked and asked for help for my dr we dont have many around here in arkansas . please just need help from anyway

    1. These people -- NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) might be able to help you. Give them a call. They are a great group of people.

      NAMI Arkansas
      1012 Autumn Road, Suite 1
      Little Rock, AR 72211
      Phone: (501) 661.1548
      Toll Free (800) 844-0381
      Fax: (501) 312-7540

  31. I've gone to jail, prison and dam near been killed by a couple of police because of someone who is diabetic. I've had tormented day weeks and months dealing with loved one diabetes. I just wish I knew all these years why I would end up in jails, beat up, in court from trying to deal with or even accommodate loved ones who just happened to be diabetic. I'd sat behind bars and thought that maybe I did something wrong. I didn't understand back then that interacting with someone on hard drugs, hard street narcotics doesn't even compare with dealing with a loved one, MOTHER, GIRLFRIENDS, WIVES, OR YOUR BROTHER OR FATHER WHO IS ON A LOW WITH DIABETES. a person on any recreational drug and rationalize, understand complex science or engineering but a diabetic may not know the difference between a simple sentence and the words ME and the words YOU and confuse what I said about myself and think I said it about them. I am almost sure there may have been murders commited at the heat of the moment, due to a diabetic's confusion or thought process. In black Americans almost all of us afflicted by diabetes and maybe just as many whites. I was imprisoned 15 or 16 years ago not for hurting anyone, for marijuana. The thing is if I had have realized that my ex-wife was diabetic back then I would not have been chased out of our apartment buy her mood swings and ended up at a couple of friends that I loved house that may have been a little warm due to certain activities. I just didn't know about diabetes. It's like dealing with a person with a gun pointed at you because they have fear, anger and confusion at times. The countless other times dealing with my MOTHER. She would inadvertently convince the police that I was harming her, the police grabbed me like that big fat black guy in NEW YORK. I could have been killed. I am thankful that I didn't struggle while they were doing their choke hold on me. There are so many accounts events dealing with someone with diabetes it would amaze and might scare you. Nevertheless I have woke up. The countless times in northern California and all the bails paid courts room appearances. Diabetes isn't the blame. The blame and shame is on me. Do me once shame on you do me twice shame on me. By the way I am and have been borderline DIABETIC now for just about a year. If you love someone who is diabetic, and I say this with tears in my eyes and heart, don't freak out if they acted a little strange at times. Maybe just watch them but stay out of their way, It could save you a lot of heart ache....

  32. My husband is a diabetic Type 2, he has anger outbursts nearly every other day. He will not tell his doctor, and if I do, there's another anger outburst toward me when we get home. He throws wrenches through the walls, candles through the walls, picks up furniture and throws at me, just last night he threw a pizza cooking board at the Guest bedroom door and put a hole in it. If I am not hungary, and don't want to eat, he gets angry at me and he won't eat, then he talks about how overweight I am to anyone who will listen. Metformin has made him impotent, so he tries to not take it so he can perform, and that's not good. He will not tell his doctor he is impotent, its like he is ashamed.

    1. I am so sorry you are experiencing this right now. But this amount of rage is not a part of diabetes. This person has a serious anger management problem, and they need serious intervention. It sounds to me that he is being both physically and verbally abusive to you, and this is not okay.

      As for the Metformin causing impotence -- he is lying to you. It is high blood sugar that causes impotence, not Metformin. In fact, Metformin has been shown to improve male impotence and is now being considered as a treatment option for men who suffer from it.

      I cannot tell you what to do about your marriage -- but I can tell you that what this man is doing is not justified, and it is not a regular symptom of diabetes.

  33. Diabetes is not just experienced by the diabetic, but the whole family. My late wife died of the disease 18 years ago from advanced stages of organ failure (kidney failure, 27 pills a day, eye sight problems) and the GP also advised that diabetes was the reason for a lot of her irritability, however he only advised me shortly before she passed away. If I had known this fact, understanding the mood swings would have been a lot easier. My daughter has been a Type II insulin dependent diabetic for 24+ years and as she approaches 42 is experiencing the advanced stages of organ failure with a lot of mood swings and irritability. As a caring parent, it is difficult to convey unconditional love at the present moment, while all of the bullets, arrows and knives are flying. My daughter and family use Facebook to bully me on a regular basis since late 2013. This can either be direct insults or through indirect content items. The language can be quite vulgar and demeaning, yet I have done nothing to deserve this public attack. I have taken my grandchildren out on several occasions to provide things that my daughter cannot provide due to her chosen direction in life. Her kidney function is down to 30%, and this was the way her mother deteriorated until dialysis could no longer provide any quality of life that it was stopped by the specialist, with the result that she passed away within 1 week. I did discuss this with my daughter that if her kidney function continues to deteriorate to 15% she will be on dialysis. I think trying to communicate at the present time is the hardest not just for me, but I am sure for her too. In truth I am not looking forward to facing more sadness from this disease, but know that it will come with time. Just a life story to be shared with all of you out there. May your experiences be better.

  34. I live in the uk and have a 43 yr old partner with type 2 . He has mood swings all the time , one day hes lovely and the next he says such nasty things to me and just does not seem to care that he is saying them to me, if i cry it seems to annoy him more and at times he is so cold towards me then other times he cant tell me enough how much he loves me, he is moving in with me soon and i need to know how i can help him and myself, please help me , i love him so much and want to be with him,im a huge believer in god and i pray for him every day but he has turned me into a nervous, doubting, insecure woman who was never like this before , my friends have noticed too that ive lost more wieght, sometimes i cant eat or concerntrate if i think hes angry at me. I just want to know how to deal with all this. Thank you.

    1. I am so sorry you are experiencing this. Most of the incidents people experience when they are going through high or low blood sugar, are swings which are 'out of character.' Overall, we know that these incidents do not reflect the overall picture of who this person is, most of the time -- and are irrational. People with diabetes can get irritable, moody, or feel jaded, because of not being understood -- or because they can get 'snappy' if their sugars aren't well balanced.

      This is different than systematically abusing someone verbally. It is true that other forms of mental illness may be triggered by diabetes, such as depression or bipolar disorder -- but this is a bit more involved than the regular moodiness of having unbalanced sugar levels.

      I can't tell you what to do... and I do not know your partner, or the nature of your relationship. But personally, I would not move in with anyone who made me feel less than I am. I would not move in with someone who verbally abused me regularly... and if I thought this was out of character for the person, I would definitely not move in with someone unless they agreed to be seen by a mental health professional, and tackled their overall health problems -- such as making sure their diabetes is well controlled, if it were to be something contributing to those issues and to that degree.

      There is no justification for abuse, verbal or otherwise. And if this person will not even consider addressing these issues,they are not in any place where one could have a healthy relationship with them.

      Best of luck,


  35. Thank you for your response to my post 14/02/15 .I guess i should have said that it is out of character for him to act this way , he is normally a lovely man . He doesnt manage his diabetes well at all and eats all the wrong things. We have a normal loving relationship and apart from his mood swings we actually get on great together but its just htese 'episodes ' that seem to distort everything. Again thank you for myour reply and i have decided to sit him down and try to talk to him about all this in the hope that we can help eachother.

  36. Hi there,
    I've been looking up everything I can find on diabetes and irritability/anger....because I've married in to it. It wasn't bad at first. But now he's had this disease for 15 years, he barely keeps it under control, it's sporadic. He's decided he'd rather control it with medicine than lifestyle changes. He's mean, angry, and just crabby so much of the time, that I have no idea who this man is anymore. I fear that our marriage will come to an end because of this. Still I keep hoping to blame it on the disease, instead of thinking that this wonderful, positive, lovable man that I married has decided he now hates me.

    1. Managing diabetes is a very psychologically challenging thing. There tends to be little empathy from family, who may not get the big picture, and might think it's a 'simple change in diet,' with few inconveniences. For contrast, most people who go on a diet, drop out after a few months, if not weeks. A person with diabetes is expected to make permanent, lifestyle changes after decades of ingrained habits -- not an easy feat! The wear of living with diabetes, with time, is pretty draining and people get burned out. It's the Hotel California of life changes. There is also the false notion that a person can pick to either manage with lifestyle changes, or to manage with medication. This is not always the case, especially if one has had the disease for years. For many, both are required, and after having the condition for 15 years, he likely needs the medication because type 2 is a progressive condition, so eventually his insulin producing cells will slow down and stop. This is not 'optional.'

      The medications are no walk in the park either, and often have very unpleasant side effects, which depending on the medication, may include a lot of diarrhea, gas, bloating, gastric pain, etc.

      Family should be educated as a team, and the illness tackled as a team, to try to prevent a patient not getting empathy at home, and feeling isolated with their burden... but it's hard to get family on board, especially with all the stereotypes on tv, as if we have nothing to complain about. Therapy should also be a part of management -- and it is seldom offered to the patient. Diabetes kills more people than HIV and breast cancer combined, yet we get offered no therapy... even when it makes great incursions in our quality of life, like the loss of a limb.

      I tried to sort of highlight this a bit with the post... because the aggravation from living with diabetes, and the lack of empathy from others, can quickly add up, especially when friends and family have their own ideas about our condition.

  37. Hi. I'm very grateful this blog has been written. Thank you.

    I've been insulin dependant for over 20 years now. I'd heard some sort of 'story' that being dependant could lead to problems with anger. But it's never been explained one way or the other. It could all be an old wives tale. But recent events have prompted me to search properly. I should have done it a long time ago. I have a 13 year old son. There are only the two of us. yet Ii have just about destroyed our relationship this last 2 months (I mean that too) through being unable to manage my temper. I'm frightened to death by it tbh.

    I don't know what I'm going to do about this yet, but this page has at least allowed me to start the recognition and awareness process. Next step is to read this all the way through (rather than scanning). I urgently need to figure out a coping strategy.

    Thank you, a lot, for this blog.