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Mental Health

Diabetes and Emotional Outbursts

12/19/2007

Question:

My husband is a Type II diabetic and I am concerned about his impatience, critical attitude and outbursts of anger. Is this a physical side effect of his diabetes and, if so, what do we do to control it? He is usually a good natured and fun loving man, but lately things seem to spiral out of control with no particular rhyme or reason to them.

Answer:

Reactions like this are not intrinsic to diabetes, but they can happen in people with diabetes just as they can happen to other people.  In some people, extreme psychological reactions may be brought out or worsened by low blood sugars or occasionally by high blood sugars - so it may be worthwhile to check a blood sugar at the time of such an episode and see if there is a consistent pattern which warrants changing diabetes treatment to prevent these outbursts.

Your husband may be suffering from depression, which can be accompanied by the symptoms you describe. He should discuss these changes with his doctor and he will probably need a more thorough psychiatric evaluation. Anxiety and depression are fairly common in individuals with diabetes and both are treatable.

Good luck!

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Response by:

Radu   Saveanu, MD Radu Saveanu, MD
Formerly:
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University