August 1, 2008, Newsletter Issue #165: Mood Swings and Diabetes

Tip of the Week

Women have traditionally been characterized as the ones with mood swings, however when you have diabetes, it does not matter your gender.

Studies have shown a relationship to chocolate and mood. There is a chemical in chocolate that stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain, creating feelings of well-being and calm. So, how does this relate to diabetes?

Well, fluctuations in blood sugars or sugars that are out of range can contribute to unexplained mood swings, irritability or tearfulness. Chocolate is just one example of how sugars can impact your mood.

Stressful situations also alter the body's management of glucose, which can result in altered blood sugar values. So, though you may believe that your sudden touchiness is related to the stressful situation, you are only partially correct. For the diabetic, since stress affects the blood glucose level, the feelings you are experiencing may actually be a sudden drop or increase in your blood sugar, caused by metabolic changes and stress chemicals, such as cortisol.

If you suddenly begin to feel jumpy, grouchy or out of sorts, take a moment to check your blood sugar level. Altered glucose levels can also make it harder to concentrate and make you feel fatigued.

Testing will tell you if a snack will help get you back in range, and in a better mood.

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