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From Hamilton, Ontario, Canada:

My seven-year-old daughter has been having rage episodes where she becomes very aggressive, destructive and defiant. I have noticed that they seem to correspond to either very high or very low blood glucose levels. Yesterday, she had a reading of 2.2 mmol/L [40 mg/dl], but when the paramedic tested her again after her rage, she was at 7.1 mmol/L [128 mg/dl]. What impact does adrenaline have on blood glucose levels? Could her behaviour be attributable to her type 1 diabetes?


Low sugars could be associated with uncontrolled anger/rage. High sugar levels extremely unlikely to be associated. So, I would suggest that you discuss both with your primary care provider and your diabetes team and ask them about psychosocial assessments for underlying problems that may be exacerbated by changes in glucose levels.


Additional comments from Dr. Jill Weissberg-Benchell:

Adrenaline raises blood sugars. Some children (independent of diabetes) struggle with modulating feelings and can become overwhelmed and look like they are tantruming. For those children, it would not be surprising if high sugars increased their risk of tantrums. Either way the sugars are not an excuse for bad behavior and the family needs to see a mental health practitioner for help in behavior management


Original posting 11 May 2014
Posted to Behavior


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