How can I deal with blood sugar fluctuations
Diabetes and mood swings
Just now there was still sunshine, but suddenly thick clouds or entire thunderstorms are approaching. Depressed mood, fears, irritability and even aggressiveness: People who suffer from diabetes often have a roller coaster mood. Not only the person themselves, but also those around them can be very stressful. In this article, we will tell you why diabetes and mood swings are related and which 5 tips you can use to ensure more stability.
Of sugar highs and mood lows
Contrary to what one might assume at first glance, blood sugar not only has an impact on physical, but also on psychological well-being.
If your blood sugar fluctuates, your mood can fluctuate too.
Too low blood sugar (a so-called Hypoglycemia) can manifest itself in the form of nervousness, inner restlessness, feelings of fear or irritability. In the case of a pronounced lack of sugar, even temporary changes in personality such as sudden aggressiveness or silliness can occur.
But not only too low, but also too high blood sugar levels can lead to mood swings in diabetes. Sudden tiredness, fatigue or lack of drive can be signs of such high blood sugar levels (Hyperglycemia) be.
Stress and diabetes
Stress and strain from diabetes can also contribute to mood swings. With the diagnosis of diabetes there is suddenly a lot to consider: You have to keep an eye on your own blood sugar levels, attend doctor's appointments, change your diet and change your own lifestyle. This can add to stress and feeling overwhelmed. Increased stress, in turn, affects the blood sugar level and thus also causes the mood to fluctuate more.
Diabetes: mood swings in depression
Dejection, listlessness, hopelessness or a feeling of inner emptiness. Such mood swings in diabetes can be the result of not only poor blood sugar levels or stress, but also signs of depression.
People with diabetes are twice as likely to be affected by depression as people with healthy metabolism.
The two diseases influence each other. On the one hand, stress caused by diabetes can have an impact on the psyche, contribute to a feeling of dejection and thus promote depression. On the other hand, depression can make it difficult to cope with the physical illness (e.g. regular blood sugar tests, visits to the doctor, exercise).
5 tips for diabetes with mood swings
Knowing how diabetes and mood swings are related is an important first step. Because if you know the cause of your mood swings, you can better face them. We have put together 5 tips for you.
1 Avoid blood sugar fluctuations
If your changing emotional states are the result of fluctuating sugar levels, good blood sugar control is the be-all and end-all. By measuring your blood sugar regularly, you can get a feel for how the level changes over the course of the day.
Make a kind of diary in which you not only record your blood sugar levels but also your mood changes. In this way, connections become more visible.
In addition to exercise and a balanced diet, a good drug attitude is one of the most important pillars of stabilizing blood sugar levels. In order to prevent and react to hypoglycaemia or hypoglycaemia, it makes sense to have your "emergency medication" (e.g. insulin injections) and "fast carbohydrates" (e.g. in the form of glucose) with you. By keeping an eye on and stabilizing your blood sugar levels, the mood swings in diabetes will also decrease.
2 Address mood swings in diabetes
Talking to your doctor about stress, worries, or feelings can be difficult. However, if your general practitioner or diabetologist also knows about your mood swings, he or she will be better able to support you. If fluctuating blood sugar levels are the trigger for you, better blood sugar control can help. If the fluctuations are an expression of stress or depressive symptoms, your doctor can also help you here and support you in finding the right treatment.
Remember that your doctor is bound by confidentiality. That means he or she has to keep everything you talk about to himself.
Include the social environment
It can also be useful to talk to people around you about your concerns about diabetes, mood swings, and how to deal with them well. Finally, sudden irritability or changes in feelings can also be stressful for your family or in your partnership.
For example, many people with diabetes fail to recognize acute hypoglycaemia and then react aggressively when someone tells them about it. It is understandable that those around you are worried in such a situation and want to convince you to consume glucose, for example.
Discuss in advance what behavior you would like to have in these moments. Those around you can refer to these agreements and the behavior does not have to be renegotiated with or after each hypoglycemia.
If you find that stress and stress from diabetes in particular are causing you mood swings, try to reduce stress. Of course, that's easier said than done. After all, blood glucose testing, medical examinations or dietary changes cannot simply be "omitted". Therefore, sometimes it can seem like diabetes is the focus of your life, your relationship and your thoughts. However, you must realize that diabetes does not have to fill your whole life.
Try to consciously take time for what is important to you in life and bring it back to the center.
For example, what do you like to do with your partner? What hobby have you been neglecting? How can you calm down or relax? You can find more tips to reduce stress in our blog article 5 Tips against Stress.
If mood swings persist and stress you despite having good blood sugar control, get help. Psychotherapy can also be useful for depressive symptoms. You can read about how to find a place in psychotherapy and how psychotherapy works in our articles on these topics.
Another possibility to reduce depressive symptoms and relieve stress is our HelloBetter online training "Diabetes and Depression". In 6 training units you will learn effective strategies to improve your mood and improve your quality of life. Depending on your needs, you can also use elective modules to learn, for example, how to organize a trusting consultation with a doctor or how to strengthen your partnership. If you are interested in the training, please have a look at our training page Diabetes and depression past.
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