How Blood Sugar Affects Mood

A mood is an internal state or condition of feeling. It colors everything else we experience, much like colored sunglasses add a tint to everything we see. Mood is influenced by physiological changes, emotional reactions, our thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. Together these aspects of experience create our internal weather (mood state) that can rapidly fluctuate or settle in for days.

Mood or Emotion

Emotions are more specific and focused than moods. Emotion is typically defined as an intense feeling response to something outside our self – a person, event, place or object.

When our best friend moves out of state, we may feel grief. Hearing certain types of music can trigger sadness. Seeing our spouse enjoying the company of another might bring up jealousy. Having to check our blood sugar level for the zillionth time might make us angry.

When we feel an emotion, express or otherwise respond to it, then let it go, the emotion soon dissipates. If we ignore or dwell on it, the emotion can have a powerful, lasting influence over our internal state of affairs (our mood).

Blood Sugar and Mood

Physiological changes, such as our blood glucose level, also affect our mood. The brain’s neural network requires a lot of fuel, or glucose, to fire properly. So, as blood sugar rises or falls, our ability to process incoming information is affected.

Someone whose blood sugar is dropping may start having trouble concentrating or making simple decisions such as, “Do I want coffee or tea?” This state of mind can lead to irritation, frustration, and even anger. The person’s mood darkens, and eventually, he or she may explode during a simple interaction or collapse in tears.

When blood sugar rises quickly after enjoying a meal or is just running high, people tend to feel lethargic and/or edgy, to think more slowly, and to make more mistakes. These symptoms, combined with responses to external events and the individual’s thoughts and overall attitude, will, like a high or low-pressure system, influence their mood.

It is much like having the flu with fever, muscle aches, headaches and maybe nausea. Not feeling well is unpleasant and annoying. We cannot be up and about, but lying down is frustrating and boring. Time can seem to slow down, and we suspect our misery may last forever. We want to be cared for but do not wish to be bothered. Our mood becomes grayer and bleaker, and we may feel sad or irritable. Then, as the fever drops and the aches diminish, our mood begins to brighten. Our emotions, thoughts and mood change as the body begins to function better.

Managing Mood

Obviously, for those with diabetes, maintaining good glucose levels is a prime way to avoid glucose-influenced mood swings. However, the mood of people who do not have diabetes is affected by the highs and lows of their blood sugar as well.

Mood is enhanced when we acknowledge our emotions and express them. Emotion can be expressed through talking, writing, social and artistic endeavors, and physical movement. If your feelings seem stuck inside or out of control, consider seeing a mental health professional.

Thoughts and attitudes that are generally negative or self-defeating are a constant drag on our mood. Since ingrained habits of thinking and long-held beliefs are resistant to change, group or individual counseling may be necessary to expose mood-dampening thought patterns and to create more positive ones. Or consider practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness meditation is extremely helpful with mood management. Mindfulness is focusing our attention on whatever is occurring in the present moment – observing events, thoughts, feelings and body sensations without judging them as good, bad or in between. When we observe without judgment, resistance to what is happening diminishes. We become more objective and less emotionally involved.

Moods Usually Shift

If your mood remains bleak for a couple of weeks and you are struggling to take care of your usual responsibilities, make an appointment to see your doctor.

Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine
Photo: Pixabay

Get A Free 7 Day Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Well-controlled diabetes may depend on medication, but nutrition is perhaps the most important factor. There are many foods that can be added to...

Detoxification, or detox, diets are typically short-term diets that promise to rid the body of environmental toxins. Most detox plans begin with a...

Caring for children comes with its challenges, especially for babysitters. Things can get even more complicated when those children have diabetes...

The goal of the consistent carbohydrate diet (CCD) is to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at the same times each day. Although this diet...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose levels and blocked AGE glycation...

More Articles

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose levels and blocked AGE glycation...

Food often becomes the focal point when it comes to discussing a diabetes diet, but the beverages you drink could be affecting your weight and...

When you are struggling with an illness like lupus, arthritis or asthma, the medications you take could have secondary effects on your body. What...

A healthy diabetes plan is essential in keeping low blood sugar levels, but...

Well-controlled diabetes may depend on medication, but nutrition is perhaps the most important factor. There are many foods that can be added to...

Those who have not yet been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can greatly reduce their susceptibility by doing one key...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

The liver is the largest single organ, and largest gland, in the human body. Perhaps because of its central role in so many aspects of metabolism...

The goal of the consistent carbohydrate diet (CCD) is to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at the same times each day. Although this diet...

Diabetes has no known cure, but there are many ways to control the disease and prevent the symptoms from interfering with daily life. One major...

Because it is Peripheral Neuropathy Awareness Week (May 7-13), this article is about a device people with neuropathy may not be aware of—a device...

Diabetes is a health condition that disrupts the body’s normal production of insulin. Currently, more than one million Americans are diagnosed...

The most convenient places in a fridge to store our stock of insulin may not be the best places. We tend to think our refrigerators maintain a...

With diabetes, it all used to be really simple: Type 1 diabetes was known as “childhood-onset,” and type 2 was “adult-onset” diabetes. The cause...

Taking insulin on a sliding scale means the size of an insulin dose depends on a person’s current glucose reading. The number of prescribed...