They act weird when their blood sugar is out of balance - page 2

by Saiderap

4,102 Visits | 19 Comments

My first nurse teacher in high school told us about diabetic patients who act strange when their blood sugar is too high or too low. With no experience I could not be sure what she meant. I was also taught about the ones... Read More


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    The brain works on glucose, so a low blood sugar often inhibits coherent thought. It's like dealing with a drunk.

    In a public situation, if the person or his companions say he has diabetes the rule of thumb is always to give some sort of sugar (candy, soda, juice) then call 911. The sugar will quickly treat hypoglycemia. It won't have a real negative effect if someone has a high blood sugar, just makes them more hyperglycemic.

    High blood sugars make a person feel lousy (pale, low energy, dehydrated) but hyperglycemia does not usually causes crazy behavior. If untreated it leads to ketoacidosis and a coma.

    People with badly managed diabetes can often adjust to having chronically high blood sugars. So they feel fine at high levels and even exhibit hypoglycemic symptoms when their blood sugar gets lower than their typical set point. But even if a person feels find with high blood sugars they cause serious harm to the body. All the tiny blood vessels of the eyes, feet, and internal organs are affected, as well as the kidneys which are removing all the excess glucose out of the blood.
    nrsang97 and Saiderap like this.
  2. 0
    I was referring to the times when I'm not at work and when I'm not carrying a finger stick. I do thank you for the advice. I'm hypoglycemic too.
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    Quote from psu_213
    That is really not true. Suppose you are at the grocery store. The clerk there is talking to you when his speech suddenly becomes slurred and he developed a facial droop. Call 911 right then. If his symptoms suddenly improve and he refuses EMS tx/transport, then that is between him and the EMS crew, but still call 911.
    In the case you're describing, you would automatically get EMS. What I was talking about though are the times when someone is acting out and when you can't be sure if they're actually ill or if they just have an attitude by their own choice. Then there are boundary issues.
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    I have a son who is Type 1. He gets aggressive when he is low, he is also getting better about expressing his lows. It used to be oppposite, but as he has gotten older, he can be in the 300s and act fine. He is 9 now, so we are trying to get him to realize he can't let himself get that high (he sneaks food-whole 'nother story there!).

    I carry his kit with me and I have tested a person at church who fainted.

    The glucometer is one of the first things I grab when I have someone who has changes in mental status.
    Saiderap and nrsang97 like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from mmc51264
    I have a son who is Type 1. He gets aggressive when he is low, he is also getting better about expressing his lows. It used to be oppposite, but as he has gotten older, he can be in the 300s and act fine. He is 9 now, so we are trying to get him to realize he can't let himself get that high (he sneaks food-whole 'nother story there!).

    I carry his kit with me and I have tested a person at church who fainted.

    The glucometer is one of the first things I grab when I have someone who has changes in mental status.
    Diabetes is always changing, isn't it? Guess that keeps things exciting.

    I was diagnosed when I was 4 and am 40 now. Complication-free and live a fairly normal life.

    Make sure not to limit your son's diet. That's usually what leads to sneaking food and why type 1s are prone to eating disorders. Try to feed him as normally as possible and learn to bolus for what is eaten. Does your son use an insulin pump?
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    That is the frustrating part!! We have never told him he can't eat anything. He actually is a brave eater-he'll try anything I give him. We just tell to PLEASE give himself insulin.He does have a pump which makes life so much easier.
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    That's the beauty of diabetes- no two sufferers act alike when either crashing or their sugars are sky high. The beauty is that it keeps you on your toes, and increases your assessment skills, since so many things other than an actual sugar reading can alert you to a potentially serious or even lethal event. It's insidious, for sure.
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    I heard a rumor about someone who had a temper fit and vandalized their workplace when someone interrupted their lunch break before they had a chance to eat.

    After a while I started to wonder if their blood glucose was low and if this was part of what set off a temper fit.

    I was not there when this happened but I still think with a case like this one, boundaries are a big issue.

    This person was used to being in control and never gave consent for anyone to take care of him and also never lost consciousness.
  9. 0
    Quote from mmc51264
    He is 9 now, so we are trying to get him to realize he can't let himself get that high (he sneaks food-whole 'nother story there!).
    Just curious, I know he's only 9, but does he have an insulin to carb ratio? That way food doesn't have to be "snuck", just accounted for in the dosing.
  10. 0
    Oops sorry, didn't see the other response before I opened my big mouth


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