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From Colorado, USA:

I am a second grade teacher and I have a male student with type 1 diabetes. On more than one occasion this year, he has had major outbursts of rage. He has thrown his chair, broken his pencil in half and thrown it, thrown his papers off his desk, screamed at the top of his lungs at me, etc. When I had a conference with his parents, first they said his diabetes had no effects on him like that, then, at the next conference with the principal, they said if his blood sugars are too high, then he will act out. The research I've done on the web indicates that high blood sugars cause headaches, thirst, dizziness, but nothing about violent outbursts. Can you tell me if violent outbursts are common with high blood sugars? There have been times during these outbursts that he was high and other times when he was not.


When blood sugars are higher than normal, a person will not feel well. They can have stomach aches and headaches. They can feel hungry and thirsty. They may need to go to the bathroom frequently. They may feel grumpy or irritable because they are not feeling well (much like people feel grumpy and irritable if they have the flu). However, violence and aggression are not a side-effect of high blood sugars. Therefore, it is unlikely that the specific blood sugar number has much to do with this student's behavior. It might be helpful to find out more about other issues in this child's life and to refer the family to a mental health practitioner that specializes in working with families with a child who has a chronic illness.


Original posting 5 Oct 2005
Posted to Behavior and Hyperglycemia and DKA


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