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May 30, 2000

Hypoglycemia

Question from Indiana, USA:

My 16 year old has had Type 1 diabetes since age 4. There have been times when his blood sugar has dropped to 30's and 40's. He has become very violent and angry. He never remembers what he has done or has said. Does this happen to people with diabetes experiencing a severe low blood sugar reaction? When this happens should he be held responsible for his actions?

Answer:

Aggression is a common result of hypoglycemia or low blood sugars. As a parent, I’m not sure I would concentrate on “holding him accountable” for unfortunate situations when he is hypoglycemic — but would focus on preventing that hypoglycemia. There are many ways to help prevent hypoglycemia and a good diabetes team can help you form strategies to avoid problems.

MSB