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August 14, 2011

Behavior

Question from Overland, Missouri, USA:

My 22-year-old boyfriend has type 1 diabetes. We have been together for two years and everything has been going great. He's the best thing that has ever happened to me. However, recently, when I try to wake him up, he goes into fits of aggressive behaviors. For example, I asked him to turn off the t.v. because we fell asleep with it on. He finally woke up (or so I thought), but it seemed as if he were half asleep. He turned off the t.v. but started pushing me off the bed several times, screaming things like "quit F****** around!" "MOVE OVER!" I tried to move out of the way and then he grabbed my arm really hard and started shaking me! He never does or says anything to hurt me when he's awake. I don't understand, I talk to him about it and he remembers bits and pieces of it, tells me he's really sorry and thinks maybe it has to do with his blood sugar. What do you think is going on?

Answer:

I would be concerned that he is having low blood sugars when this is occurring. It is not unusual for atypical behavior to occur in people who have a hypoglycemic reaction. If he has not been checking his blood sugars, he needs to do so. This is a prime example where information would be helpful in preventing what, to you, is frightening behavior. Since you have to get their attention and actually have them check the sugar or eat something, you will not know. However, a blood sugar check at bedtime will determine if the sugar is trending low enough to initiate some form of preventive behavior, such as an insulin adjustment or a snack at bedtime. This is actually common behavior with low blood sugars. I would talk to him about it and he can work on this to make sure the lows do not happen.

JTL