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February 13, 2002


Question from Ontario, Canada:

I’ve been together with a 29 year old, who has had type 1 diabetes since about age four, and while he has had low blood sugar reactions on and off during our relationship and usually normally I can get him to drink some pop or glucose gel, but twice within the last six months, he has fought my help and has become physical with me, this last time punching me repeatedly. He swears to having no recollection of these times afterwards.

Many people around me have conflicting opinions about it, some say it’s because of the low blood sugar levels, others fear he’s using it as a way to rationalize an abusive tendency. Have you heard of reactions of this sort, or am I in trouble? Also, do you know of any support groups for friends/family of people with diabetes in Canada?


From: DTeam Staff

Unfortunately, this is not the first time I have heard of this behavior. It does happen. When blood sugars go low, the brain doesn’t get enough energy and doesn’t work right. For some reason, this violent tendency is a part of the disoriented response.

I would suggest you need to take the time to talk to your partner and explain the situation with him. He has to understand that in order for you not to live in fear, he has to take care of himself, working to prevent low sugars and obtain good glucose control.

I am not aware of a specific program for you. However, I would suggest you check with your local hospital and see where the closest diabetes education team is. They will have additional information about what support groups are available in your area. Good luck.