October 23, 2006
Question from Bend, Oregon, USA:
I’ve heard that it’s possible for someone that has “low blood sugar” to become combative. Would that also include the ability for this same person to pick up knives during an assault and hold them to another person’s throat, unknowingly?
Unfortunately, this has happened previously when patients get severely hypoglycemic. The brain requires glucose to run and without it, the brain does not function normally. People who are gentle and docile can become violent and temperamental when they are low. That is why it is very important to work at preventing lows. This should be a huge red flag that requires you to work very closely with your doctor and diabetes education team. The only treatment is to prevent the lows in the first place. Sometimes, this requires very aggressive means. Regular reporting, switching of insulin regimens, raising your target range, and frequent visits may be required.