You Knew It All Along: High Blood Sugar Makes Your Kids Act Up

| Nov 17, 2007

Parents have always said that they can tell when their children's blood sugar is high by their kids' behavior, which tends to change, and not for the better, when their sugar is high. Now a formal study has confirmed just that.

The researchers examined 42 Australian children between the ages of five and ten years who'd had type 1 for at least two years. Their average A1c was 8.2%, and all were on multiple daily injections. During the study, each child wore a continuous glucose monitor for 72 hours on two occasions, spaced six months apart. Both times, their parents completed the Behavior Assessment System for Children, which quantifies "externalizing behaviors" such as aggression, hyperactivity, delinquency, and disruptiveness.

Overall, the children spent 42.4 percent of the time with high blood sugar. For every five-percent increase in time spent with the high blood sugars, there was a one-point increase in the externalizing behavior score. For every five-percent increase in time spent in the normal blood sugar range, there was a 1-point decrease in the externalizing behavior score.

Of course normal blood sugars are important for long-term health. It appears from this research, however, that good blood glucose control is also critical in helping kids behave themselves.

Sources: Diabetes Care, September 2007; Reuters

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Categories: A1c Test, Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Kids & Teens

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Posted by ricklude on 21 November 2007

And exactlly what earth shaterring, improvment to the diabetic's problem(s), did this research provide for us type 1 or 2s?
I don't understand. There's something wacky with this article and the study.

Posted by Anonymous on 21 November 2007

I agree with ricklude. Additionally, studies like this are pathetic in that the kids with bad attitudes and behavior probably had the same personality pre-diabetes but now mom has something else to blame (diabetes). Studies also say sugar makes kids hyper. Both these studies are a bunch of nonsense! Please avoid supporting articles that use diabetes as a crutch to bull. Thanks!

Posted by Anonymous on 9 January 2008

My daughter's behaviour/attitude was occassionally quite bad pre-diabetes diagnosis. At diagnosis, her AIC was 13, which means it had been VERY HIGH for at least a few months. Now when her blood sugar is very high (300mg/dl) she reminds me of the bad old days pre-diagnosis - when she couldn't sleep at night and was almost hysterical about little things. Since her blood sugar is in range most of the time now, (due to frequent checking and correcting), these ridiculous outburst are few and far between. Praise the Lord!

Type 1 diabetes can be developing for a long time before it is diagnosed, as the beta-cells keep fighting the good fight. Had this study's results been common knowledge, she may have been diagnosed sooner.

People always joke about kids bouncing off the walls after having something sweet, but most kids blood sugar does not get too high since lots of insulin kicks in to keep it in a normal range. It is only those whose body is unable to keep blood sugar in range who's behaviour/mood would be affected by the sweets.

Posted by cmcooper on 21 February 2008

Okay, Not impressed with comments! My son has always been a "pill", however since he got diabetes he is 50 times worse! No, I do not make excuses, however if something changes your attitude because of a diesease do you ignore it, like cancer? So, get over yourself and deal with the fact that diabete's lows and highs do change attitudes and has to be dealt with! We are working on that and we tell teachers, principals, and others to kick him out instead of putting up with the behaviors, but at the same time try and get him to see how he gets when he is having high blood sugars!!! Yes, it can be an excuse, but it has to be dealt with one way or another. Please do not be offended by my comments just venting like the rest of you.

Posted by shuchy on 20 May 2008

i think it is quite right because being with high blood sugars is like being thirst in sea-water water every where, not a single drop to drink,in the same way sugar sugar every where, not a single drop for energy,but you cannot replace sugar testing for mood changes.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 March 2009

I have to say that I have found that when my son's blood sugars are even in the 200's, his behavior is quite difficult to manage. He too was a little rambunxious pre-d diagnosis, but nothing to the extent he is now. His agression triples when he's high, and to those who know nothing of diabetes, keep your comments to yourself, or at the very least, take some time to talk to parents who deal with it day-in-day-out before you start making it sound like we make excuses for our kids.

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