Sensing a change in your mood? Feeling unusually irritable? You would probably be quick to assume it is due to lack of sleep, but it would come as a surprise that the underlying cause could be diabetes. Diabetes affects millions of Americans and is one of the most common medical conditions, so almost everybody knows about other symptoms such as increased urination and thirst; many do not realize, though, the profound emotional effects the disease has on you. Unfortunately, if left undetected, an abnormally high blood glucose level can negatively impact your mood and, as a result, your relationships with people around you.

Speaking from personal experience due to having a close loved one with diabetes, it is easy to see a difference in someone's mood and personality when their blood glucose level skyrockets. Sometimes, diabetes sufferers don't realize the effect this has on them emotionally until their diagnosis; in the meantime, those closest to them are left dealing with their increased irritability and anger. It is shocking to constantly see someone speak and act in a way that is out of character for them. For example, a man I dated at one point started acting differently; he would raise his voice more and make insensitive or mean-spirited comments, both of which were uncharacteristic of him. I thought, What happened to my boyfriend? This is a different person! After a while, it really took a toll on our relationship until it eventually ended.

Later though, after a diagnosis and regular use of his medication, there was a major improvement in his mood and he was back to his normal self again. He showed more patience, enthusiasm, and consideration of my needs and wants. It surprised me and really opened my eyes to just how dramatically relationships can change as a result of the disorder. We reconciled, all because he was proactive in seeking medical assistance and complying with the subsequent diet and medication. Had he realized sooner there was a medical reason for his change in disposition and the negative effect it would have on our bond, he would have probably been in a much bigger hurry to seek help.

Not only, then, does diabetes drastically affect a person physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. Fortunately though, diabetes is easily detectable; all it takes is a trip to the doctor and a blood glucose test to check the amount of sugar in the blood. With proper education and treatment, the patient will notice a positive difference in their temperament and be back to normal emotionally in no time. If you notice, then, a change in mood in someone close to you, it may help to encourage them to consult a medical professional about diabetes; who knows? It could actually save your relationship.