A unique study shows how low blood glucose levels (hypos) can lead to increased challenges within relationships.
The researchers investigated the relationship between blood glucose levels and aggression through the use of voodoo dolls and loud noise. 107 married couples took part in the study.
As part of the clinical trial, which must have been something of a trial for some of the participants, the couples were asked to take part in tasks in which the winning spouse was allowed to direct a blast of noise at their partner at a volume and duration of their choice. Each night, partners had a further chance to express the feelings they felt towards their partners by sticking up to 51 pins into a voodoo doll with higher number of pins in the doll representing a greater amount of aggression. Blood glucose levels were monitored through the 21 day study.
The study results showed a clear association between low blood sugar levels and greater expression of aggression through more pins in the voodoo dolls and louder and longer durations of noise for the partners.
The participants in the study were not diabetic which shows, on one hand, that low blood glucose can lead to a degree of problems even in people without diabetes. The other factor to bear in mind, for people on hypo causing medication, is that reducing the number of hypos could help to minimise periods of more aggressive behaviour.
The study may offer a certain amount of reassurance to spouses that may usually be perplexed by sudden mood swings in their diabetic partners, in that it offers a reason, as well as a solution, for behaviour which may be out of character.
Whilst higher than appropriate levels of anger may not always be associated with low blood sugar levels, taking a blood test and, if low, taking sugar, could help to prevent heated situations getting out of hand.

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