Teenagers mood swings

Hi my son has had type I diabetes since he was nine. Now he eighteen. As a parent and a teacher I realize that my son had drastic mood changes based upon blood sugars. The endocrinologist never brought up this topic until I said how moody he is especially high blood sugars. I know hormones, teenage problems, and loss of control all factor into mood swings. It can really effect the family dynamics. Has anyone else experience this?

Oh my word yes I know exactly what that is I’m glad you brought this up nobody talks about this for a minute there I seriously thought that there is something else going on, until I heard parents having the same issue!
It is because of blood sugars, low and high! My son has got very moody and rebellious when low sometimes but outright cold hearted, mean, and very very mean and extra moody and even violent when his bg is high. It’s crazy!!!

OMG Yes! I myself am diabetic and I will sometimes feel so off when my blood sugar drops that I will scream at my husband for no apparent reason or just start crying and then shove him if he gets near me. I think a lot of it is the stress your body is under during these times and the feeling…well it is unbelievable uncomfortable. I always thought I behaved so badly because you lose all sense of control when you’re either high or low. And its very difficult for anyone, even more so a diabetic, to not have that control. Eventually though, you learn to deal with the worst of the mood swings yourself but it does happen.

Hi Kerri @Kc1, it is a shame that your endocrinologist never mentioned anything about mood swings as these changes are so very basic to living with diabetes - especially during teen years with so much else, both physical and emotional, going on.
I suggest that you go [both of you] to a TypeOneNation Summit and attend especially the sessions geared to this topic - teens will have their own meeting rooms for some of the time. A Summit location and registration can be found by following from the “Events TAB” at the top of this page and at jdrf.org - these events are at no cost to you and really worth your time and effort to attend.
Also look for events and JDRF gatherings in your area; our monthly “Cups of Hope” JDRF meeting tomorrow [Sarasota Florida] is dedicated to teens now that school is out of session. I expect that there may be something near you - even with 60+ years living with diabetes I learn “something new” at every meeting.

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My girlfriend points this out to me whenever I get moody… I’m a very patient, calm person when my blood sugar is under control. When it’s high I get very short tempered and sometimes very cold and mean. Also i get very lethargic and emotional when low. Luckily shes very patient, yet stern and makes me check my sugar and correct accordingly. I always feel bad after I have one of these episodes

Thank you because I thought I was going crazy.

No non T1 diabetic can understand what this feels like. A normal pancreas adjusts automatically to glucose in the blood, sending signals when low to release glucose and producing insulin when carbs are ingested. We are deficient in these functions. So yes, mood is greatly affected. I recognize and control it, but it takes a lot of effort. It will require patience as your child works this out. It’s tough, my sympathies

Thank you I appreciate you explaining what you feel like because I want to help my son

I’m the same age as your son (although I was diagnosed much later in life at 17) and I 10000% feel the mood swings. I had one of my lowest blood sugars ever and lashed out at one of my friends over something completely small before realizing that I had dropped so low. After the correction, I felt extremely guilty. My parents tell me to check my sugar with my attitude sometimes now and although I don’t like the phrasing, the reminder helps me recenter. As someone with depression and anxiety (and possibly a form of bipolar disorder but I haven’t been tested yet), I find my sugars contribute to making those feelings more intense.
It’s definitely not fair that it throws off the family dynamic. My best advice as a T1D is to ask your son to check his sugars and make sure he doesn’t blame himself for it (it makes me more angry a lot of the times).
Hope that helps!

My son is not a teen but I was told by his nurse that I need to do finger pokes or watch his numbers as his behaviors can sometimes be a result of highs and or lows and not just him giving me attitude for no reason.

I am 20 years old and was diagnosed at 16 and I was never a moody teen before I was diagnosed. I am usually a very mild natured person but I do seem to get mood swings based on my blood sugars. Something just makes it hard to not be mad and its usually when I am high or low but mostly high. You just don’t feel good plus it just effects you mentally. Hope this helps haha

Hi Kerri,
Yes, I have been dealing with a teenage son who has Type 1 diabetes (diagnosed at age 10). When he is acting angry, moody or even mean, I have him test his blood sugars first before I reprimand or dish out a punishment to him. Most times, his blood sugar is very high and I have him do a correction and then talk to him. At times, he can get very emotional (crying) when his numbers are very high. It can break your heart. I just know that the high blood sugar numbers are magnifying whatever emotion he may be feeling. I have him do a correction and just give him a big hug and let him get over it. Sometimes, just holding him and letting him cry it out helps. At least he knows he is safe and that I’ll always be in his corner, come what may.

Thank you he recently switched pumps with a sensor to help him

Whenever my blood sugar is SUPER HIGH, I have the WORST attitude ! My mom always makes me check my BG when I start to get an attitude . :joy:

15-yr old teen daughter. OMG! I thought I was the only Mom who is hated by their child. At least, it seems to get that bad! I guess I have to just remember not to take it personally although i have tried that for the last year (diagnosed march 2017). Nothing seems to help.

Just want to say thanks for sharing your “bad” experiences [lol]. We are all not alone!!!
Take care!