Warning: Moody when High

I am a well-natured person but loved ones can tell you that I have my moments.

What can be frustrating though is when those loved ones (who know you have diabetes) do not believe that being “high” is an excuse for being irritable at times. I am not saying that I use that excuse everytime I am irritable (we are all human, afterall) but it would be nice if they could cut some slack when I tell them it’s because of my diabetes.

How do you handle your moods that come with “highs”? Do you have similar experiences?


I know how you feel. I have a “wonderful” younger sister who believes I fake my lows in order to get out of doing things… and then I snap at her and have a complete diabetes/diva tantrum because I really am low and feel like I am going to pass out at any moment. :laughing:

It’s hard for others to understand what we’re going through, unless they are also diabetic. I know my sister is a PITA, but one of my worst nightmares is having her also diagnosed as a T1 (I would go back onto MDI in a heartbeat so she can at least take 3-4 fewer injections by bolusing through the pump).

When I’m high, I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and try to stay away from people. I also become super moody and want to strangle everyone that irritates me, so avoiding people like the plague helps a little bit in making sure that I do not make a moron out of myself.

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Thanks for sharing, @Mimikins!

One of my two sisters also has diabetes and so at least she understands.

I, too, try to stay away from people or at least keep to myself until my correction insulin kicks in and I begin to feel more like myself.

I get extremely irritable when my bg is high, sometimes even post-meal high if it lasts a bit too long. The people I’m closest with know this and do appear to be understanding of it, for which I am very grateful!
Difficult to explain it to people I don’t see very often or people I’m just meeting. They sort of understand shakey-bad-anxious low bg stuff, though not generally the necessity of treating the low immediately.

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Not that I wish the feeling on anyone- but I’m glad other people living with diabetes can relate and it’s not just me!

You’re right, people do seem to understand the low blood sugar symptoms better as they are more visible (pale, sweaty, shaky, etc).

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Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment …

What is it about being high that makes you moody?

Is it frustration, or is it because you’re tired and thirsty?

Are there any steps you could take to recognize and control your moodiness when high?

It’s hard to understand/describe what it is about being high that makes one feel that way… for me it’s the physical sensations I guess. Taken from a website: http://www.libertymedical.com/diabetes/question/How-does-elevated-blood-sugar-affect-behavior-and-mood/

“High blood glucose can cause changes in behavior and mood. A person experiencing high blood glucose may:
feel irritated
have difficulty concentrating
complain of being tired
become short tempered
In addition, fluctuations in blood sugars may lead to mood swings, irritability or tearfulness.”


Me too, I get super cranky!

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When I’m high, especially for extended periods and several unsuccessful correction attempts, I feel irritable and frustrated. My skin feels greasy and dirty. My thinking is muddled. I feel like I have syrup in my blood vessels. I know that high BGs cause damage and I hate that I can’t fix it five minutes ago!

As bad as dealing with all the physical aspects of diabetes is, the social side remains a mystery to me. When I was married, I hated when my spouse asked me, “Are you low?” It was an innocent enough question but I always read more into it than was really there. I was hearing, “Are you low, again?” Or perhaps I felt like a child that needed special deference because of my disease.

And sometimes I read into the question that whatever provoked my emotional involvement was not a legitimate concern of mine. It’s as if I thought she thought my objection was not real; it was just my low talking! Sometimes when she asked that question, I was not low, just emotionally invested in my position.

I read into the question way more complexity than was actually there. I just felt that my autonomous agency as a person was threatened. That I needed to be treated with “special understanding” because I had diabetes. I hated that and never did figure it out. I’ve now lived alone for 25 years and have finally learned how to deal with this disease but the social aspects still perplex me to some extent.


Definitely feel frustrated about having high BG, especially for an extended period of time and even more especially if I can’t seem to correct it or understand its particular causes.

That’s on top of the way the high seems to make my body feel - when I’m not wearing a CGM, sometimes the feeling of being extra irritable is one sign that I might have a high and should therefore test. This is a bit like feeling extra anxious (etc) and realizing I should probably test for a low.


For me, the moody feeling of high blood sugar comes from my body screaming with every fiber that there is something WRONG and I feel so horrible on the inside. I’ve got this greasy nausea, nagging thirst, my body feels heavy and slow, my thoughts are usually racing (although this happens regardless of blood sugar levels, I just become incoherent when I’m high) and I can’t concentrate. I think also, the irritability comes from constantly trying to keep my thoughts trained on what I’m supposed to be doing and feeling like I’m always being interrupted from my intense focus. Like I’m trying so hard to pretend everything is fine and keep my sights on the light at the end of the tunnel that is the eventual good reading again, but my body keeps interrupting me like, “excuse me, I think you need to vomit. Or maybe lie down. Or sob hysterically until it’s all over.”


That’s how high BG mostly affects me and I just hate when I can’t think clearly. This happened a lot before I ended up DKA and in hospital: I couldn’t read maps or get myself organized and I messed up the check register something awful! I had no idea what was wrong with me but at least now I recognize what’s going on and know there’s steps to take to help myself.


This is an interesting discussion. When I am high for extended periods, I get a little frustrated, but I don’t normally get cranky, unless it’s a runaway high where everything I do results in a continued march upwards into the 300, 400, 500 range. THEN, I get irritable, because I have a hard time understanding why.

Most of my irritability and inability to control my emotions happen when I am low. I can’t concentrate very well and almost always feel like I have lost the ability to filter out extraneous noises, thoughts, reactions to light, touch, sounds and smells. In fact, that loss of filtering has become one of my signals that I am low.

Totally! I have heard this in previous relationships and over time, I am certain that the "AGAIN!?!? (What’s wrong with you, idiot?)" part is how the question was meant.

I admire long-term relationships that deal well with a T1D member. Relationships are complex enough without the added drama of of hypo- and hyper-glycemia. This disease seems to make poor personal traits worse while it erodes good traits. I know there are some upsides to living well with diabetes but it took me a long time to develop them.

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I am also moody when high. But I don’t how to overcome this situation.

" " :blush:

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I find that when my bg is shifting going up I become irritable too which often happens with lows but not always. It’s kind of like a hotflash where a wave of rage comes over you along with sweating and palpitations and the feeling of pressure in my whole body and pain in my feet eventually etc. The hot flashes don’t have the last two symptoms, but that wave of heat and everything else is very similar for me. Also once the high sets in and I’m over 150ish for any length of time my brain starts to deteriorate and I can’t function that well… I just hope the mood passes at some point and I try to bring it down as soon as possible. The ones that go up rapidly are the worst, I really feel I’m at risk for another blood clot or a stroke on those ones so I try to avoid them totally if possible.

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when i go high, my moodiness is more about spiking and feeling out of control. i look at my CGM and the direction arrows, and if they are going up, i get terribly anxious and panicky and filled full of self-recrimination. "oh my God, what was i thinking when i bloused for that meal? i must be an idiot or something!!! how could i have mis-counted my carbs? how long will it take for my BGs to come down? should i stack on some more insulin? and on and on. i get so consumed with my “failure” that i am nasty to anyone around me. i am absolutely awful company.