Can Your Blood Glucose Affect Your Mental Health?  

Share post

This article discusses whether or not blood glucose levels can affect your mental health and if they do, what that means for you. 

High blood glucose levels have been linked to depression, cognitive impairment as well as negative feelings of low mood. But are they just speculations or facts?

Well, there is substantial evidence suggesting that high glucose levels could increase the risk of dementia. For example, a study published in the Harvard Health Letter and the New England Journal of Medicine proved “convincingly” that high blood sugar is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia. (1) (2) (7)

Another research finds that those with diabetes are also at an increased risk of experiencing anxiety disorders. (3)

The correlation between blood glucose levels and mental health doesn’t stop here…

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that depression increased the risk for diabetes, and diabetes increased the risk for depression. (4)

So, How Does Blood Glucose Level Affect Mental health?

Several studies suggest that high blood glucose levels can impair cognitive function and memory. These findings may be caused by the fact that cognitive function and memory depend on the level of glucose in the brain.

Other researchers believe that many of these problems associated with low moods are caused by high blood glucose levels, thus suggesting that these conditions share some link.

In addition to all of this, high blood glucose levels and poor glycemic control are linked to premature death due to all the complications they cause. Overall, there are several other factors that affect mental health, and blood glucose is just one such factor. Blood glucose levels can be affected by factors such as exercise, diet, and age; all of which also play a role in your overall mental health. For now, let’s look at the following theories as to why high blood glucose levels might affect mental health…

  1. High Blood Glucose and Stress It’s well known that a person’s stress level can cause blood glucose levels to soar, but how? The first theory is that high blood glucose causes hormonal changes which lead to anxiety. For example, an increase in the amount of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline could cause Insulin Resistance and raise blood glucose levels. In addition to this, it’s thought that high blood sugar levels can trigger a chain reaction…a vicious cycle where the more you have, the more likely you are to experience anxiety and the more likely you are to experience high blood glucose levels.
  2. Blood glucose fluctuates throughout the day Blood glucose level changes throughout the day in response to meals and physical activities. Fluctuations in blood glucose cause energy and mood fluctuations.
  3. Increased activity Studies have found that high blood glucose levels can make a person feel more energetic. This is because high blood glucose levels stimulate the brain into releasing certain hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and adrenaline. These hormones cause the brain to become hyperactive, causing the person to become extremely active.
  4. High glucose level may cause other unknown critical damages High blood glucose levels cause inflammation in the body which contributes to a weakened immune system and increased injuries. Thus, people who have diabetes are more likely to develop illnesses and infections compared with those that don’t have diabetes. Certain types of damage can occur. For example, when blood glucose levels are too high, unhealthy and potentially life-threatening conditions such as pancreatitis, and neurologic problems such as stroke can occur. People who have diabetes are also at risk of developing foot ulcers, diabetic neuropathy, and peripheral vascular disease. People with diabetes may also develop a condition known as diabetic retinopathy, which causes blindness as a result of poor blood circulation in the eye.
  5. High sugar level causes cognitive problems As we age, our brains begin to shrink. For example, the hippocampus – which is associated with memory functions and spatial reasoning in the brain begins to shrink around age 30. This is not a cause for concern as long as there are no other problems besides simply ageing. Women who have high blood glucose levels between the ages of 45 and 65 are three times more likely to experience memory problems than women who do not have diabetes or high blood glucose levels. (8)
  6. Blood glucose and hormones If your blood glucose level is low, you will feel hungry. The hormone ghrelin – which signals a person to eat when they are hungry – increases as blood glucose levels decrease. Conversely, the peptide hormone peptide YY (PYY) which stimulates a person to stop eating in order to reduce hunger and maintain energy levels falls as blood glucose levels decrease.
  7. High glucose levels affect the brain It has been found that high blood glucose levels can damage certain parts of the brain. For example, elevated blood glucose levels have been found to damage the nerves that carry messages from one part of the brain to another. This problem is common in elderly individuals. High blood glucose levels can also damage the brain’s white matter, which can cause a person to behave in ways that are unusual for them or they may not be aware they are doing. These unusual behaviors include people who begin to suspect that others are perverted, have strange and aggressive attitudes, behave strangely while shopping, or display other behaviors that are quite peculiar.
With all these theories, it’s easy to see how blood glucose may impact your overall mental health. That’s why it’s important to monitor your glucose levels and keep them under control. Check out this article for everything you need to know about managing your blood glucose.


Sign up for the Miboko Newsletter

Share post

More Ultimate Guides

Take Back Control

Join the wait list for our next available beta program & experience the world’s first needle-free glucose tracking sensor.

Unlock Metabolic Wisdom

Dive into fresh, research-backed insights delivered to your inbox every week – your passport to a healthier you.