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Articles > Grumpy husband with diabetes; sweating & spicy food; nuts & low blood sugar

Grumpy husband with diabetes; sweating & spicy food; nuts & low blood sugar

Q&A: Ask the experts

Health Monitor Staff

Provided by HealthMonitor

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I have a grumpy husband!
Q: My husband was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and he’s often cranky or unresponsive. I heard diabetes can cause mood swings and depression. I’m trying to be understanding, but I’m frustrated! How can I get my sweet husband back?
A: The better your husband can manage his blood sugar levels, the better he’ll feel—big swings in blood sugar levels can cause mood swings. Adopting positive behaviors, like a walking program, may help boost the brain’s “feel-good” hormones. It can also decrease symptoms of diabetes-related depression or fluctuations in blood glucose levels. Take walks with your husband or make a pact to start eating healthier. It’s also important to encourage him to check his blood sugar levels frequently so he can correct swings before they influence his mood. —Sheri Colberg, PhD, professor of exercise science, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

I'm sweating. Why?
Q: I’ve recently started sweating heavily when I eat food—even though the food isn’t hot or spicy. Why might this be?
A: It sounds like you’re referring to the condition known as “gustatory sweating.” Although highly spicy foods like hot sauce are usual culprits, other substances, such as chocolate, cheeses, pickles, vinegar, fresh fruit, salty foods and alcohol, can also trigger gustatory sweating. When present in someone with diabetes, it can often indicate damage to the autonomic nervous system. Possible treatments include oral medications and roll-on ointment, although controlling your blood glucose may also prevent it from happening. Speak with your doctor or diabetes educator to find your best treatment.—Sheri Colberg, PhD

Go nuts!
Q: I read an article that said almonds help lower blood sugar. I’ve been including them in my diet since but haven’t noticed any results. Can certain foods really help manage my blood sugar levels?
A: Somewhat. Almonds (and other nuts) are a healthy part of any diet if eaten in moderation. In fact, those with type 2 diabetes who consumed 1 oz. (20 to 25 almonds) before eating a high-starch meal improved hemoglobin A1C and body mass index (BMI), according to a recent study in the journal Metabolism, possibly because the nuts helped them eat less. Just be careful—nuts are high in calories, so don’t over-indulge! Talk with your healthcare professional about creating a diabetes-friendly meal plan.—Sheila Ahmadi, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, UCLA
Diabetes Mellitis (Type II) Depression Excessive Sweating Hypertension Diabetes Hypertension Lose Weight Exercise More Mood Swings Depression

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