News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Community News Network

April 16, 2014

Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

Serious discussions between spouses shouldn't take place on an empty stomach, a study suggests.

Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

Sugar, or glucose, is used by the brain as fuel to help regulate self-control. Without the fuel, it is more difficult for people to control emotions like anger and aggression, researchers said. The findings are among the first to show how low sugar levels in the body may play a part in marital arguments, confrontations and even domestic violence, said Brad Bushman, the lead study author.

"Self-control comes in part from the fuel we give our brains. This is one of the few physiological aspects we can control," said Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University in Columbus, in a telephone interview. "People who are hungry are often very cranky."

Researchers in the study included 107 married couples who for 21 days had to test their blood-sugar levels before breakfast in the morning and before bed in evening. They were also given voodoo dolls representing their spouses and told to insert as many as 51 pins daily depending on how angry they were with their partner. The researchers were testing aggressive impulses.

Those with the lowest nighttime blood-sugar levels inserted the most pins, while those with the highest glucose levels inserted the least, the study found. Women tended to stick more pins into their husband voodoo doll, but the finding wasn't significant. The authors only found the association for nighttime blood glucose levels as the amount of sugar in the body drops throughout the day, Bushman said.

After 21 days, the couples went into a laboratory where they were told they would compete with their spouse to see who could press a button the fastest to test aggressive behavior. The winners could blast their spouse with a loud noise through headphones. The spouses in reality were playing against a computer, not each other.

The researchers found that those with the lowest average nighttime blood-sugar levels sent louder and longer noises to their spouse no matter how good their relationship was or whether they were male or female.

"If couples have a sensitive topic to discuss, it would be really smart to do it over dinner or better yet after dinner," Bushman said. "They should definitely not do it on an empty stomach."

Low blood sugar can trigger hormones that activate the body's "fight or flight" system and cause people to become more aggressive, anxious and irritable, said Timothy Graham, who wasn't an author of the study.

For families with someone who has diabetes, where swings between highs and lows can occur more often, he suggests counseling. For others, regular, small meals throughout the day may help keep blood sugar levels consistent and help prevent dips that can cause aggression.

"Probably more regular and healthy meals could improve the dynamics of a relationship," Graham, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, said in a telephone interview.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors
NDN Video
Bill Murray Continues To Be Just Bill Murray By Eating Some Free Bill Murray Ice Cream Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity