Diabetes - Type 1 Community
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Avatar universal

Type 1 Diabetes and Memory

I have been married to a type 1 diabetic for almost 2 years.  We only dated about 6 mths prior to our marriage part of which time he worked out of town.  I am still having trouble learning the effects of this disease on his memory.  Just as an example someone can tell him a story and 2 days later when he repeats the story to someone else it is totally wrong.  Or another example is that he can tell you something that happened to him in the past or in the present, about  a conversation he had or an event that happened to him, and later it changes.  This upsets me very much and I explained it to him and he says it is because of his diabetes. I assume that because he wants to lead a normal life that he never really thinks about what he is saying might not be right due to memory issues.    
I have learned to see the signs of low and high sugar and I know that he is very aggitated and is angried easy during and I can deal with that.  I have also come to an unsterstanding of how he manages his diabetes and that he as dealt with the disease for 32 years and that he knows his body.  Please help me with this issue about memory.
28 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello.  I'm not a medical professional, just the parent of a kid with diabetes.  Does he check his blood sugars when he has these memory issues?  If he doesn't, then he can't blame them on diabetes.  Having low blood sugars does affect the way the brain works.  The brain requires glucose to function properly, which is why someone who is hypoglycemic has balance issues and often doesn't remember severe lows.  Personally, I don't think what you're seeing has anything to do with diabetes.  If he is otherwise able to function, isn't having lows at the time of the memory lapse, then it isn't diabetes that are causing those problems.
Avatar universal
I agree with RL about the memory issues not being typical of diabetes unless the person's blood sugar is low or maybe high when he is showing this poor memory condition. However, I HAVE read some research reports that state that it is currently thought that repeated severe lows can and do cause permanent memory damage in some people who have participated in tests. Usually, this is in short-term memory, if I remember correctly from reading the articles.

But the key here is to make sure his brain is getting adequate glucose supply NOW and from now on, no matter what he has done in the past. This means no significant lows OR highs, for both deprive the body from properly-absorbed glucose. And the only way to do this is to build testing often into his routine so he can adjust his levels before they go up high or drop low. This can at least protect his brain from further damage if indeed he is one of the few who has suffered from glucose lows  enough to have some memory loss. This is NOT typical, though, and it may be wise for him to have his doctor run some tests in case he is showing signs of some other health issue.
Avatar universal
What is he smoking. No I'm just kidding but watch very carefully at his behavior. Anytime someone changes there is usually a reason. Stick him with the truth about his behavior do not belittle yourself. No excuses, I know 30 years type 1. Cut no slack no different from anyone else.
Avatar universal
I have Type 1 diabetes -- I was diagnosed two years ago at the age of 33 having gone undiagnosed for several years.  Once I started on insulin injections I almost immediately began experiencing symptoms typical of someone who was suffering from long-term complications of the disease (eg. intense neuropathic pain -- I took Lyrica for several months and was barely able to get more than two hours of sleep a night for 8 or 9 months).  I have noticed is that my memory has become absolutely horrible.  Just a few years ago I had a very good memory -- as one former boss of mine put it only seven or eight years ago, I had "a mind like a steel trap" -- but now I have a very hard time remembering details of conversations I've had or what I did when I repaired someone's computer a couple of months ago.  It's very frustrating.  My wife will bring up things that happened in the last year or two and sometimes I honestly have no idea what she's talking about.

So, for the person who said "cut no slack no different from anyone else" you should probably consider that not everyone is the same.  What I went through when I started taking insulin is apparently very, very rare -- nobody I dealt with at the time had heard of anything remotely like it, and only a handful of instances could be found when they did research into my condition.  I'm painfully aware that my memory isn't as good as it was, and I hope time will bring it back.

I know this conversation is at least a year or more old by now, but maybe someone will stumble onto it like I did and read my posting and know that there's at least one person with Type 1 diabetes who is having memory problems.
Avatar universal
dear friend/s my name is Alex and i been diagnose with type one three years ago at age 23. I am now 26. I graduated as an Engineering major and now i working on my master. I you may know already engineering revolves around math. I as i become type I, i notice my lack of memory in math and analytical thinking. I getting worse and worse, to the point that i cant barely remember simple math. I might go and solve an problem and then i go back 30 minute later and i wont remember hot to do it anymore. It sad to see that i very extremely good at my major and i am a total disaster. Graduated with 3.5/4.0 GPA at FSU and now finishing my master.
This is a real burden for me, i fell i am trowing away 5 + 2 years of college away.

So Yes diabetes is affecting  immensely my short term memory.
sad very sad..  hanging in there..    
Avatar universal
i apologize fro the grammar. I wrote it really fast. sorry
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