Marital spats could be linked to low blood sugar

Hunger more than anger could be fuelling relationship arguments, according to new research. 

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Experts in the U.S. have uncovered research to suggest that low blood sugar may be linked to marital arguments, confrontations and even circumstances of domestic violence.

This means that couples are more likely to fall out if one or both of them are feeling ‘hangry’ – a combination of hunger and anger – rather than simply being upset about something.

Lead researcher of the study, Dr Brad Bushman, from Ohio State University said:

“People can relate to this idea that when they get hungry, they get cranky.

“We found that being hangry can affect our behaviour in a bad way, even in our most intimate relationships.”

The study – which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – involved 107 married couples who were asked to stick pins into voodoo dolls representing their spouses.

Each husband and wife were given a doll, and were told to stick up to 51 pins in it at the end of the day – depending on how annoyed they were at their spouse.

Over the 21 days that this study took place, all participants had their blood glucose levels monitored every morning and night.

The results showed that lower blood glucose in the evening was linked to more pins being stuck in voodoo dolls – with wives tending to stick more pins in to their dolls than their husbands did.

In addition to this part of the study, the couples were required to blast each other with loud, unpleasant sounds such as fingernails scratching a chalkboard, dentist drills, and ambulance sirens.

The researchers found that participants with lower than average levels of evening blood glucose subjected their spouses to louder and longer bursts of noise. The volunteers who stuck the most pins in the voodoo dolls were also likely to deliver the loudest and longest noise blasts.

Dr Bushman confirmed: “We found a clear link between aggressive impulses as seen with the dolls and actual aggressive behaviour.”

Sometimes relationships can deteriorate as a result of continued rows and unresolved issues. Relationship coaching can provide a means of advice and support to help couples recognise and resolve problems. For more information, please see our relationships page. 

View and comment on the original Huffington Post article. 

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Written by Tamara Marshall
Written by Tamara Marshall
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