6 Things That Can Cause Your Blood Sugar To Spike Or Drop
While roller coasters can be thrilling at amusement parks, theyre not so great when it comes to your blood sugar levels. Also known as glucose, blood sugar is a critical source of energy for your body, according to the Mayo Clinic . When its either too high or too low, you can feel pretty terribleespecially if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes . Heres a quick primer on how blood sugar works in people with and without diabetes. You absorb sugar from food and beverages into your bloodstream, where insulin (a hormone from your pancreas) helps it gets into your cells to provide energy, according to the Mayo Clinic . As a backup of sorts, your liver also makes and stores its own glucose to help keep your blood sugar within a normal range. In general, when you dont have diabetes, your body does a good job of regulating glucose levels, Amisha Wallia, M.D., an endocrinologist at Northwest Memorial Hospital, tells SELF. But if you have type 1 diabetes, which typically appears in childhood or adolescence, your pancreas produces little or no insulin to help glucose get into your bodys cells, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). That can allow too much sugar to build up in your bloodstream (hyperglycemia). If you have type 2 diabetes, which usually develops in adults, you experience high blood sugar because your pancreas either doesnt make enough insulin or your body cant use insulin properly, according to the NIDDK . When your blood sugar gets over 200 milligrams per deciliter, it can cause symptoms like headaches, fatigue, increased thirst, and frequent urination, per the Mayo Clinic . On the flip side, problems managing your diabetes can also result in glucose levels that swing in the opposite direction and become too low ( Continue reading >>
Can Diabetes Cause Excessive Hunger?
Yes. No. Sort of. Well, ok, here’s the deal. The shinbone’s connected to the thighbone, the thighbone’s connected to the…. Diabetes can cause high blood sugar, and high blood sugar can give you the munchies. So diabetes doesn’t, by itself, make you hungry. It’s the high blood sugar that can come from out-of-control diabetes that does. Which is crazy, if you think about it. For the most part, the human body does a really great job of maintaining a stable state using a process of small adjustments and counter-adjustments called homeostasis. In the case of blood sugar, the body normally keeps the sugar level just right by balancing little squirts of insulin from the pancreas with little squirts of sugar from the liver. If the liver is running low on its sugar stores your body will give you an advanced head’s up that you need to refuel by sending out hunger signals. Where things get weird is that if your blood sugar is already high, the last thing you need is more sugar (in the form of food), right? But in fact, high blood sugar does cause hunger, even though you do not need more food. This is caused largely by a miss-communication within the body’s sugar homeostasis system. Every cell in your body relies on sugar from the blood for food, but they need insulin to get to the sugar. It’s insulin that moves sugar from the blood to the cells. If there is not enough insulin, or if it isn’t working very well, sugar piles up in the blood while at the same time, it’s not getting into the cells where it’s needed. Being in a state of high blood sugar is sort of like starving to death in the Chef Boyardee warehouse because you don’t have a can opener. The cells don’t really realize that there is a ton of sugar just beyond their membranes; all they know is t Continue reading >>
Ask Our Cde
Q: Help! I make bad food choices all the time because I am constantly hungry. I'm hungry, I eat and then I'm instantly hungry again. Does this happen to other women? I have Type 2 diabetes for which I take Metformin and Welchol. A: Dear Desperate, What you are experiencing is very common. There are several issues that can cause extreme hunger in Type 2 diabetes. First, you may have high levels of circulating insulin that can be made worse by eating too many carbohydrates or foods with a high glycemic index (foods that convert to sugar quickly). It is important to meet with a dietitian that specializes in diabetes to help you deal with these issues. Secondly there is another physical issue that can make you hungry. Persons with Type 2 diabetes often lack enough of a type of hormone called incretin. Incretin is responsible primarily for controlling after meal blood sugars. It does this by reducing the flow of sugar from the liver after eating, increasing the natural production of insulin when you eat carbohydrate, and slowing digestion. It’s this last function that is of interest. When digestion is slowed, less sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestines. Slowing digestion also means that more food stays in the stomach for a longer period of time. (Can you see where this is going?) If you lack incretin, food empties from the stomach faster meaning that you can be hungry shortly after finishing a meal! Incretin can be replaced with certain injectable medications called incretin mimetics. In the US there are currently two, Byetta and Victoza. Weight loss is often a side effect of these diabetes medications. Only your doctor can decide if these might be appropriate for you. Isn’t is nice to know that you are not alone and that there might be an answer to t Continue reading >>
Diabetes Hunger And Food Cravings
Surveys find that nearly 100% of young women and almost 70% of young men sometimes have food cravings. For most people, cravings at worst add a little weight. With diabetes, they can be a serious problem. Food cravings might cause you to eat way too much of things that spike your sugars. What are food cravings, though? Where do they come from, and how can we deal with them in a healthy way? Let’s divide cravings into two types: physical hunger and emotional distress. It’s normal to feel strong hunger if blood sugar is low, or if your stomach is too empty. Then you really need to eat. If your sugar is low, you might need some carbs; if you just feel empty, some high-fiber vegetables or water might be preferable. Diabetes can cause hunger if glucose is not getting into the cells where it’s needed. Other medical causes of excess hunger include thyroid problems (such as Graves’ disease,) pregnancy, cannabis smoking, and depression. To avoid the cravings of low sugar or empty stomach, remember to eat regularly, especially breakfast. Breakfast with protein should keep cravings away at least until the afternoon. Eating may not stop some people’s low-sugar hunger. If that happens to you, you may need insulin, an insulin-sensitizing medication, or an herb such as bitter melon to get glucose into your cells. Food cravings are not always physical, though. In addition to body hunger and stomach hunger, there is what psychologist William Polonsky, PhD, CDE, calls mouth hunger or eyeball hunger. “While your stomach may be satisfied,” says Dr. Polonsky, “your eyeballs, mouth, and brain may still feel famished. If your meal plan is too limiting [in terms of food types], you may be depriving yourself of the joy of eating and the sense of satisfaction your mind and body c Continue reading >>
Why Am I Always Hungry?
Your body relies on food for energy, so it's normal to feel hungry if you don't eat for a few hours. But if your stomach has a constant rumble, even after a meal, something could be going on with your health. "Polyphagia" is the medical term for extreme hunger, and it can be a sign that you need to check in with your doctor. Could It Be Diabetes? Your body turns the sugar in food into fuel called glucose. But when you have diabetes, glucose can't reach your cells. Your body pees it out instead and tells you to eat more. People who have type 1 diabetes, in particular, may eat large amounts of food and still lose weight. In addition to a spike in your appetite, other symptoms of diabetes include: Extreme thirst The need to pee more often Weight loss you can’t explain Blurry vision Cuts and bruises that take a long time to heal Tingling or pain in your hands or feet Fatigue Could It Be Low Blood Sugar? Hypoglycemia is what you have when the glucose in your body drops to very low levels. It’s a common concern for people with diabetes, but other health problems can cause it, too. They include hepatitis, kidney disorders, and problems with your adrenal or pituitary glands. In severe cases, people with hypoglycemia may seem drunk. They may slur their words and have trouble walking. Other symptoms are: Anxiety Feeling like your heart is skipping a beat Pale skin Shaking Sweating Tingling around the mouth Could It Be a Lack of Sleep? If you don't get enough rest, it can affect the hormones in your body that control hunger. People who are sleep deprived have a bigger appetite and find it harder to feel full. You're also more likely to crave high-fat, high-calorie foods when you're tired. Other symptoms of sleep deprivation are: Change in mood Clumsiness A hard time staying al Continue reading >>
From Robert Chuckrow, The Intelligent Dieter’s Guide, Rising Mist Publications, Briarcliff Manor, NY, 1997. Understanding Hunger* For most people, hunger is the greatest obstacle to eating healthfully. What is hunger, and how can you stop being controlled by it? Ideally, hunger is the way we experience the body’s physiological need for energy and essential nutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, etc.). Unfortunately, many people experience the sensation of hunger for foods rich in energy even though they have ample reserves of energy-containing fat. Some people are always “hungry.” In order not to be ruled by false hunger (hunger for unnecessary or harmful substances), it is necessary to do two things: (1) learn to recognize the basis of your sensation of hunger and (2) educate your body not to send the wrong messages. False hunger falls into nine basic categories: (1) low blood sugar; (2) an irritation of the lining of the stomach; (3) addictions; (4) the discomfort of the body in utilizing reserves; (5) a desire for stimulation; (6) a genuine need for essential nutrients, expressed by a craving for food dilute in those nutrients; (7) tiredness experienced as a need for food; (8) thinking about, seeing, or smelling food; and (9) habituation to regularity. Hunger for energy-rich, low-nutrition foods when there are excess energy stores in the body is pathological. Arresting and reversing such a condition requires an understanding of its causes. By understanding and then recognizing the following causes of false hunger, you can re-educate yourself to naturally crave only what is needed and nothing else. False Hunger 1. Low Blood Sugar. Even though numerous books have been written on low blood sugar, most people either do not understand the conce Continue reading >>
Do Blood Glucose Levels Affect Hunger And Satiety?
You've heard the story before: when you eat carbohydrate-rich foods that digest quickly, it sends your blood sugar and insulin levels soaring, then your blood sugar level comes crashing back down and you feel hungry and cranky. You reach for more carbohydrate, perpetuating the cycle of crashes, overeating, and fat gain. It sounds pretty reasonable-- in fact, so reasonable that it's commonly stated as fact in popular media and in casual conversation. This idea is so deeply ingrained in the popular psyche that people often say "I have low blood sugar" instead of "I'm hungry" or "I'm tired". But this hypothesis has a big problem: despite extensive research, it hasn't been clearly supported. I've written about this issue before (1). A new study offers a straightforward test of the hypothesis, and once again finds it lacking. The study Bernd Schultes and colleagues used a clever design to isolate the effect of blood glucose on appetite (2). They recruited 15 healthy young men, and on two occasions fed them an identical light breakfast. On one occasion, they waited one hour after the meal and infused saline containing 50 grams of glucose into the volunteers' bloodstream over a one-hour period. On the other occasion, they did the same thing except using saline without glucose. Throughout the infusion, and one hour afterward, the researchers monitored levels of blood glucose, blood insulin, and markers of appetite. The results As expected, the glucose infusion markedly increased blood glucose and insulin levels in the hour following the meal. After the researchers stopped the glucose infusion, the volunteers' blood glucose levels declined, eventually reaching a level significantly lower than the control condition (54 mg/dL vs 70 mg/dL). This is the post-meal "crash" that is sup Continue reading >>
Polyphagia - Increased Appetite
Tweet Polyphagia is the medical term used to describe excessive hunger or increased appetite and is one of the 3 main signs of diabetes. An increase in hunger is usually a response to normal things such as intensive exercise or other strenuous activity, but polyphagia can also be the result of more severe issues such as depression or stress. Also known as hyperphagia, it is one of the three main symptoms of diabetes, along with: Polydipsia (increased thirst) and Polyuria (frequent, excessive urination) Causes of polyphagia Polyphagia can be caused by: Diabetes mellitus Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) Anxiety Stress Bulimia Binge eating disorder Hyperthyroidism (raised level of thyroid hormone) Premenstrual syndrome Certain prescription drugs such as corticosteroids Some psychiatric conditions Rare medical conditions such as Kleine-Levin Syndrome and Prader-Willi Syndrome Hunger and hyperglycemia In uncontrolled diabetes where blood glucose levels remain abnormally high (hyperglycemia), glucose from the blood cannot enter the cells - due to either a lack of insulin or insulin resistance - so the body can’t convert the food you eat into energy. This lack of energy causes an increase in hunger. Simply eating will not get rid of the hungry feeling of polyphagia in people with uncontrolled diabetes, as this will just add to the already high blood glucose levels. The best way to lower blood glucose levels is to exercise as this can help to stimulate insulin production and reduce blood sugar levels. However, if the hunger persists, you may need to consult your doctor or diabetes health care team. Hunger and hypoglycemia Increased appetite can also be caused by abnormally low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). If blood glucose readings Continue reading >>
Curb Your Appetite By Avoiding Foods That Make You Hungrier
On the battle fields of trying to curb your appetite, one war still rages on: controlling those sudden food cravings. It isn’t easy to say goodbye to those “high-carb” foods you love. After all, they may have been your biggest source of comfort during some of your most stressful times. These foods may also be difficult to give up because they give you that extra “snack” satisfaction when you watch TV or watch your favorite movie. When you are trying to lose weight, though, these foods can be especially difficult to give up, because they often make you hungrier. “Eating certain foods can actually make you hungrier later,” says Joy Post, one of the dietitians for BistroMD. “When you eat certain foods that contain a lot of sugar and carbohydrates, which get broken down into sugar, this sugar gets dumped quite quickly into your bloodstream.” As a result of this massive intake of carbs, your blood sugar will skyrocket. Your body will then release insulin to help get this sugar inside your cells. Once your blood sugar spikes, it suddenly goes back down to normal, but because it was so ramped up, it can often drop lower than it’s supposed to. “Your body needs to control blood sugar carefully,” says Joy. “If your body doesn’t have a normal control over blood sugar, you could experience ‘hunger attacks’ out of the blue. This is because certain foods make you hungrier after you eat them.” A doughnut, for example, causes your body to increase blood sugar, which means it also releases a lot of insulin to deal with it. The same is true for something like a baked potato. The starch in the potato is broken down into sugar molecules, which get rapidly absorbed into your blood stream, which causes your body to release more insulin. “Insulin is really Continue reading >>
Hunger Is A Symptom
Our fat-hating society has transferred all the loathing we used to feel for blatant displays of greed, lust, and pride to a single sin, gluttony. The rest of those erstwhile sins now have transformed into the characteristics of the celebrities we admire. This has had the unfortunate side effect of making people who find themselves feeling extremely hungry believe that they are suffering a moral lapse--gluttony--rather than recognizing that they are experiencing a medical symptom. But the raging muchies--the kind of hunger that leaves you at the open fridge shoveling in everything in sight--is a symptom. You can induce it in an otherwise normal person with a couple of tokes of pot. You also see it in millions of otherwise normal women a few days before they get their period. And sadly, it is a symptom that often emerges along with insulin resistance in people who have the genetic make up that leads to Type 2 diabetes because insulin resistance is a prime factor that leads to raging hunger. Exactly why isn't completely understood, but we do know that one of the main things that can cause hunger is swiftly moving blood sugar of the type that happen when blood sugar goes way up after a meal and then plummets back down as it does in hypoglyemica. People with Type 1 diabetes who are prone to severe hypos can tell you all about the hunger that comes with dropping blood sugars. In fact, someone on Tudiabetes.com recently described waking up with a very low blood sugar and attempting to eat their clock radio. This sounds funny, but it isn't, first of all because it really happened to a real person and secondly because it shows how powerful the brain's response to a hunger signal can be. Hunger is the single strongest drive in any living being, far stronger than sex, because with Continue reading >>
Adrenaline Feeling When Hungry But Normal Blood Sugar Number?
Adrenaline feeling when hungry but normal blood sugar number? New Member Diagnoses Metabolic Syndrom or Pre-Diabetes not sr Adrenaline feeling when hungry but normal blood sugar number? I just really totally do NOT understand why one would get anxiety and HYPO symptoms just because one's BS is lower cause of diet? Would taking Metformin help to balance out this hypo feeling? I understand that it is cause your body is use to having a higher BS but why on God's green earth would it being LOWER make one feel so AWFUL!!!???? i'M ASKING cause I just went through it again..I had not eaten for a whole whopping two hours and I felt like I was going to faint, my gate gets unsteady, I feel so shaky inside and the axniety I had tested before I ate and I was at 99, I ate greens beans and some ground hamburger and felt quit nicely full for about an hour. I was trying to hang in there for 3 hours to build up a tolerance to this bu while outside picking up dog poo (sorry) Ifelt the hypo feeling come on and had to come in to eat but decided to check again and i was at 87, you'd think I was at 50 the way I felt.. I dont understand why I have to feel so lousy just cause my BS is lower then normal, ugggh...my husband can go half a day with his BS at 87, he's even gone to workout at that number, so jealous D.D. Family Getting much harder to control Hi and welcome to DD and the wonderful world of diabetes. Do you know and did you test several months ago, do you know what your readings were then. We don't know for exactly why your feeling that way but if you were higher the body gets used to that level, when you come down its just like a bad hypo, the body goes into panic mode and thinks is getting to a hypo level. New Member Diagnoses Metabolic Syndrom or Pre-Diabetes not sr Actually I was Continue reading >>
What A High Blood Sugar Feels Like.
The American Diabetes Association cites the following symptoms as indicative of high blood sugar: High blood glucose [Editor’s note: Duh] High levels of sugar in the urine Frequent urination Increased thirst And if high blood sugar goes untreated? “Hyperglycemia can be a serious problem if you don’t treat it, so it’s important to treat as soon as you detect it. If you fail to treat hyperglycemia, a condition called ketoacidosis (diabetic coma) could occur. Ketoacidosis develops when your body doesn’t have enough insulin. Without insulin, your body can’t use glucose for fuel, so your body breaks down fats to use for energy. When your body breaks down fats, waste products called ketones are produced. Your body cannot tolerate large amounts of ketones and will try to get rid of them through the urine. Unfortunately, the body cannot release all the ketones and they build up in your blood, which can lead to ketoacidosis.” – ADA website But what does a high blood sugar feel like? Because when you see someone who is working through an elevated blood sugar, they may not look terribly out of sorts. But what is happening inside of them is real, and plays out in a myriad of ways for every person with diabetes. I’ve tried to write about it several times, but each high is different, and affects me in different ways: “It’s a thick feeling in the base of your brain, like someone’s cracked open your head and replaced your gray matter with sticky jam. I find myself zoning out and staring at things, and my eyeballs feel dry and like they’re tethered to my head by frayed ropes instead of optic nerves. Everything is slow and heavy and whipped with heavy cream.” – Oh, High! “There’s something about a high blood sugar that makes my body feel weighted down, l Continue reading >>
A False Sense Of Hypoglycemia
By Nora Saul, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., Manager of Nutritional Services at Joslin Hypoglycemia is defined as a blood glucose level below 70mg/dl. But many people find that they feel the symptoms of low blood glucose at levels much higher than expected. Some patients have come into my office reporting getting sweaty, hungry and tachycardic at levels in the mid 130s. Symptoms of hypoglycemia are individual, but may include extreme hunger, nervousness, excessive perspiration, rapid heartbeat (tachycardia), headache, fatigue, mood changes, blurred vision and difficulty concentration and completing mental tasks. Extremely low glucose levels can lead to disorientation and convulsions. People who take insulin or some oral medications that cause the pancreas to produce insulin are usually prone to episodes of hypoglycemia. This is especially true if they are attempting to keep their glucose level as close to normal as possible. But, people in poor control can also have hypoglycemic reactions as they swing from high to low glucose levels. False hypoglycemia is usually due to one of two causes. The first can be compared to an incorrectly programmed thermostat. If you usually keep your room at a steamy 85 degrees, 70 degrees might start to feel chilly. People whose blood glucose is often high trick their body into thinking this is normal. If they rapidly bring their blood glucose into the normal range their bodies’ trigger the same autonomic and neurological warnings as if their blood glucose had fallen into the danger zone. Gradually bringing yourself into better control will help accustom your body to lower blood glucose levels. The other cause of pseudo-hypoglycemia occurs when glucose levels drop rapidly in a short time period. This can happen when exercising vigorously and can oc Continue reading >>
Dealing With Hunger
My friend James usually manages his Type 2 diabetes quite well. He eats right, exercises, and all that good stuff. But last week, something went wrong. He had a tough Thursday at his job, worked through lunch, and got yelled at by his supervisor. Trying to fix things up, he stayed late doing paperwork and dragged himself home, looking forward to dinner and a quiet evening with his wife, Ellen. But when he got there, Ellen had gone to a program at their daughter’s school. Dinner wasn’t ready. He went to the freezer and grabbed a box of ice cream. You can imagine the rest of the story. James kept splurging, and his blood glucose levels were out of whack for three days, courtesy of what Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill W. called H.A.L.T. (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). Bill W. knew that these were four danger situations for drinking. They apply with equal force to smoking, breaking your diet, or almost any other bad habit we are trying to change. Psychologist and diabetes educator William Polonsky says people who struggle with their diabetes “frequently blame themselves for not having enough willpower. But most people have plenty of willpower. The problem is not understanding and solving the particular problems that interfere with self-care.” Hunger is one of the most common problems. How can we deal with it? Avoiding Hunger James moved into the danger zone when he skipped lunch. “I had so much work,” he said, “and I knew the boss wasn’t happy with me. My stomach was all knotted. I didn’t feel like eating.” Those things happen, but skipping meals, especially breakfast, will lead you to grab concentrated comfort foods like sweets and fats. It will also make you grouchy and miserable. What could James have done differently? If he didn’t have time or sp Continue reading >>
What Is Hypoglycemia?
Hypoglycemia is a dangerous condition in which your blood sugar drops perilously low. Low blood sugar will most often make you feel shaky and weak. In extreme cases, you could lose consciousness and slip into a coma. People develop hypoglycemia for different reasons, but those with diabetes run the greatest risk of developing the condition. Glucose and Hypoglycemia Your body uses glucose as its main fuel source. Glucose is derived from food, and it's delivered to cells through the bloodstream. The body uses different hormones to regulate the amount of glucose in your blood. Glucagon, cortisol, and epinephrine are some hormones that help regulate glucose. Your body uses another hormone called insulin to help your cells absorb glucose and burn it for fuel. If your blood sugar level drops below a certain point, your body can develop various symptoms and sensations. For people with diabetes, this typically happens when blood sugar drops below 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), although the exact level may vary from person to person. Causes of Hypoglycemia Low blood sugar often happens in people with diabetes who are using insulin or other medicines that increase insulin production or its actions. Too much insulin can make your blood glucose drop too low. Low blood sugar can happen if: Your body's supply of glucose is used up too quickly. Glucose is released into your bloodstream too slowly. There's too much insulin in your bloodstream. Hypoglycemia Symptoms Although no two people will have the exact same symptoms of low blood sugar, there are some common signs to watch out for: Sudden, intense hunger Dizziness or light-headedness Excessive sweating (often sudden and without regard to temperature) Shaking or tremors Sudden feelings of anxiety Irritability, mood swings, and Continue reading >>