Should I Eat If I'm Not Hungry?
I have been a diabetic for over 40 years and have been on the insulin pump. I am not hungry for the most part all day long, and sometimes a week at a time. My A1C is 6.1 and my endocrinologist is very happy with my blood sugars. Should I force myself to eat, whether I am hungry or not? I do not feel weak or anything like that — I'm just not hungry. — Margo, New Hampshire The short answer is yes. You must try to eat for two reasons: to prevent hypoglycemia, and more importantly, to prevent malnutrition. Even though you do not feel weak, your body requires nutrients continuously for its vital functions. I recommend eating small portions frequently and choosing nutrient-dense foods to ensure that you have adequate intake. Work with your doctor or a nutritionist to calculate your caloric needs. I also suggest that, with your doctor’s help, you find the cause of your loss of appetite. Since you say you have had diabetes for 40 years, you might be experiencing gastrointestinal neuropathy, a type of neuropathy that affects the gut and can cause you to feel full. There are several other possible reasons for loss of appetite that should be explored with your doctor. If you have not been sleeping well, have felt down, and have difficulty concentrating, the loss of your appetite might be due to depression. Bring this to your doctor’s attention, as depression is treatable. She will also work with you to investigate other reasons for your loss of appetite. One final note: In those who have had diabetes for a long time, or have had repeated episodes of low blood sugar, the warning signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia can be blunted. In other words, you may not feel its symptoms until your blood sugar dips to a dangerously low level. You should be vigilant about checking your su Continue reading >>
Diabetes Type 2 Symptoms: Seven Warning Signs Of Blood Sugar Problems
Diabetes type 2 symptoms: Seven warning signs of blood sugar problems DIABETES type 2 symptoms are triggered when the body struggles to control blood sugar levels. This gradually causes signs of the condition to appear, alerting a sufferer to the condition. Watch out for these seven symptoms of diabetes type 2. Diabetes type 2 symptoms are triggered by problems regulating sugar in the blood, often due to problems with the hormone insulin Signs and symptoms of the condition to watch out for include extreme hunger, or polyphagia, and needing to wee more regularly Symptoms of blood sugar problems may also include the appearance of strange, dark marks on the skin Diabetes type 2 symptoms and signs are often sparked in later life, as this is when the condition is more likely to develop. Being overweight, eating a poor diet and not exercising regularly all increase the risk of developing problems with blood sugar levels, which may be diagnosed as diabetes. There are seven early warning symptoms to watch out for, according to medicinal website Healthline. Feeling an intense hunger, or polyphagia, despite eating normally is a warning signal for diabetes, as it suggests sugar from consumed food is not reaching cells. Your body uses the sugar in your blood to feed your cells, wrote experts at Healthline. When the cells cant absorb the sugar, your body looks for more sources of fuel, causing persistent hunger. Diabetes type 2 symptoms: Eating this nut can halve your risk Diabetes type 2 symptoms: Intense hunger could be a warning sign you have the condition Polyphagia-type hunger persists when a sufferer eats food to satisfy it, or starts to eat food more regularly than normal. This feeling can also be raised to simple every day activities, such as exercise or heavy lifting. Diab Continue reading >>
Why Do Diabetics Feel Hungry And Thirsty All The Time?
Question Originally asked by Community Member cherita123 Why Do Diabetics Feel Hungry And Thirsty All The Time? Why does diabetes cause me to be hungry, thirsty, and need to urinate frequently? Does anyone know? Answer Most of the time, people with undiagnosed diabetes have thirst and a lot of urination, but many loose their appetite. The reason is that the beta cells that create insulin are not working, or in the case of type 1 diabetes the autoimmune system targets them and kills them. There are 5 kinds of cells inside an islet cell, one of them is the beta cell which is where insulin is made. Without it, the body starts to have increased sugar levels and much of the metabolic system goes into disarray. Please let me know if you need more specific information. You should know Answers to your question are meant to provide general health information but should not replace medical advice you receive from a doctor. No answers should be viewed as a diagnosis or recommended treatment for a condition. Continue reading >>
Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms
The symptoms of type 2 diabetes (also called type 2 diabetes mellitus) develop gradually—so gradually, in fact, that it’s possible to miss them or to not connect them as related symptoms. Some people are actually surprised when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes because they’ve gone to the doctor for something else (eg, fatigue or increased urination). The symptoms develop gradually because, if you have the insulin resistant form of type 2, it takes time for the effects of insulin resistance to show up. Your body doesn’t become insulin resistant (unable to use insulin properly) overnight, as you can learn about in the article on causes of type 2 diabetes. If you’re not insulin resistant—and instead your body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process glucose well—the symptoms also develop gradually. Your body will be able to “make do” with lower insulin levels for awhile, but eventually, you will start to notice the following symptoms. Here are some of the common symptoms of type 2 diabetes: Fatigue: Your body isn’t getting the energy it needs from the food you’re eating, so you may feel very tired. Extreme thirst: No matter how much you drink, it feels like you’re still dehydrated. Your tissues (such as your muscles) are, in fact, dehydrated when there’s too much glucose (sugar) in your blood. Your body pulls fluid from the tissues to try to dilute the blood and counteract the high glucose, so your tissues will be dehydrated and send the message that you need to drink more. This is also associated with increased urination. Frequent urination: This is related to drinking so much more in an attempt to satisfy your thirst. Since you’re drinking more, you’ll have to urinate more. Additionally, the body will try to get rid of the excess g Continue reading >>
The Dangers Of Skipping Meals When You Have Diabetes
It's tempting -- and even sounds logical -- to skip meals: You're busy, you're not hungry, you're trying to lose weight, or your blood sugar is too high. Skipping meals, however, may actually increase your blood sugar and cause you to gain weight. Here are seven rewards of eating regularly scheduled meals when you live with diabetes. Reward 1: Improve fasting blood glucose numbers. During sleep, when you're not eating, the liver sends more glucose into the blood to fuel the body. For many people during the early years of having type 2 diabetes, the liver doesn't realize there is already more than enough glucose present. "Your morning (fasting) blood sugars have much more to do with your liver and hormonal functions than what you ate for dinner last night," says Kathaleen Briggs Early, Ph.D., RD, CDE, assistant professor of biochemistry and nutrition at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences in Yakima, Washington Get more information about why your morning blood sugar is high and tips to help control fasting blood sugar. Real-life example: Until recently, if Cheryl Simpson's blood glucose meter flashed a high reading before breakfast, she might delay eating until midafternoon in an attempt to lower that number. Now Cheryl, PWD type 2, won't leave home without eating breakfast. Her blood glucose numbers have improved. "Plus, eating breakfast makes it a whole lot easier to make good food choices later on," she says. Tip: Pack a grab-and-go breakfast with these 13 quick-fix ideas! Reward 2: Stay off the blood sugar roller coaster. Irregular eating can have you "bouncing back and forth between normal blood sugars and high blood sugars," Early says. A meager meal can give you a meager rise in blood sugar. If you take one or more blood glucose-lowering medications tha Continue reading >>
Does Diabetes Causes Excessive Hunger?
Yes. Diabetes mellitus causes excessive hunger, called polyphagia. This hunger does not go away with eating though. In diabetes, due to lack of insulin in the body or due to its ineffective absorption by cells, glucose is not taken up by the cells and remains in the blood. (Insulin causes uptake of glucose into cells.) Hence, glucose is not being utilized for energy. The feeling of hunger is a feedback response by the body to prompt you to consume food, so that you acquire more glucose and use it for energy. However, because, insulin is not present, this glucose, nevertheless, is not taken up into the cells. Polyphagia, polytypsia, and polyurea can all be present in un-diagnosed diabetes. They also occur when a person with diabetes (PWD) is having blood sugar swings or consistently high blood sugars. Now I want to clarify something here about what these things FEEL like. Polyphagia - I live in the US and starvation due to lack of food access is very rare. But I can say that I was literally starving for about 6 months prior to being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). And it was a hunger that hurt, ached, made me very irritable and sad. Getting food was my only thought - well that and sleeping because the huge amounts of food I was eating were not being converted in energy and therefore I was fatigued all the time. I would eat and eat and eat but without insulin, I lost weight. This hunger was dire. This is not a hunger from a one day fast or calorie restricted weight loss diet. This was 'my body is dying' hunger. I felt emotional panic thinking that I just could not get enough food. Polytypsia - You have never been this thirsty unless you have experienced it yourself. No amount of water or other beverage will quench your thirst. You drink and drink - rapidly, frequent Continue reading >>
Try These 8 Best Snacks For Blood Sugar Control
1 / 9 Snack the Smart Way to Help Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check If you have type 2 diabetes, smart snacking can be an important part of your healthy eating plan. Hunger can lead to dips and spikes in blood sugar that can cause dizziness, irritability, and weakness — and it can increase your risk for a host of other diabetes-related problems as well. One of the best ways to avoid the roller coaster? Eat nutritious snacks at regular intervals throughout the day, even if you're on the go. New types of insulin are better at matching the insulin your body needs at specific times, which has made snacking to prevent a blood sugar drop less necessary for some. But whether you still have to snack to keep your blood sugar levels steady, or just plain want to snack, it’s necessary to make healthy choices. That means that simple carbohydrates, which are digested quickly and turned into sugar that elevates your blood glucose levels, should be avoided. But there are other ways to satisfy those mid-afternoon or mid-morning cravings than a trip to the vending machine. It might take a little more advance preparation and a little more slicing and dicing than it does to rip open a bag of potato chips. But the snacks shown here, suggested by Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, an Everyday Health contributor, are quick, simple, made with ingredients that are either easily portable or easily kept in an office kitchen, and finished with dashes of flavor from ingredients you probably already have on hand, like lime, olive oil, and cinnamon. And when you control your ingredients, which you can’t do when you’re reaching for a processed food, it’s easier to control your condition, which can be empowering when you’re trying to manage this disease. So what makes a high-quality, high-satisfact Continue reading >>
Type 1 Diabetes
If you have type 1 diabetes, also called insulin-dependent diabetes, your body produces little or no insulin. This vital hormone helps move sugar from your bloodstream into your cells. If you don't have enough insulin, the sugar builds up in your bloodstream while your cells starve for energy. (People with type 2 diabetes, in contrast, still make plenty of insulin, but the hormone doesn't work as efficiently as it should.) If not treated, type 1 diabetes can lead to heart disease, kidney damage, chronic infections, and other life-threatening conditions. Fortunately, it can be controlled with proper treatment. Type I diabetes is caused by damage to the pancreas, the organ that is supposed to produce insulin. In many cases, the trouble starts when the immune system targets the insulin factories in the pancreas. Unlike type 2 diabetes, which is largely caused by lifestyle, type 1 diabetes is often inherited and usually starts during childhood. Most people with type 1 diabetes have a parent or sibling who also has the disease. It's estimated that up to 2 million Americans are currently living with the condition. Type 1 diabetes often appears suddenly. Some of the earliest signs are unusual thirst and frequent urination (which may show up as bed-wetting in children). These things happen because the kidneys are using extra water to try to dilute the sugar in the blood stream. And because the cells end up starving for energy, people with type 1 diabetes are often hungry and have trouble keeping up their weight. They may also be weak, irritable, tired, and troubled by an upset stomach. Type 1 diabetes is a life-long condition. Unless doctors can somehow discover a way to restore the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, there will be no cure. However, you can work with your Continue reading >>
Diabetes Symptoms: Hunger And Thirst
Early symptoms of diabetes can save your life or prevent serious health problems. They can make you aware that you have diabetes, if you did not already know. Since diabetes symptoms result from high blood sugar levels, they can also inspire you to get your levels under control if you have not already been managing your diabetes. Some symptoms of diabetes, such as neuropathy , kidney disease and wounds that do not heal, may show up a little later if your blood sugar stays high for months or years. In contrast, you may notice symptoms such as hunger and thirst before you know that you have diabetes or soon after your diagnosis. See your doctor if you have excessive hunger and thirst, any other symptoms of diabetes, or any changes in your body that you cannot explain. You might go to your doctor specifically to ask about diabetes, or you might be surprised to find out that your symptoms are a sign of diabetes. This is what you should know about excessive hunger and thirst due to diabetes. Why would you be extra hungry if your blood sugar is high? Wouldnt you expect to feel full with all that ready-to-use sugar inside of you? Normally, yes. You eat food with carbohydrates , your body breaks down the carbs into a type of sugar called glucose, and you feel full. Your muscles can use the glucose for energy. Your muscles and liver can store the glucose for energy later, when you have not eaten recently. Your fat cells can store extra glucose as fat. Your kidney and liver cells stop making glucose when they detect that it is in your bloodstream. But here is the thing: these normal, healthy responses require insulin. The responses go awry when your body has insulin resistance. Your muscles, liver, and fat cells cannot remove the glucose from your blood and use it properly. Inst Continue reading >>
Polyphagia: The Relationship Between Hunger And Diabetes
Is hunger a sign of diabetes? If you don’t have diabetes, could hunger be one of the signs of diabetes? Is being hungry all of the time (polyphagia) a sign that you should go get checked for diabetes? After all, polyphagia is one of the “3 Poly’s,” is part of a triad of symptoms indicating diabetes. In addition to polyphagia, or increased hunger, the symptoms of polyuria and polydipsia are also signs of diabetes. Susan’s story Susan was constantly hunger. She never seemed to feel satisfied as she snacked off and on all day long from increasing hunger pangs. Susan’s hunger had gotten progressively worse over the past year. She noticed that she had been going to the bathroom more frequently, and wasn’t sure if she might be getting a urinary tract infection. Oddly enough, she hadn’t gained any weight. She had even lost a few pounds. She visited her primary care provider, and relayed her symptoms to the nurse. The doctor recommended that Susan be checked for several different conditions, but the one that stuck out in Susan’s mind was diabetes. She had an aunt with diabetes. She remembered how sick she got, and how she’d spend her days in the dialysis unit. Susan didn’t want diabetes, at least the kind that she knew about from her aunt. When Susan contacted TheDiabetesCouncil, she was concerned that she did indeed have diabetes. She was waiting for her test results, but she was eager to find out if hunger was a sure sign that she has diabetes? I suggest reading the following articles: We decided to look into it for Susan. Let’s see what we found. Polyphagia: What is it? With polyphagia, even after having just eaten, you will feel hunger, or find that you have cravings for particular foods that monopolize your thoughts. The definition of polyphagia, wh Continue reading >>
What To Eat, How Much, And When
Meal planning is one of the most important things you can do to keep your blood sugar in control. Paying attention to what you're eating, how much, and when might seem like a huge challenge at first, but these tips can help make it easier. Quality: What Can I Eat? Having diabetes doesn't mean you can't eat food you enjoy. You can keep eating the foods you like. Just make sure to include lots of nutritious, healthy choices. Healthy, nutritious choices include whole grains, legumes (dried beans, peas, and lentils), fruits, vegetables, non-fat or low-fat dairy, and lean meats, such as fish and poultry. These foods are high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and lean protein, and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and refined sugar. Healthier food choices aren't only good for people with diabetes. They're good for everyone. People who eat a variety of these foods every day have a well-balanced diet and get the nutrients their bodies need. Quantity: How Much Can I Eat? Learning about serving sizes is key to meal planning. Food labels on packaged foods and many recipes tell you what a serving size is. These labels tell you how many calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat are in each serving. You'll need to know serving sizes to help you choose foods that keep your blood sugar from going too high after you eat. If you take fast-acting insulin to control your blood sugar, knowing the serving size will tell you how much insulin you need to take before you eat. Eating carbohydrates affects your blood sugar more than other foods. The more you eat, the faster and higher your blood sugar will rise. Eating fat and protein can affect how quickly your body turns carbohydrates into sugar. When you know the amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fat you're eating at a meal, you can learn to c Continue reading >>
Diabetes Warning Signs
Because type 2 diabetes can lead to serious health complications, it's important to be aware of any diabetes warning signs and get tested for diabetes if you have any of these symptoms. Treating diabetes early can help prevent serious complications. We'll explain the various diabetes warning signs and also warning signs of specific diabetes problems. Discover why it's important to listen to your body and alert your doctor if you notice any new signs or problems. Sometimes type 2 diabetes can develop without any warnings signs. In fact, about a third of all people who have type 2 diabetes don't know they have it. That's why it's important to talk to your doctor about your risk for diabetes and determine if you should be tested. Common warnings signs of diabetes include: Increased thirst Increased hunger (especially after eating) Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry) Fatigue (weak, tired feeling) If you have any of the above mentioned warnings signs of diabetes, give your doctor a call and schedule a diabetes test. With the right diabetes diet, regular exercise, and medications, if needed, you can manage type 2 diabetes and live an active, productive life. If you have symptoms of the following diabetes complications, it's important to seek immediate medical attention. Each brief discussion links to more in-depth information. As you'll learn in this health topic, hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, occurs when the level of sugar or glucose in the blood drops too low to fuel the body. Hypoglycemia is not a disease but a condition that results from a variety of causes. Hypoglycemia is most commonly a complication of diabetes treatment (diabetic hypoglycemia). You can develop hypoglycemia by taking too much insulin or other diabetes medications or 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 >>
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 >>
Always Hungry? It Could Be Insulin Resistance
Always hungry? It could be insulin resistance Hungry, sluggish and fatigued, no matter what you eat? You might want to read more about insulin resistance, a condition that can ultimately lead to diabetes. Always feeling sluggish, no matter what you eat? You could have insulin resistance. ~ You've eaten your lunch, but 30 minutes later you are hungry again you feel weak and shaky. You make your way down to the vending machine and try to get some energy from a chocolate bar, only to feel sluggish again soon afterwards. You might be blissfully unaware of a condition that can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes . Insulin resistance occurs when the body is unable to absorb and utilise the insulin it produces, resulting in elevated blood glucose levels. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , insulin is a hormone that is made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. The role of insulin is to allow cells of the body to absorb glucose to be used as fuel or stored as body fat. When your blood glucose level rises after a meal, insulin is released by the pancreas to help the liver, muscle and fat cells absorb the glucose. Insulin also lowers your blood glucose levels by reducing glucose production in the liver. If you are healthy, your insulin automatically regulates your blood glucose levels. Things go pear-shaped when the cells do not respond properly to insulin and cant absorb glucose from your bloodstream. Your body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose to be absorbed. As your pancreas tries to keep up with the demand for more insulin, it can start failing, leading to pre-diabetes and, ultimately, type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance often shows no symptoms, or symptoms can take a while to appear. There are, Continue reading >>