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Type 1 Diabetes Always Hungry

A Life Hunger, Or A Decade With Type 1 Diabetes

A Life Hunger, Or A Decade With Type 1 Diabetes

10 years, the doctor said on the day I was diagnosed. There will absolutely be a cure within 10 years. There is a quarter-sized indigo bruise to the left of my bellybutton, from the insulin shot I took this morning, because I decided to eat a bowl of cereal. What this means is, there is no cure. Not yet. Today, I’ve had type 1 diabetes for one decade. For several months after my diagnosis, my mom and I, every night, set an alarm for 3am to make sure I was still alive and would remain so until morning. Sometimes I would go to bed and my last thought would be, I hope I wake up. I was haunted by the horror stories of a bluntly named quiet death of people with type 1 diabetes: Dead In Bed Syndrome. I was 14 years old; I felt very young and very old and I still do. There was an innocence that I lost before most of my peers, one of invincibility and frivolity and a certain freedom. I learned quickly that the things we think will never happen to us can absolutely happen to us. That no one is safe, ever, from anything. This truth is just terrible, isn’t it? And yet, so it goes. Bear with me. The doctors told me something else would happen 10 years after my diagnosis: I would probably start to see complications. The list of potential complications is very long and very bleak. Not right away, the doctor assured me. Not on the day (today.) But sometime. Sometime. This ten-year benchmark has stuck with me, and I have dreaded it since I was that tiny, barely-teen sitting in a hospital bed. For most of the past decade, today has been a dark space in my mind, a place with something very real to dread. I couldn’t help but feel like arriving at it meant a safety net would be pulled out from under my feet; that I would suddenly need to strap on a Life Seatbelt. It wasn’t until ve Continue reading >>

Can Diabetes Cause Excessive Hunger?

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 >>

When 'normal Teen' Stuff Is A Warning Sign Of Illness: What Parents Should Know

When 'normal Teen' Stuff Is A Warning Sign Of Illness: What Parents Should Know

Editor's Note: This story was first published on August 15, 2016. Stacey Crescitelli is parenting her third teenager after successfully steering daughters Anna, 19, and Sophia, 18, to adulthood. So when her third child, Henry, now 14, began growing at at a fast pace, sleeping more and thinning out, she and her husband Joe thought he was just being a typical teen. As it turns out, his body was actually fighting something more sinister than teenage hormones: Type 1 diabetes. Now, Crescitelli wants other parents of teenagers to know about the symptoms of Type 1 diabetes. But how can parents tell the difference between what is normal and what is not when it comes to teens? Stacey Crescitelli Never miss a parenting story with TODAY’s newsletters! Sign up here Crescitelli, 46, noticed that since December, Henry had grown a lot, "maybe four or five inches," she told TODAY Parents, "and his body was changing. He has always been kind of a solid boy with a large frame — never one of those reed thin, gangly boys — but suddenly, he was becoming one," she said, "and of course, we thought he was simply 'leaning out,'" she said. Though Henry continued to lose weight and began to sleep more, it was not until this past March that the Doylestown, Pennsylvania, mother noticed symptoms that did not fit with what she believed was normal for teenage boys. That was when Henry suffered from a sudden bout of vertigo that "terrified him and mystified us," said Crescitelli. Related story: State legislator riles up 'army of fierce moms' with diabetes comment "One minute he was in the kitchen getting water, and the next he was asking me to help him to the couch because he couldn't walk or focus his eyes," she said. The vertigo lasted for a day, but it was the beginning of more new symptoms: f Continue reading >>

Canine Diabetes

Canine Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused either by a lack of insulin, or an inadequate response of the body to this hormone. After your dog has eaten, the digestive system breaks-down the food into various parts. One of these is carbohydrates which are further converted into simple sugars such as glucose. Glucose is absorbed from the gut into the blood where it is transported around the body. Insulin, which is produced by “beta cells” in the pancreas, helps in the process of moving glucose into the cells of the body where it is converted into fuel. If there is insufficient insulin available, or the body responds inadequately to insulin, glucose is unable to enter cells and can build up to high concentrations in the bloodstream. The resulting condition is called hyperglycemia. As a result, an animal may behave as if it is constantly hungry (the cells are not producing fuel), but may also appear malnourished, again because the cells are unable absorb glucose. Damage to the beta cells in the pancreas can be either temporary or permanent. The damage may be caused by a virus, infection, trauma, some medications (steroids), or even from over-work after too much sugar or carbohydrate consumption. Diabetes mellitus is often divided into two types, depending on the origin of the condition: Type 1 Diabetes mellitus Type 1, sometimes called “juvenile diabetes” or “insulin-dependent diabetes”, is caused by the destruction of beta cells in the pancreas. Because the destruction of the cells is not reversible, the animal must be treated with an exogenous (external) source of insulin. Both dogs and cats can suffer from Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 Diabetes mellitus Type 2, sometimes called “”adult-onset diabetes” or “non-insulin-dependent diabetes”, is characterized by hi Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is a disorder characterized by abnormally high blood sugar levels. In this form of diabetes, specialized cells in the pancreas called beta cells stop producing insulin. Insulin controls how much glucose (a type of sugar) is passed from the blood into cells for conversion to energy. Lack of insulin results in the inability to use glucose for energy or to control the amount of sugar in the blood. Type 1 diabetes can occur at any age; however, it usually develops by early adulthood, most often starting in adolescence. The first signs and symptoms of the disorder are caused by high blood sugar and may include frequent urination (polyuria), excessive thirst (polydipsia), fatigue, blurred vision, tingling or loss of feeling in the hands and feet, and weight loss. These symptoms may recur during the course of the disorder if blood sugar is not well controlled by insulin replacement therapy. Improper control can also cause blood sugar levels to become too low (hypoglycemia). This may occur when the body's needs change, such as during exercise or if eating is delayed. Hypoglycemia can cause headache, dizziness, hunger, shaking, sweating, weakness, and agitation. Uncontrolled type 1 diabetes can lead to a life-threatening complication called diabetic ketoacidosis. Without insulin, cells cannot take in glucose. A lack of glucose in cells prompts the liver to try to compensate by releasing more glucose into the blood, and blood sugar can become extremely high. The cells, unable to use the glucose in the blood for energy, respond by using fats instead. Breaking down fats to obtain energy produces waste products called ketones, which can build up to toxic levels in people with type 1 diabetes, resulting in diabetic ketoacidosis. Affected individuals may begin breathin Continue reading >>

Ask Our Cde

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 >>

Type 2 Diabetes Symptoms

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 >>

How To Recognize The Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes In Children

How To Recognize The Symptoms Of Type 1 Diabetes In Children

5 0 For Ellen, the first sign was the night wakings. Her 10-year-old son, who always slept soundly until then, was suddenly up and down during the night. Three to four times a night, she would hear him fumbling for the light switch in the bathroom, and then listen as the toilet would flush. Other times, she would hear him filling a glass of water from the sink and guzzling it down. The first two nights, she wrote it off to the normal anxieties of boyhood. Everyone has trouble sleeping now and then, right? And he’d probably been eating too much pizza or chips at the homes of friends. All that salt would make anyone thirsty. Normal stuff. When the night wakings went on a third night, however, Ellen, a single mother of two in the U.S., stopped making excuses and got busy Googling. Symptom searches all came up with one word: “diabetes.” No way, she thought. No one in our family has diabetes. She called her pediatrician, who told her to bring her son in. Two hours and one blood glucose test later, Ellen and her son were on the way to the ER. This family’s experience, while unique to them in the details, will be played out in different ways 70,000 times across the world this year, according to the International Diabetes Federation. More than 70,000 mothers, fathers or caregivers will think no way, but will ultimately accept that their child’s symptoms do, in fact, signal Type 1 diabetes. While excessive thirst and frequent urination are common symptoms, there are many others that signal Type 1 diabetes in children. Here are some of the others: Increased appetite. A child who is normally easily sated will be hungry constantly. Unexplained weight loss. Even though the child seems to be eating all the time, he or she is dropping pounds. Sugar in urine. Two hundred year Continue reading >>

Diabetes Hunger And Food Cravings

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 >>

How To Curb Hunger At Night With Type 2 Diabetes

How To Curb Hunger At Night With Type 2 Diabetes

Whenever I meet with patients for the first time, I always ask them to “take me through a typical day” describing the foods they eat and meal patterns they follow. Often I will hear something like this: “Well I’m not of a breakfast person…” “So is the first time you eat, lunch?” “…well sometimes I don’t eat lunch either.” “If you do eat lunch, what will it be?” “Oh a sandwich or something quick…maybe some chips.” “Ok, so how about dinner?” “A meat, a vegetable and a potato…or sometimes something quick like a pizza.” “Ok, do you snack after dinner?” “Well, see that’s my problem…” Touche. It certainly is a problem, especially when they go on to describe what the evening snacking routine consists of. I’ll give you a hint: it’s not celery and carrot sticks. So what is the deal with eating at night? How can we avoid nighttime eating? Or more importantly, nighttime overeating? I've got plenty of tips for you to consider. 3 Reasons NOT To Munch Out At Night First things first. Whatever you've heard about not eating after a certain time (I’ve heard 5 pm, 6 pm, 8 pm) because everything turns into fat, is just not supported by research. While it IS the case that, generally speaking, the body is more efficient at burning calories when it needs them (ie during the day), compared to when we're sedentary, the rule about a specific time of day is not substantiated by research. That said, I strongly discourage eating much in the evening for the following reasons: 1. Most people make relatively poor food choices in the evening. This is likely due to poor inhibition – we are less likely to make smart choices as our bodies and minds fatigue at the end of the day. Or it's often due to making up for insufficient food intake thr Continue reading >>

Dealing With Hunger

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 >>

10 Medical Reasons You’re Always Hungry

10 Medical Reasons You’re Always Hungry

iStock/Alliance Eating can be a coping mechanism for people with depression or anxiety. Part of this might be because they don’t have enough of feel-good hormone serotonin, and eating comfort foods like pasta and bread can bring those levels up, says Holly Lofton, MD, weight management specialist and director of the medical weight management program at NYU Langone Medical Center. “You’re not treating depression with celery,” she says. “It’s whatever your mom gave you to feel good.” Here's what else your food cravings reveal about your health. iStock/SIphotography During fight or flight mode, the stress hormone cortisol floods your body, which convinces your body to eat, even if you don’t physically need the calories, says Shanna Levine, MD, clinical educator at Mount Sinai School Medicine. “It’s not out of necessity, but cortisol tells your brain you’re not full,” she says. “That’s why stress causes people to overeat.” These are the best foods to eat when you're stressed. iStock/Remains If you’re always hungry and eating more than usual but are somehow still dropping pounds, your thyroid could be overproducing hormones, triggering your body to kick things up. “Think of the thyroid as an endocrine hormonal organ that speeds everything in the body up,” says Dr. Lofton. “So you would also speed up metabolically, and increase their hunger as a result.” The thyroid is also involved in satiety, so you might find your cravings harder to satisfy if it’s overactive, says Dr. Levine. See if your hunger is paired with fatigue, moodiness, brittle nails, or hair loss—they’re all signs of hyperthyroidism. Try these little habits for a healthy thyroid. Obesity iStock/adrian825 Overeating can lead to weight gain, but in a vicious cycle, obe Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With The Disease

Type 1 Diabetes: Children Living With The Disease

A A A Topic Overview Is this topic for you? This topic covers type 1 diabetes in children. For information about type 1 diabetes in adults and about preventing complications from type 1 diabetes, see the topic Type 1 Diabetes. What is type 1 diabetes? Type 1 diabetes develops when the pancreas stops making insulin. Your body needs insulin to let sugar (glucose) move from the blood into the body's cells, where it can be used for energy or stored for later use. Without insulin, the sugar cannot get into the cells to do its work. It stays in the blood instead. This can cause high blood sugar levels. A person has diabetes when the blood sugar is too high. What will it be like for your child to live with type 1 diabetes? Your child can live a long, healthy life by learning to manage his or her diabetes. It will become a big part of your and your child's life. You play a major role in helping your child take charge of his or her diabetes care. Let your child do as much of the care as possible. At the same time, give your child the support and guidance he or she needs. How can you manage diabetes? The key to managing diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels in a target range. To do this, your child needs to take insulin, eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at each meal, and exercise. Part of your child's daily routine also includes checking his or her blood sugar levels at certain times, as advised by your doctor. The longer a person has diabetes, the more likely he or she is to have problems, such as diseases of the eyes, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and kidneys. For some reason, children seem protected from these problems during childhood. But if your child can control his or her blood sugar levels every day, it may help prevent problems later on. What symptoms should y Continue reading >>

Rethinking Weight Loss And The Reasons We're 'always Hungry'

Rethinking Weight Loss And The Reasons We're 'always Hungry'

by Anahad O'Connor David Ludwig often uses an analogy when he talks about weight loss: Human beings are not toaster ovens. If we were, then the types of calories we consumed would not matter, and calorie counting would be the most effective way to lose weight. Dr. Ludwig, an obesity expert and professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, argues that weight gain begins when people eat the wrong types of food, which throws their hormones out of whack and sets off a cycle of cravings, hunger and bingeing. In his new book, “Always Hungry?,” he argues that the primary driver of obesity today is not an excess of calories per se, but an excess of high glycemic foods like sugar, refined grains and other processed carbohydrates. Recently, we caught up with Dr. Ludwig to talk about which foods act as “fertilizer for fat cells,” why he thinks the conventional wisdom on weight loss is all wrong, and long-term strategies for weight loss. Here are edited excerpts from our conversation. What is the basic message of your book? The basic premise is that overeating doesn’t make you fat. The process of getting fat makes you overeat. It may sound radical, but there’s literally a century of science to support this point. Simply cutting back on calories as we’ve been told actually makes the situation worse. When we cut back on calories, our body responds by increasing hunger and slowing metabolism. It responds in an effort to save calories. And that makes weight loss progressively more and more difficult on a standard low calorie diet. It creates a battle between mind and metabolism that we’re doomed to lose. But we’ve all been told that obesity is caused by eating too much. Is that not the case? We think of obesity as a state of excess, but it Continue reading >>

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like.

What A Low Blood Sugar Feels Like.

Across the board, a low blood sugar seems to be considered as anything under 70 mg/dL. Revisiting the American Diabetes Association’s website this morning offers up a list of symptoms of low blood sugar, like: Shakiness Nervousness or anxiety Sweating, chills and clamminess Irritability or impatience Confusion, including delirium Rapid/fast heartbeat Lightheadedness or dizziness Hunger and nausea Sleepiness Blurred/impaired vision Tingling or numbness in the lips or tongue Headaches Weakness or fatigue Anger, stubbornness, or sadness Lack of coordination Nightmares or crying out during sleep Seizures Unconsciousness (As with most diabetes-related lists on the Internet, the further down the list you read, the worse shit seems to get.) The “what happens if a low blood sugar goes untreated” answer is short, and to the point: “If left untreated, hypoglycemia may lead to a seizure or unconsciousness (passing out, a coma). In this case, someone else must take over.” When my daughter hears my Dexcom beeping, she understands the difference between the alert signaling a high blood sugar and the alert signaling a low. If the high alarm goes off, she doesn’t react, but if the low alarm goes off, she perks up immediately and asks me if I need a “glupose tab.” The immediacy and seriousness of low blood sugars is noticed by my three year old because she’s seen me go from normal, functional Mom to confused, sweaty, and tangled-in-my-own-words Mom in a matter of minutes. The symptoms of low blood sugars don’t just vary from PWD to PWD, but often vary within the PWD’s own lifetime. When I was very small, my low blood sugar “tell” was when my mouth would go numb and my face felt like I’d had Novocaine hours earlier and it was just starting to wear off, with th Continue reading >>

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