Understanding the connection between diabetes and hunger can help not only with food cravings, but in managing other problems associated with diabetes. Hunger can result from both low and high blood sugar, and is especially a problem when glucose in the body goes rapidly up and down. Normally, the blood sugar level is kept in balance by small amounts of insulin from the pancreas and sugar from the liver. The liver notifies the body that it needs more sugar by sending out the feeling of hunger. If there’s not enough insulin to bring the sugar into the cells for energy, or the insulin isn’t working properly, high blood sugar results, yet the body still thinks it needs more. Rapid fluctuations in blood sugar cause excessive levels of insulin, which leads to increased hunger. It’s a delicate balance that be controlled by monitoring glucose and insulin levels, and by understanding how certain foods affect the body’s metabolism.
Diabetes Symptoms: Hunger Pangs
To break the link between diabetes and hunger, make sure your insulin dosage and blood sugar levels are correct to prevent uncontrollable hunger. Diabetes patients also need to understand that eating certain foods will actually make you hungry! High carbohydrate foods (sugars and starches) cause the body’s blood sugar to rise, which brings an increase in insulin, lowers blood sugar and creates hunger pangs. The “quick rush” from high carb foods won’t satisfy your hunger, and diabetes experts agree that a proper diet is the key to getting food cravings under control.
Diabetes, Constant Hunger, and How You Can Finally Feel Full
Starchy foods such as potatoes, breads, rice and pasta, and “simple sugars” that are in soda, candy, and processed foods are the main culprits, and should be avoided. These foods have a high glycemic index (GI), which means they break down quickly in digestion and rapidly release glucose, resulting in dangerous spikes in blood sugar, which is especially bad for those with diabetes. Hunger pangs can be satisfied by eating foods with a lower GI and slower rates of digestion, which results in a more moderate demand for insulin, and helps in balancing blood sugars. Those with diabetes and hunger should concentrate on foods that are high in fiber (which minimizes the carb/insulin activity), and include some protein. Fats such as fish and olive oil are also beneficial in curbing the insulin response. Include plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains. Eating smaller meals more frequently may also help people with diabetes and hunger to maintain a more even balance of blood glucose levels.
For Diabetics with Extreme Hunger: Diabetes Help Forums
There are many online forums that may be of great help to diabetics suffering from constant hunger. Diabetes patients regularly talk about their own experiences and discuss what has helped them. Diabetes and hunger is one of many topics covered. A few of these websites are Diabetes forums (http://www.diabetesforums.com/forum/), Diabetic Connect (http://www.diabeticconnect.com/discussions), and a forum specifically for children with diabetes (and their parents), Children with Diabetes (http://forums.childrenwithdiabetes.com/).