Since before diagnosis, I’ve been almost constantly hungry. This isn’t a symptom I’ve read about in many diabetes blogs, so I’m not sure how common it is. I know “Am I hungry?” has moved waaaaaay down the priority list when considering whether to eat or not for everyone. But I have really struggled with hunger throughout my diabetes experience, and I wonder if others have too.
Before dx, I couldn’t make it through my two and a half hour grad school classes without multiple snacks. At night I couldn’t stop getting up and heading to the fridge. I ate big meals and went back for seconds everywhere I went. I packed my lunch for the day at school but ended up eating it piece by piece long before lunch time (“I’ll just eat my yogurt…and my chips…and…”). I used to get so frustrated at myself for my poor willpower, for spending so much money going out to eat.
It did get a little better after diagnosis, but I was on a sliding scale and didn’t cover for snacks for a while, because my treatment plan was not great, so my BGs stayed high and my stomach was still growling a lot. I tried to live on nuts and cheese between meals. I tried to wait until time for lunch or dinner. But there’s only so long you can resist eating when you have no hope that you’ll stop being hungry any time soon.
Once I moved to an I/C ratio (and even better, a pump!), I found that I had more times when I wasn’t hungry. I still don’t feel FULL very often. It’s so irritating to just hope for the hunger to be gone, and it’s really difficult to know when I’ve eaten enough with out many “getting full” signals from my body. Even if I do get close to full, I sometimes continue eating a little bit, overshoot how many carbs I bolused for, and go high. I find that I feel full most often when eating Mediterranean food (grilled chicken, hummus, pita, rice) for some reason. So I request we go to our favorite Mediterranean restaurants a lot! 🙂
The real game changer has been Metformin. Of course, it’s upped my insulin sensitivity as well (which is helpful for me at this particular stage in my T1D journey). But my hunger levels have really improved. It’s easier to get out of the cycle of eating, blood sugar climbing, chasing with insulin, getting hungrier, eating, blood sugar climbing… Self control is much easier when I have some hope that there will come a time when I’m not hungry.
My problem isn’t solved, but it is so significantly better. I also definitely have some tendencies to use eating as a stress management method that have come to light since diagnosis. I still have a ton to learn, but Metformin and reminding myself not to snack to feel less stressed are helping.