Why does diabetes cause excessive hunger?

The tendency of excessive hunger among diabetes patients is because their muscles are not getting the energy they need from the food as their body’s insulin resistance keeps glucose from entering the muscle and providing energy. Therefore, the muscles and other tissues send a “hunger” message, trying to get more energy into the body.

Polyphagia’ is the medical term used to describe excessive hunger or increased appetite and is one of the main signs of diabetes. 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 is unable to 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.

Increased appetite can also be caused by abnormally low blood glucose (hypoglycemia). If blood glucose readings fall below 4 mmol/l, the body usually responds by releasing stored glucose from the liver to raise glucose levels back to normal.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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