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Type 1 diabetes and out of control food cravings/appetite
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Type 1 diabetes and out of control food cravings/appetite

I have had Type 1 diabetes for at least 22 years. I have struggled with very intense food cravings(even when I am not truly hungry or hypoglycemic) for as long as I can remember. I feel out of control of my appetite, even when my diabetes is under control. Why? Are the 2 related? Or am I just crazy?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, moxie!!  I'm not a medical professional or a dietician, just the parent of a kid with diabetes.  I don't think there is a correlation between food cravings and diabetes.  Have you talked to a dietician about changing the way you eat?  Maybe you need to find foods that might fill you up better so you wouldn't have that craving later?
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Avatar_n_tn
I know a symptom of diabetes is increased appeitte.  Craving are a way for our bodies to tell us its not getting something it needs, ( like potatoe chip craving, your not getting enough salt and so on).  I would talk to your dr about your increased appetite and cravings.  Something might be off balanced.  Good Luck.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with the above comments.  Something is off balance.  I would have my doctor do bloodwork to find out if you have some other hormonal issues like thyroid problems.  I had Graves disease, which is an overacitive thyroid(I have since had my thyroid removed) I don't remember if I had food cravings but I know I could eat more and not gain weight.  
I had many food issues while growing up-probably related to my diabetes, I have been diabetic for 26 years.  I would constanly think about food and want food-but my problem was more of a mental thing.  I had some anorexic tendencies and was bulimic.  It has taken me many years and alot of work on myself to feel good about myself.  I am not saying that you have food issues, but if you do, talking about it, working with a dietician and exercising regularly helped me.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I recently spoke to a medical professions student and I told them of my constant cravings just like you explained. They said they were told that type 1 diabetics often have trouble controlling their weight because they always feel hungry. He said it had something to do with taking insulin and I plan to ask my doctor next time I see her what is exactly going on. I also have the desire to eat everything in site when I'm hypoglycemic. Sorry I didn't explain why it happens, but I just wanted to let you know I have the same issue!
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Avatar_f_tn
My 13rd yr old daughter, diagnosed one year ago with Type 1, has developed these same intense cravings.  When she was younger, she had very little urge to eat sweets or salties (e.g., her halloween stash used to last the full year).  Since onset of diabetes, and puberty, her appetite has ramped up incredibly, for junk food as well as good food.  Her pediatrician says it is due to puberty-related hormonal and cellular changes.  Sure is tough for her - just when she is needing to take the most control of her intake, her body seems to be constantly demanding that she go out-of-control!
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Avatar_f_tn
There could be many reasons for your food cravings. Yes, insulin can increase appetite and weight gain (you don't say if you are gaining) but that can be controlled by watching your carb intake and not "feeding the insulin"( taking more bolus to cover high carb intake). I disagree that cravings always indicate dietary needs. They certainly can do so, but sometimes we have cravings for things that we do NOT need. Sugar and carbohydrate cravings are legendary and they are physiological in nature. Both those things can be highly addictive, and the more we give in to those cravings the stronger they grow. When we stop feeding those cravings by eliminating sugar from our diet and reducing carb intake, the cravings decrease.

Cravings can also be very much psychological. Controlling our food is part of the territory for diabetics, and control brings up emotional issues and can even lead to eating disorders. To oversimplify a complex issue: When we feel deprived of something we want we often crave that thing even more.

I agree with what several people have already said that you need to figure out what is going on. Being constantly hungry is no fun! You don 't say anything about what you diet is like so maybe you are hungry because you aren't getting enough nutrients. So consulting a dietician will really help you figure out what is going on there. If on the other hand you are eating very high carb and bolusing for it, you are setting up a vicious cycle you need to break.

The first key is to see if something is going on medically (talk to your doctor). The next is to examine your diet with a dietician or diabetic educator. Then look at the emotional components of what is going on by talking with someone who knows you. If you find the majority of it is emotional and a dietition doesn't help you might want to consider therapy or a diabtic support group.
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