Why do I want to eat when I’m high?

Due to some bad decisions and poor timing, my blood sugar is at 337 mg/dl. The bad decisions have to do with a co-worker bringing in some more goodies, and me deciding to eat some!

The poor timing has to do with the fact that the bolus I took for said goodies is/was not nearly fast enough to take the edge off the spike in blood sugar.

My question is this. My blood sugar is really high, and my stomach is full of goodies – why do I have this urge to eat more of something? I’m not hungry, but all I can think about is what I want to eat! Some salty high carb food. Crackers, chips, stuff like that.

I believe that it has to do with the “feel good” chemicals that our brains produce. I feel crappy because I’m high, so my brain is trying to convince me to eat more carbs to make me feel good! To get that temporary endorphin high that comes along with eating something good (and for me that usually does not mean good for me).

I have mentioned before, and I’ll say it again here – it is cruel and unusual punishment to make me want to eat when my BG is high.


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12 thoughts on “Why do I want to eat when I’m high?

  1. Scott:

    I just checked your A1C records…dude! I hate to tell you this, but my AIC has stayed below 6.3 (non diabetic levels) for the past 5 years. How do I do this? In part, by drinking more than one gallon of water each day. How much water do you drink? Don’t believe me? Ask you doctor or experiment on yourself with before/after drinking water blood tests.

    Just thought you should know…

    Ride on!

  2. Back in India I used to hear folks say that when you have cravings it is your toungue wanting more and not your stomach.
    Now Dealing with Diabetes, I understand part of this concept. When I am high, I feel sleepy and down. I hate that and want some feel good stuff, which just happens to be sugary. Latel;y I am choosing cheese cake. As long as I skip the bread part of the cake, I seem to do OK. Must be all that fat in there.
    My waistline is beginnignt o show an impact though. I am resigned to a higher A1C this visit

  3. Scott,

    Oh, can I ever feel your (hunger) pains…pangs… whatever..

    Last week I unknowingly didn’t reconnect properly after my pre-dinner workout. So I ate dinner and then checked 2 hours later and clocked in at 436. And you know what my first thought was? How many units should I add to my correction so that I can still eat a bowl of ice cream? Of cousre, then my paranoid side took over and I loaded up with enough units to plummet me to the low of all lows and spent the next 2 hours sulking in my room, curled up in bed with my meter. My bs came down, and I managed not to eat anything (with the exception of gnawing off most of my fingernails) until it finally came down to 70, at which time I grabbed a chew crackers and a piece of cheese to prevent a complete bottoming out.

    If I had been, say, 275, however, I probably would have loaded up with extra units to cover my muchnies. It makes no sense to me when I look at my logs and see that I’m eat 20+ carbs when I’m 250+ and then not eating anything when I’m clocking in with a Post Prand. at under 180…. perhaps I’m just a glutten for punishment??? I don’t know…

    I wish I had words of wisdom, but all I can manage to eek out is a good whine of empathy… 🙂 I’m right there with ya


  4. I asked my CDE once why on could be hungry with high bg. He said it was because although you bg is high the cells are not getting the sugar. When the cells scream for more insulin you get hungry. He explained it something like that. I have discovered that hunger has to be totally ignored. I am hungry when the bg is too low (then you have to careful about overeating), when the bg is too high (then eating will just make you hungrier until you feel like total shit and have ketones) and finally I am hungry when the bg is dropping quickly. I hate being hungry so my number one goal is to keep the bg level. That is why I work my butt off to achieve it. I have noticed that I am terribly hungry right after a meal. I want to eat more and more – so I tend to eat a huge salad, which often gives me a stomach ache. I am rather stupid, but the hunger feeling is so strong! I think I am hungry b/c at this time the insulin is dropping faster than I digest my meal. I think my stomach empties very slowly.

  5. It IS a cruel joke! It IS! I’m sorry you’re the one to experience it today. Hope tomorrow is better, and that you get to eat when you’re hungry!

  6. maybe thats where the “craving sugar, must be a diabetic” line of thought comes from..
    It happens to me occasionally, its such a weird feeling.

  7. Scott,
    I am completely feeling you on this. It isn’t like I really get hungry when my blood sugar is high, it is more like I get the rabid munchies and the ONLY thing that will satisfy my munch is massive amounts of sugar sugar sugar. I had this happen to me last night. We had meatloaf Wellington (oh holy heavens was it ever tasty!) but it was the first time I’d ever had it and since I tend to run low early evening I was pretty conservative with my bolus and ended up with a 250 1 hr pp and a 310!! 2 hr pp. I had a correction bolus party last night, and the ENTIRE time I was high, the only thing I could think about was getting low enough to have some honey nut o’s (CEREAL!) so I could bang it right back up again. What is wrong with me? And just to make it worse, my “low enough to have honey cereal” was 209…….

  8. Scott, this happened to me the other day as well, and I felt awful about it…like, I know this is wrong but I’m going to do it anyway.

    It was almost an “out of body” experience. LOL

    Anyway, afterwards I just I just did a few “oh craps” and started over the next day.

    It actually has taken me a few days to feel like I’m back to quasi-normal. :s

  9. Sometimes I know Riley is high before I even test him because he’s so darn hungry. I don’t know why that is, but it is very cruel.

  10. It is cruel and unusual punishment for co-workers to bring in treats (yeah, I read your response to Sarah’s post).
    In addtion to whatever causes the physiological hunger when high, I also have a little troll that says “f–k, you’re already high, why not have some more–what difference will it make–you can start ‘being good’ tomorrow, so make the most of the opportunity now”.

  11. Biggest side effect of too high blood sugar that few understand.

    My endo gets it, but I haven’t met any other doctor that does. Thus they don’t understand the uncontrolled Type 2 who constantly craves sugar.

    Much less that Type 1…

    And yeah, I’ve blogged about it too.