Does hunger go away as A1C is lowered?

Hi, I’ve been a T1D for about 14 years now. I’m 22 years old and recently I’ve been extremely hungry all the time and can’t keep up with it. I know high blood sugars can cause hunger and my A1C is above 10 and I’m trying to lower it. It’s slowly getting better but will the excessive hunger subside?

a Resounding Yes.
when my sugar was high, I could not stop eating. I craved and ate food until I was physically sick.
only now that my sugar is under tight control, did they finally stop.
use that as an incentive to get your numbers under better control. I know its not easy, but you will feel so much, both physically and emotionally.

Hi Lauren @Laurkatehamm, your “… been extremely hungry” simply means that your body is doing exactly what it should be doing in spite of the fact that your body [your autoimmune system] is attacking and killing off your insulin producing beta calls.

When your body thinks that your cells are being starved - the hunger sensors - a substance is released that tells you to eat more - even if you have been eating constantly - your “extreme hunger”. Yes, you have been eating but because of lack of the necessary amount of insulin or, your body’s inability to use the insulin [naturally produced or injected] your body cells are unable to utilize the nutrients and sugars accumulating in your body. Your HbA1c of 10 [or above] indicates that your average BGL [body glucose level] over the prior 2,160 +/- hours was about 240 mg/dl [or higher]. You are probably aware that when your body “starving” cells think that you are not eating [because they can not absorb sugar from your blood] they tell your body to break down stored fats - the breakdown of the fats and other body components produces acetone, a deadly poison - this has conveniently become known as DKA.

My thoughts, and I’m not a medical doctor, are that you are not properly calculating the insulin dose needed for your body requirement [background insulin or basal] and for your food consumption [[bolus] OR, you may have developed an insulin resistance. I suggest that you consult with your doctor and/or diabetes educator to discover the best way for you to move forward. The solution may be as simple as adjusting [or learning] your insulin sensitivity for different times of day, counting carbohydrates correctly and learning how to adjust your insulin doses. If your doctor is able to determine “insulin resistance”, she may find it advisable to prescribe a medicine to alleviate the resistance.

Good luck to you - and lets keep talking. And I see you just joined yesterday, so A Warm Welcome to TypeOneNation. We ar here to hear from you and listen.

Thank you so much! I appreciate the detailed and informed answer.

In regards to insulin resistance; what if I accurately correct for a high blood sugar and my body adjusts correspondingly and my my blood sugar levels. Does that mean I’m not insulin resistant?

In my opinion, yes.

When I went on to mention insulin resistance, I was assuming that you were already trying to regulate your blood sugar through “normal” correction bolus. Do you use a pump or is your management method a lon-acting background insulin with meal and correction bolus shots?

Yes, I have a CGM now and I bolus using fast acting insulin (humalog) shots plus a long acting insulin (lantus). My sugars are gradually getting better.

Lauren, it is good to hear that your glucose is getting better - in a more normal range. You are probably in much better shape, diabetes wise, than I was in those reckless days at age 22 - I just didn’t care and the only doctor I saw at that time was the Navy doctor who rejected me and my ability to serve the Country.
Possibly, with use of your CGM you could become a little more aggressive in your management - but be careful and NOT overdose, stack insulin. For some time, and before I recently got a workable CGM, I have used small amounts of rapid-acting [Novolog or Humalog depending on which is on the insurance carrier’s formulary] to correct a higher than I want BG and snacks [often granola bars] to keep me from going too low.

[ I began this procedure long before I heard of Dr. Steven Ponder, an endocrinologist who has had diabetes for more than 50 years, who wrote a book called “Sugar Surfing” and also teaches his method at seminars. ] I don’t have any affiliation with Dr. Ponder [other than he recently joined the Joslin Medalists group of which I am a member, or any connection to Sugar Surfing enterprise.

If you want some ideas, and encouragement, I suggest that you look into “Sugar Surfing” and use the methods completely or partially.
I’d also suggest that you check the effectiveness of your Lantus background insulin by refraining from eating [unless you go low, and by not using Humalog for an extended period - say have a usual supper and not eat again until lunch the next day. Watch your CGM and see if you can see any pattern - I find the DexCom Clarity reports - especially the three choices under “Data” to be really informative.