Addicted to High Blood Sugar

I'm a T1 diabetic and I tend to be a food abuser. Eating for me has always been a way to deal with stress. When I'm stressed with my family or work, I overeat. When I'm tired, I overeat. If I'm bored, I will overeat. When overeating I almost always don't take sufficiently extra insulin to cover the extra carbs and my blood sugar skyrockets. In someways I feel like I am a drug addict, except my drugs are breakfast cereal, pizza, donuts, noodles, cookies, etc. I wonder if I am addicted to high blood sugar because of the difficulties I have with overeating. I never feel satiated after a meal, no matter how much I eat. It isn't like alcohol or other drugs where you can go "cold turkey" and avoid situations where it will be consumed by others. How to you run away from food? It's everywhere! How can you stop thinking about it when you have to put so much thought into meal planning and counting carbs? I know it's a will-power problem; Where do you get more will-power? My wife oscillates back and forth between not caring and getting angry and disappointed about how I am managing my diabetes. I've got to do this myself.

Any advice is most welcome.

Compulsive overeating, IMHO, has nothing to do with "will-power" and everything to do with addiction. I, too, suffer from the same addiction. I tried everything, for years, and couldn't get it under control. Finally, in sheer desperation, I went to an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, and that is where I found help and support. It took a while, and my compulsion isn't under perfect control, but I've managed to lose 25 pounds and keep it off for nearly 8 years. Even better...before I went to OA,my A1c's were averaging 7.2-7.4 (on a pump). Since I joined OA, they've come down, first to the high 6's (6.7-6.9), and in the past couple of years, I routinely get A1c's of 6.1 to 6.3...and that's without any major lows.

The program isn't for everyone, certainly, but if nothing else has worked for you, you might want to give them a try. And, if you do, try a few different meetings. There are different formats, and some groups are more welcoming than others. There are even some men-only groups if you'd be more comfortable there. OA isn't simply a weight loss program; in fact, that's only a small part of it. But the principles and tools OA offers will help you deal with tiredness, stress, boredom, etc.

Good luck, Jess...and know that you're not alone!


Ruth is riight on. Find some help with your eating issues first and foremost. It sounds like you know how and want to control your D, but are sabotaging your best efforts with old bad habits.

I did much the same, but can't claim addiction. However; I know myself well enough thhat thhe first thing we did after coming home from the doctor with the DDX was to pack up all the inappropriate foods and call the kids over to take them away.. I can't eat it if it isnot there. To whatever extent you and your family can do this it is a good idea.

Right now I am using my 60 inch TV as a computer because it is large enough for me to see. Thing is I still have to get within 6-8 inches of the screen to read it. I can't drive. My hearing is bad. I need a cane to walk safely. My hands and feet are numb and I can't sense changes in temperature. I could go on, but I think you get the picture. My complications are my motivation. Sit back, take a deep breath and ask yourself if avoiding these inevitable disabilities is worth the fight.

And, you are right, it is entirely up to you.

"Addiction" is exactly the right word. There is ample and growing scientific evidence that high levels of dietary carbohydrate act to maintain and increase cravings. That's almost the definition of addiction. You're not imagining things.

As others have indicated, it's necessary to break the cycle somehow, using whatever tools work for you -- diet, support group, medication, whatever. My own experience is that when I switched to a low carb diet, the cravings persisted for a week or ten days and then fell off sharply. Many others report similar experiences.

You can lick this!

As others have said, this is not your fault and you are definitely not alone. I have been battling the same things you talk about since I was a teenager, and it wasn't until I was in grad school that I really started to wake up and realize that I needed to do something to get my life and my happiness back.

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the reason why I was overeating, and for me, a lot of it had to do with the trauma of diagnosis and an underlying feeling that, since that time, my doctors, my mother, and my stupid glucose meter had more control over what when into my mouth, and when, than I did. So, in that way, the overeating was a completely logical (if self-destructive) way of asserting my own freedom, *my* control over *my* life.

But in the end, the sugary, carb-laden food I was consuming seemed to be tying my hands just as much as any authority figure could have done. I wasn't happy, I didn't feel attractive, and I isolated myself from other people so that I could eat in secrecy. I was overweight, depressed, and my blood glucose levels were horrendous -- when I was even testing. Because who wants to know what one's bloodsugar is after eating an entire box of Zebra Cakes?

The only way I could get free of that was to retrain my brain to respond in different ways to my own emotions. For me, part of that process was writing and part of it was yoga. If you want to know the details of any of that, feel free to message me privately. But I think anything that allows you to figure out the "whys" and which makes you feel fulfilled can take the place of either one of those tings.

One author whose books have really helped me is Geneen Roth, who writes about compulsive eating and recovery from it. She's written a bunch, but the one I started with was, Breaking Free from Emotional Eating." Though not everything she talks about applies to me, there is enough wisdom in her words that I was able to start my own healing process.

And while I still have days when all I want to do is binge on Oreos, the part of my brain that cares about me and my future usually wins out.

Eating is so fundamental to our survival as human beings, it becomes complicated when we abuse food for emotional reasons. I hesitate to give advice here since my eating troubles have been more garden variety diabetes related.

But from my perspective, you need to take ownership of this situation, gather all the allies you need (like support groups or even counseling), and tackle the problem head on. It will not be easy but your reward will be living longer with fewer diabetes complications.

The hardest addiction that I had to conquer was cigarettes. I took pride in beating an addiction that had ruled my life for too many years. I realize that conquering a food addiction is tougher, since everyone needs food to live.

I went low carb two years ago and after about two weeks of exercising willpower, I lost the craving for carbs. It was way easier than quitting smoking.

I feel your pain, although I can not relate to high carb overeating, I do struggle with binges on low carb as well. We've discussed it here a month ago, and I could see that it is not only me who never feels satiated after the meals. Ichase that feeling of being satisfied with food, and don't get it.
I can overeat on nuts, they are low carb. I can overeat on butter. Doesn't matter. Although you will feel positive change with low carb, mostly for your BG, it is the other part that is hard.
Read a brain over binge book, it helps a lot. Intuitive Eating helps some people as well, but it teaches to listen to the hunger signals. I need to learn how to ignore them, I never feel non-hungry :( And I've been doing this only for about a year.