Does Insulin Make You Hungry All the Time?

Okay, so it came up on another thread that someone mentioned one of the disadvantages of insulin therapy was being ravenously hungry all the time; having terrible hunger pangs. I would like to do kind of a an informal survey, and ask IDPWD if they have any of these symptoms, and how you manage them.

I understand that naturally, when we are very low, the insulin response from our bodies is to induce hunger so that we go eat! And that is a normal process... but, I had never heard of insulin being injected (at least properly) to constantly cause this effect? Your experiences?

Thanks! :)

I have been taking insulin since I was 9 so don’t know how my “before” and “after” experiences differ, but I do know I have problems with food and snacking. I think part of this is because I grew up during the old R and NPH days when diets were extremely regimented and thus I never developed a sense of what hunger felt like nor eating until I was satisfied and then stopping. I ate what I had to eat to feed the insulin and could not eat more or less depending on whether I felt like it, nor could I choose to skip a snack time or not eat if I went low.

Another possible reason for “insulin causing hunger” may not be due to insulin at all but rather amylin, since people who don’t produce insulin also don’t produce amylin, and amylin DOES have a profound effect on controlling appetite and satiety. I have never used Symlin (synthetic amylin) since it’s not available in Canada, but I have heard from all of those who have taken it that it has a huge effect on their appetite.

Type 1 for 17 years. Insulin does not make me constantly hungry. I do get hungry when I go really low, but just my regular insulin regimen does not make me constantly hungry. But, that being said, everyone’s bodies are different in how they react to things, etc., etc. Hope that’s helpful!

Hmmm. Not exactly sure? I definitely AM hungry all the time, but have been on Insulin for nearly 18 years, so can’t really remember prior to insulin therapy? I’d like to know though! My understanding is that diabetics may also lack Amylin, a hormone that signals the brain that you are full?

I’m hungry all the time, too (okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but I get hungry even after eating supposedly healthy, filling meals … complex carbs, fibre, protein). I’ve been on insulin 23 years, but this hunger thing started a couple of years ago. Very frustrating. Can’t say I’m keen to start injecting Symlin (yeah, it needs to be injected), even if it were available in Canada, but some kind of natural, non-invasive solution would be great.

Insulin doesn’t make me hungry & I don’t have hunger pangs. Even when low I’ve never hunger pangs, but do want to empty the refigerator. There would be a whole lot of people walking around ravenous if insulin made us feel famished.

Gotta wonder what the person who brought this up is doing, or not doing to feel this way.

I didn’t really have terrible pains but I was never full and always craving sweet stuff! I could eat a large meal and an hour later be looking for something else. I’ve been puttin on weight slowly over the years and using more and more insulin. I joined the Y and was able to lose some of the pounds but it didn’t help at all with the hunger. I started Symlin about 6 weeks ago and it’s amazing!!

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Any side affects of Symlin misschievous? How often do you inject it? I’ve had tons of issues with weight gain and insulin resistance, and just can’t lose any! Wondering if this could help?

I may not know the difference (have been on insulin 34 years) but, I don’t believe insulin makes me constantly hungry. The feeling of being low makes me want to eat anything and everything but as long as I am within range, I am ok.

None so far! It’s like a miracle!! I eat about half of what I used to and use WAY less insulin. It stings a little but I don’t even mind injecting it for as much as it’s helping me. It’s kinda spendy (the same $50 copay as my Humalog) but worth it I think. I don’t eat breakfast so I generally take it twice a day with meals or sometimes 3 times if I have a big snack. I’d definitely look into it more as it sounds like you are having the same kind of issues I am. My doctor gave me a voucher for a free box of two pens to start with so I wasn’t out any money by trying it. (Pen needles don’t come with the trial though, I had to call the doc and get a separate prescription for those).

That’s great to hear! The person who suggested insulin makes you hungry – said her doctor told her this… Which I found kind of iffy, but I thought I would ask all of you, anyway… I am glad there is an option for the amylin situation. Wonderful to hear you are doing so well. :slight_smile:

Doesn’t make me hungry, just prone to gaining weight now

I was extremely hungry when I was trying to take carbs above 30 gm - or a cookie - I always wanted more. Now that I include protein and eat lowered carbs, I’m not hungry.
Insulin doesn’t make me hungry unless I go low, and that’s so seldom I don’t remember the last time. . Carbs make me hungry, unless I keep the intake of them nice and low…

If the insulin we take is the same as the insulin we make, why would it make us any more hungry than “normal” people? It’s probably phycological.

Injected insulin isn’t the same as natural insulin. It doesn’t contain amylin or C-peptides & perhaps other components as well.

A functioning pancreas & no insulin resistance also produces the exact amount that’s needed to keep BG constant & at the correct rate. Far different than injecting.

Well, it doesn’t make me hungry.

Yay! So happy it’s doing wonders for you! I’ll ask my endo the next time I see her. I’m very interested in anything that will help!

I’m the same as you Blain - just when I’m low is when I want to eat everything and the bathrooom door! Before I started to really understand diabetes (am still l learning after all these years) - I had to sometimes force myself to eat because the insulin was demanding that I eat. Now with the new insulins, and getting that basal rate perfected, I actually can say that I experience hunger pangs from time to time, but because of long term programming in me, it only occurs around the usual meal time hours (tho’ breakfast for me has never been a big time for me to eat - and I’ve met up with other PWD’s that are the same as me - and also nonD’s). Maybe for someone who gets diabetes later in life, like Jennifer says above, they feel hunger pangs more, but for myself, I’ve been diabetic perhaps too long to really know. Does that sound sad to some of you who are newbies? Hope not, I’m used to it.

Pre-symlin, high BG (>140) made me hungry. I knew my BG was getting high when I’d start feeling hungry. I never felt “hungry” as in ready for dinner.
Now I’m almost never hungry - even 16 hr after symlin. I just don’t feel that way anymore. I hope it stays that way!
I get a little bit “hungry” still when the BG starts to raise, but I can assuage that with water. So, it’s more of a feeling that I need something in the gullet, I suppose.

Insulin makes me hungry when I’m going low( i.e., too much insulin on board) Other than that, my hunger has always been normal hunger.