Polyphagia

Increased Appetite and Diabetes

This is one of the main three tell-tale symptoms of diabetes, the others being polyuria and polydipsia. It is basically a highly increased appetite and can be a sign of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Polyphagia and Diabetes

There are many things that could cause polyphagia, including depression, but even healthy things such as exercise can cause it. Polyphagia is a complication of diabetes, as diabetics suffer from many issues that can cause polyphagia.

  • Hypoglycemia: Low blood sugar levels require the system to have an ingestion of glucose. The natural way for this to happen is through eating, so it makes sense for the body to feel excessively hungry when this happens.
  • Hyperglycemia: Ironically, having high blood sugar levels can also cause hunger. This is because when the body to becomes hyperglycemic, it is not absorbing any glucose through a lack of insulin or because of high insulin resistance. The consequence of this is that the body thinks it needs more food, and so makes you feel hungry.

Polyphagia can be distinguished from normal or healthy hunger by it not going away even after eating.

When to see the Doctor when you have a very high appetite

An increased appetite can be caused by many things, but if it is a persistent hunger you are experiencing over a sustained period of time, it is advisable to see a healthcare professional.

What If I Already Have Diabetes?

If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, then polyphagia could well be a sign that your blood glucose levels are too high. You should take a blood glucose test to see what your levels are at, and see a healthcare professional for advice on how to remain in control of your blood glucose levels better in future.

Other diabetic symptoms/complications to be aware of