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What To Do When A Diabetic Has No Appetite


Type 1 Diabetes And Exercise

How to Stop Diabetes Hunger? Or Stimulate Diabetes Appetite? Get Back to Normal in 2021

People with type 1 diabetes benefit from exercise, but they need to take precautions to prevent sudden drops in blood glucose levels. Diabetics should check their blood sugars before exercising and may require eating a snack before or during exercise. They may need to adjust their insulin dosage before exercising to ensure they stay within normal ranges of blood glucose. People with type 1 diabetes may also need to check their urine for ketones รข ketones suggest that your blood sugar is too high. Strenuous activity needs to be avoided if ketones are detected or if your blood sugar level is either high or low before exercise.

Loss Of Appetite Dangerous For Diabetics

Monday, September 14, 2015

Q: Dear Donovan,

I enjoy your column and see where you give advice to people who want to lose weight, and some of the advice is given to people with lifestyle diseases such as diabetes. However, my issue is a bit different. What if you’re a diabetic who is losing too much weight and whose appetite is waning? How can this be treated?


A: Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease which interferes with the body’s ability to control the blood glucose level. Diabetes can cause a number of symptoms including a loss of appetite, which can last for a few days. In your specific situation I wish you had given me more information. For example, are you currently on medication for diabetes? How did your loss of appetite occur: gradually or sudden? What do you eat on a daily basis? Also, are you exercising? Furthermore, are you having any stomach pain, vomiting or feeling nauseous?

Overall, it is very important to find out the underlying cause of your lack of appetite. I would strongly suggest that you consult with your doctor. Until your appetite returns to normal you are at great risk of malnutrition and other health problems.

In diabetes mellitus, the body does not produce enough insulin or functional insulin. The cells are therefore unable to properly use glucose to produce energy. As a result, the body will break down fat for energy. This further results in the production of ketones, which can make the body acidic as well as reduce the appetite.

Good luck!

What Does Diabetes Do To The Kidneys

With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body are injured. When the blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, your kidneys cannot clean your blood properly. Your body will retain more water and salt than it should, which can result in weight gain and ankle swelling. You may have protein in your urine. Also, waste materials will build up in your blood.


Diabetes also may cause damage to nerves in your body. This can cause difficulty in emptying your bladder. The pressure resulting from your full bladder can back up and injure the kidneys. Also, if urine remains in your bladder for a long time, you can develop an infection from the rapid growth of bacteria in urine that has a high sugar level.

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What Are The Symptoms

Some symptoms of hypoglycemia are caused when the body releases extra adrenaline , a hormone that raises blood sugar levels, into the bloodstream to protect against hypoglycemia. High blood levels of adrenaline can make the skin become pale and sweaty, and a person can also have symptoms such as shakiness, anxiety, and heart palpitations .

Other symptoms of hypoglycemia are caused when not enough glucose gets to the brain in fact, the brain is the organ that suffers most significantly and most rapidly when there’s a drop in blood sugar. These symptoms include headache, extreme hunger, blurry or double vision, fatigue, and weakness. At its most severe, insufficient glucose flow to the brain can cause confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness .

The Effects Of Insulin On The Central Nervous System

17 Signs You Might Have Diabetes

The effects of insulin on the central nervous system–focus on appetiteregulation. Pliquett RU, Fhrer D, Falk S, Zysset S, von Cramon DY, Stumvoll M. University of Leipzig, Faculty of Medicine, III. Medical Department, Leipzig, Germany. Appetite and satiety are subject to complex regulation, with neuroendocrinemechanisms playing an important role. The central nervous system is attractingincreasing attention as a target tissue for many hormones such as leptin,PYY3-36, ghrelin, glucagon-like-peptide 1 and many others. Among its manywell-known functions, insulin is also a potent anorexigenic hormone, and insulin receptors are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system. One wayto advance our understanding of central nervous regulation of hunger and satiety in humans is to develop suitable neuroimaging techniques for use in variousclinical and experimental conditions. Several studies have been performed usingfunctional magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography toidentify areas of the brain that are differentially activated by alteration ofthe feeding state. These preliminary data are taking shape as a complex neuronal network involving the hypothalamus, thalamus, limbic and paralimbic areasincluding the insular cortex and the anterior cingulate gyrus and theorbitofrontal cortex. Continuous efforts to understand hormonal effects on these pathways may advance our understanding of human obesity.Continue reading > >


Also Check: Does Type 2 Diabetes Need Insulin

Are There Different Types Of Diabetes

The most common ones are Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children. It is also called juvenile onset diabetes mellitus or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In this type, your pancreas does not make enough insulin and you have to take insulin injections for the rest of your life.

Type 2 diabetes, which is more common, usually occurs in people over 40 and is called adult onset diabetes mellitus. It is also called non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. In Type 2, your pancreas makes insulin, but your body does not use it properly. The high blood sugar level often can be controlled by following a diet and/or taking medication, although some patients must take insulin. Type 2 diabetes is particularly prevalent among African Americans, American Indians, Latin Americans and Asian Americans.

33% of drivers next to you on a busy highway could be at risk for kidney disease.

Are you the 33%? Take the Kidney Risk quiz to find out.


Be Supportive Not Pushy

You can help your loved one most by reminding yourself that cachexia is a common symptom of many illnesses and one that can be difficult to reverse.

While people struggling with a serious illness may want to eat, symptoms such as the lack of appetite, gastrointestinal symptoms, and mouth sores may stand in their way of doing so. Pushing them to eat only adds to the frustration they’re already dealing with.

Isolating someone who isn’t hungry can cause depression and loneliness. To encourage eating, make mealtimes an opportunity to socialize.

Even if eating is difficult, invite your loved one to the dinner table or recruit family members and friends to share meals at the bedside. Doing so may enhance their appetite.

Always set realistic goals and celebrate every small achievement. By being supportive, you allow your loved one to be a part of the solution rather than being told what to do.


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Is Your Dog A Puppy

A young, healthy puppy shouldnt go more than a few hours without eating.

Small breed puppies, especially, are at a high risk of hypoglycemia and should be watched closely for signs of lethargy or collapse if they are not eating. If this happens, they should be treated on an emergency basis.

Some puppies may not like larger kibble, as it can be hard for their puppy teeth to chew, especially if they are just transitioning to solid food. This can be remedied by mixing in water and letting it soak to create more of a porridge consistency, or the kibble can be mixed with canned food as well.

If your puppy still will not eat, they should be seen right away by a veterinarian. If they are also lethargic, vomiting, or having diarrhea, they should be seen on an emergency basis.


What Are The Late Signs Of Kidney Disease In Patients With Diabetes

How to Manage Your Diabetes When You’re Sick?

As your kidneys fail, your blood urea nitrogen levels will rise as well as the level of creatinine in your blood. You may also experience nausea, vomiting, a loss of appetite, weakness, increasing fatigue, itching, muscle cramps and anemia . You may find you need less insulin. This is because diseased kidneys cause less breakdown of insulin. If you develop any of these signs, call your doctor.

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Other Causes Of Polyphagia Unrelated To Diabetes

If none of the diabetes-related causes of excessive hunger apply to you, there are certainly other causes to consider.

  • Eating disorders: bulimia, anorexia
  • Prader-Willi Syndrome

If you suspect any of these factors may be contributing to your polyphagia, talk to your healthcare team about getting the support you need to manage or treat these issues.

What Causes A Loss Of Appetite

Normally most people have a regular desire to eat food – an ‘appetite’. Eating is an essential part of life, giving us the energy and nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. If you lose your appetite, there is usually a reason behind it, and it often has a medical or psychological cause. Most often, having no appetite is a short-term problem. Most of us have experienced this with a flu-like viral illness or tummy bug , or in times of extreme stress . Sometimes, however, it can go on for longer. In this case it may signify a more important medical problem.


There are many reasons why appetite may be lost. Some are serious conditions, others are not. Possible causes include:

  • Infection. This includes short-term infections and more long-lasting infections such as tuberculosis or HIV. Usually there will be other symptoms specific to the infection.
  • Feeling out of breath.

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Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels Treatment

For people with diabetes, complications that can damage organs can be prevented or reduced by regulating their blood sugar level. This is done by pricking the finger and putting a drop of blood on a test strip. The strip is then placed in a monitor that reads the glucose level. Close monitoring of glucose levels allows you to regulate your blood sugar by either medication if the sugar is high, or taking in sugar if the level is low. If you are able to keep blood sugar levels in or near the normal range, you will decrease the likelihood of developing complications and have more energy and fewer problems related to diabetes.

What Will Happen If My Kidneys Have Been Damaged

Can Diabetes Cause Loss Of Appetite

First, the doctor needs to find out if your diabetes has caused the injury. Other diseases can cause kidney damage. Your kidneys will work better and last longer if you:

  • Control your diabetes
  • Get treatment for urinary tract infections
  • Correct any problems in your urinary system
  • Avoid any medicines that may damage the kidneys

If no other problems are found, your doctor will try to keep your kidneys working as long as possible. The use of high blood pressure medicines called angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors has been shown to help slow the loss of kidney function.


Read Also: Can Skinny Person Get Diabetes

Measuring Blood Glucose Levels

There is a test called the hemoglobin A1c blood test that is used to help determine how well a person is managing their blood glucose levels. This test is taken at the doctor’s office and measures how well the blood sugar has been controlled over a 2- to 3-month span. If the results show poor blood sugar control , this suggests that the person’s insulin therapy, dietary habits, and/or physical activity be modified to lower blood sugar levels into a more healthy and normal range.

What Causes Type 1 Diabetes

When the body’s immune system destroys beta cells in part of the pancreas, type 1 diabetes develops. Beta cells in the pancreas produce insulin. Researchers are not sure why a person’s immune system attacks its own insulin-producing cells. However, researchers and clinicians suspect that genetic susceptibility and environmental factors raise the risk for developing type 1 diabetes.

Scientists have identified genes and gene regions that raise the risk of developing type 1 diabetes, but they are not the only factors that cause the disease. Researchers suggest that environmental triggers such as a viral infection or perhaps dietary or pregnancy-related factors may also play a role in developing type 1 diabetes.

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Will Your Dog Drink Water

If your dog will drink water but wont eat, it may be due to nausea, stress, or mouth pain. If they are able to keep the water down, that is a good sign. However, if they are vomiting after drinking water, they should be seen by a veterinarian right away, as this could indicate severe nausea or an intestinal obstruction. If they go longer than 24 hours without eating, even if they are still drinking, they should be examined by their vet to determine the underlying cause of their inappetence.

If your dog has not eaten or drank in 24 hours or more, they should be seen by a veterinarian right away in order to be assessed and treated for likely dehydration, and to investigate the underlying cause of their unwillingness to eat or drink.

Anything that can cause a dog to feel ill, such as kidney disease, pancreatitis, intestinal parasites, liver disease, cancer, infection, intestinal obstruction, etc., can lead a dog to refuse food and water. Like humans, dogs cannot go for more than a few days without water, so this should be treated seriously.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

How to Get A Dog With No Appetite to Eat (A Simple Solution)
  • Ive never been diagnosed with diabetes, but I have many of the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis. Do I have diabetes?
  • Im having a hard time controlling my blood sugar levels. Am I at risk of diabetic ketoacidosis?
  • Will diet and exercise help me to avoid diabetic ketoacidosis?
  • If I notice Im having symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis, what should I do first?
  • Is it safe for me to exercise?
  • How often should I check my blood sugar level if Im sick?
  • What is the best way for me to check the ketone level in my body?
  • I missed a dose of insulin. Should I start testing my blood sugar level and ketone level right away?

Also Check: Diabetes Type 2 Life Expectancy

Planning For Sick Days

Your diabetes management plan will help you know what to do when you’re sick. The plan might tell you:


  • how to check your blood glucose levels and ketones when you’re sick
  • which medicines are OK to take
  • what changes you might make to your food and drink and diabetes medicines
  • when to call your doctor

Also, people with diabetes should get the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against some serious infections. You also should get a flu vaccine every year. These vaccines may help cut down the number of sick days you have and keep your diabetes under better control.

Did Your Dog Just Have Surgery

It is not unusual for your dog to skip a meal or two after a surgery. The medications used for sedation and anesthesia commonly cause nausea and a decreased appetite, and medications that they may go home on, such as pain medications and/or antibiotics can also suppress the appetite.

You may try tempting your dog to eat with a spoonful of canned food or boneless, skinless, boiled chicken on top of their kibble. Better yet, ask your veterinarian for a few cans of a prescription gastrointestinal diet to feed for the first few days after surgery. These foods are highly palatable, are easily digestible, and can help counteract some of the gastrointestinal upset that can happen after surgery and anesthesia.

If your dog had oral or facial surgery, your veterinarian may recommend feeding only canned food for two or more weeks. This also means that your dog should not receive hard treats or chew on hard toys until they are declared healed at their recheck appointment. If your dog is refusing to eat the prescribed canned food, reach out to your veterinarian in case there are any post-operative complications.

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Other Tips For Treating Anorexia Or Appetite Loss

Contrary to conventional belief, loss of appetite is not an eating disorder and is usually a symptom of a greater health problem, especially among the elderly.

Other ways to stimulate appetite in the elderly and others with a particular disease include:

  • Keeping busy on a regular basis, and participate in group activities like artwork or other hobbies. As a result, the person will experience reduced depression and desire food when it is time to eat.
  • Try mind-body exercises, such as meditation, yoga, qigong, or tai chi. These will create inner peace and help stimulate the desire to nourish the body.
  • Spend valuable time outdoors in nature, including walking, hiking, or gardening. Going barefoot is called earthing, and it can also help create a connection with nature. Doing this can increase self-worth and the desire to eat.

What Is The Difference Between Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes: 10 things you should know

Type 1 diabetes usually starts in childhood or young adulthood, whereas type 2 diabetes usually starts in adulthood. In people with type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks and destroys pancreatic cells that produce insulin. In people with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas is not attacked and usually produces insulin. However, people with type 2 diabetes, for numerous reasons, cannot use the available insulin effectively.

People with type 2 diabetes can have the same symptoms as those with type 1 diabetes, however, people with type 1 diabetes usually have symptoms that occur more rapidly. Type 1 diabetes cannot be prevented, but type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed with a healthy lifestyle.

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