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Why Does Polyphagia Occur in Diabetes?

Nicks J
Polyphagia, meaning abnormally high appetite, has often been linked to diabetes. The following story traces the reasons as to what makes diabetic patients unusually hungry.

Did You Know?

Frequent hunger sensations in diabetics have been attributed to the inability of glucose molecules to move into the body cells..

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Polyphagia refers to increased intake of food. This is one of the most common symptoms of diabetes in which a person develops uncontrollable food cravings, resulting in a dramatic increase in his/her appetite. Polyphagia patients often complain about frequent hunger pangs.
The insatiable hunger linked to polyphagia, compels the person to gobble excessive amount of food during every meal. So, even after having a heavy meal at night, diabetic patients are likely to feel extremely hungry early in the morning

Polyphagia and Diabetes

As aforementioned, polyphagia is commonly associated with diabetes, a condition that is typically marked by abnormally high blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients tend to eat more than normal. They feel hungry more often, and hence, they eat too much. In these following paragraphs, we will discuss why does polyphagia occur in diabetes.
In healthy individuals, the food consumed is converted into glucose, which is then taken by the body cells to fulfill their energy needs. Glucose acts as a fuel for the body cells, allowing them to carry out their necessary functions. The insulin hormone secreted by the pancreas, ensures that the glucose is driven into the cells.
In diabetes, the glucose does not enter the cells. This can be either due to insulin insufficiency or body cells not being receptive to actions of insulin. In any case, cell absorption of glucose does not take place. A small amount of glucose is always present in the bloodstream. However, as body cells are unable to absorb glucose, it leads to pooling of glucose in the bloodstream. So, despite high amount of glucose circulating in the bloodstream, body cells are deprived of it.The cellular response to glucose starvation manifests in the form of frequent hunger pangs.
The glucose-deprived cells are primarily responsible for inducing excessive hunger in diabetic patients. So, as body cells are no longer able to hold glucose molecules, they notify the brain about their glucose-deprived condition. Body cells use hormones like leptin and orexin to stimulate the hypothalamus of the brain, which eventually causes the desire to eat food. Thus, hunger signals sent out by the body cells and then received by the brain, is what causes excessive eating in diabetic patients.
The glucose-starved cells leave diabetics wanting for more or a large amount of food during meals. No wonder, diabetes is often described as a condition that causes glucose starvation at cellular level, which leads to polyphagia.
Remember, frequent episodes of polyphagia points towards uncontrolled diabetes. So, managing diabetes effectively is the key to control polyphagia. A sedentary lifestyle will not help in any way to keep diabetes in check. Daily exercise and eating foods recommended for diabetics, often works to push glucose into the cells and reduce hunger pangs.
Keeping exercise optional is the biggest mistake people make. Making exercise and following a healthy diet a habit is extremely important. Leading an active lifestyle is all that is required to beat diabetes and can go a long way in keeping polyphagia under control.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this story is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.