Sugar Cravings After A Meal Caused By Insulin Or Stress Response? How Do You Know?

Discussion in 'Symptoms, Causes' started by Amazoniac, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    How to know that the cravings for sugar after a high GI index meal occur due to insulin or due to counter-regulatory stress hormones? Since both of them probably generate cravings to compensate by providing fast energy..
     
  2. Westside PUFAs

    Westside PUFAs Member

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  3. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    ..I think you understood the question.
     
  4. jyb

    jyb Member

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    You could buy a blood glucose meter reading in many stores. It's intended for people with diabetes, but nothing stops you from looking too.
     
  5. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    It's a reasonable suggestion but wouldn't it be very difficult to time? Because when you start craving the counter-regulatory hormones are probably already acting.
     
  6. jyb

    jyb Member

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    You can watch the blood glucose vary after a meal by taking several measurements. You will have to pay for more strips.
     
  7. haidut

    haidut Member

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    If you get cold or feel the need to pee after the meal then it's probably the stress hormones.
     
  8. answersfound

    answersfound Member

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    He thinks the answer to everything is less fat.
     
  9. tara

    tara Member

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    If it's just a craving for more because you ate just enough to whet your appetite without filling current needs, then it's probably good to listen to it. If it's high insulin causing reactive hypoglycemia, wouldn't this also be likely to cause increased cortisol etc too? Not sure it's an either/or situation? Either way, something suboptimal that maybe could be improved on.

    I think I notice increased sugar cravings from either significant starch without much sugar, or from significant refined sugar without much fruit/veges etc. I'm guessing the latter has to do with inadequate minerals to support metabolism of the refined sugar. And the former maybe a desire for fructose to help prime carb metabolism?
    With fruit and juice, cravings seem to be more self-limiting - ie eventuallly I've had enough and don't feel like more.
     
  10. OP
    Amazoniac

    Amazoniac Member

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    Thank you for all the replies!
    Just to clarify, it isn't an issue that I'm having. It's just something I was considering because sometimes it seems so definite that we don't question anymore..

    Tara,
    Have you noticed if you have that problem with all starches or just those that contain less fructose?

    Lookingforanswers,
    He's not alone, some members here share that same opinion.. Haha!

    Haidut,
    I think that considering the duration of the craving might also work, right? If the craving arises after sometime after a high GI meal and suddenly disappears, it must be insulin. If it disappears gradually, it must be the counter-regulatory hormones.
     
  11. tara

    tara Member

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    I mean starches with very little fructose, eg potatoes, rice or bread. I spent many years eating very low sugar, in the hopes of mitigating hypoglycemia. I think it got worse. I now eat lots of sugar, and have less hypoglycemia. I think this may be in part because of the different insulin effects of fructose and glucose, but may also be in part because I have increased calories - sugars don't take so much effort and time to prepare and eat.
     
  12. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    I don't get it, why would insulin cause craving?
     
  13. tara

    tara Member

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    I think for some people it goes:
    high glucose and/or protein -> high insulin -> low glucose -> sugar craving + possibly increased cortisol etc

    ie too much insulin for the amount of glucose. I think this is what people mean by reactive hypoglycemia. People in a depleted state may be more prone to such unstable blood sugars. I think this is why Peat recommends OJ before eggs - so that there is some sugar available in the system when the egg protein spikes the insulin, hopefully preventing blood sugars from dropping too low. And one of the reasons he favours fruit/honey/sucrose over starches - they don't demand so much insulin, so the blood sugars are not driven down so low in reaction.

    If the system is really robust, I think it doesn't get such bouncy blood sugars. I'm not sure if that's down to better glycogen storage, swifter insulin response and regulation, adaptation system (eg adrenal cortex) in better shape to pick up the slack smoothly when required, or all three.
     
  14. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    But that would fall under the causal realm of "counter-regulatory stress hormones".
     
  15. tara

    tara Member

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    That's why it doesn't seem like and either/or question to me. Excess insulin leading to counter-regulatory stress hormones.
    I guess if it is important to OP to know exactly which part of the combination causes cravings, this doesn't help much. But in terms of working with it, it may be a relevant story.
     
  16. EnoreeG

    EnoreeG Member

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    There's a study out there that claims all you have to do is inject insulin into the blood and there is an immediate sensation of hunger. It's physiology. What takes sugar from the blood asks for it to be restored?
     
  17. jyb

    jyb Member

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    I think it's more likely to do with excess insulin, which seems to be a common concern when injecting in blood - it's hard to get the amount right. And of course excess insulin could result in hypoglycaemia. But otherwise I read insulin is more of a satiety hormone, so it should be less cravings not more. And intuitively this should make sense: the role of insulin is to increase glucose oxidation and reduce fatty acid oxidation, as both at the same time would be harmful (and I think hyperglycaemia itself too so it better be temporary) - insulin seems like a signal of overcapacity and therefore satiety. I don't think you need insulin to feel satisfied at all, though, it's just it will induce it after meal if you were not already.

    I believe the excess insulin problem with blood injection can become similar to the situation of pre-diabetics or poorly designed diets which may result in the body overproducing it. That would explain the infamous experience of hunger a couple hours after an excessively rich carb meal. I don't know if post-meal sleepiness problems are related. I sometimes feel like having a nap middle of the day, but it does not seem obviously related to carb content or even eating at all. It would be useful to find out about it so as to avoid the feeling when at work.

    This does not apply to insulin in reaction to fat which can be significant - cells don't respond the same way to it as with high blood glucose and has zero impact on blood glucose (stable blood glucose). Not sure about the overall effect of protein, possibly similar but with some exceptions...
     
  18. EnoreeG

    EnoreeG Member

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    Well, this concedes that hunger definitely occurs, but that it isn't necessarily due to the blood-sugar reduction caused by the insulin, claiming that it might be some other physiological process. I'll look further for a human study (which is what I originally encountered).

    effects of a hunger-inducing injection of insulin

    The following human test finds that post-insulin injection hunger is a normal response, but there are people who do not have the hunger response (anorexia sufferers):

    Perception of hunger to insulin-induced hypoglycemia in anorexia nervosa
     
  19. jyb

    jyb Member

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    Yeah I assumed the hypoglycaemia, whether from excess insulin or fasting, would be the trigger for hunger but that could be unreliable or wrong...
     
  20. stargazer1111

    stargazer1111 Member

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    Although I think McDougall's diet is somewhat flawed, I definitely agree with him here. Randle et al. showed this quite nicely in the 60's and others have shown in the decades since. Fat is the problem, not sugar.

    My issue with McDougall is the heavy starch consumption and relative protein deficiency. He has age spots now and has prematurely aged skin. He looks about 10 years older than his age to me which makes me think the heavy starch consumption is leading to elevated insulin (despite insulin resistance being low since his fat intake is very low) and the lack of adequate protein may be leading to premature wrinkles due to insufficient collagen production. It's speculation but it's a likely possibility. So basically, I think his insulin is high but he isn't insulin resistant so his blood sugar is normal.

    I think Peat is right about getting adequate protein (80-100 grams per day). McDougall claims we only need about 28-30 grams per day but I get ravenously hungry and my brain gets foggy if I don't eat a lot of protein consistently throughout the day no matter how much sugar I get. I'm at about 120 grams per day now with 2ish quarts of milk and lots of shrimp/lean chicken breast.
     
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