Q: Do you know of any vitamins that help curb hunger? I find it very hard to control my food intake when I’m hungry all the time.
A: Welcome to the club! Most people with diabetes are hungrier than people without diabetes, due to a deficiency of the amylin hormone and the sad fact that both high and low blood sugar levels tend to stimulate the appetite. But you can combat hunger in several ways.
B vitamins (especially B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6) have potential for appetite suppression. B vitamins can be found in food sources such as milk products, green/leafy veggies, beans, legumes and seeds. Vitamin C can help increase absorption of iron from the food we eat, and this can help stabilize appetite. Having your vitamin D level tested is also a good idea. Low vitamin D can be associated with leptin resistance, which contributes to increased hunger.
Vitamins aside, several lifestyle approaches can decrease hunger: increasing exercise, managing stress, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, and choosing slowly digested (low-glycemic-index) foods, just to name a few. You may also consider asking your physician about diabetes medications that promote appetite suppression, such as GLP-1 receptor agonists.
Have a question about diabetes? Send it to Gary Scheiner MS, CDE, at email@example.com.