Diabetic Binge Eating

So, it is now 9:00 am on Sunday morning, and I check my morning blood sugar: 39 mg/dl. “Where did I go wrong?” I said to myself and then realized I didn’t have time to figure it out. Despite my hungry, I drank some lemonade.

app_full_proxy-85.phpI grabbed it out of the refrigerator, downed an 8 oz glass and proceeded to wait. But I couldn’t wait. But I knew I’d have to, or I would feel like crap the rest of the day. I was still hungry.

One of my more memorable binges was a few years ago – right before bed. I ended up eating myself out of house and home. It felt so good to binge that evening!

At the point you feel like you are starving, you will eat just about anything regardless of the consequences. A vegetarian might eat a whole ham with a side of steak – hold the fries, and you’d need to leave some room for that gallon of ice cream, to top it off.

During that evening, I started with my usual glass of “Newman’s Own” lemonade, and I added peanut butter on the side. I sat there with a spoon in hand and a full jar of peanut butter. I devoured it, spoonful after heaping spoonful. Then I added two more glasses of lemonade before I polished the whole jar of peanut butter off.

The consequences of that evening were great. I woke up with my stomach feeling woozy. I tossed and turned all night. When I woke up the next morning, my blood glucose was through the roof. I tried to compensate with extra insulin, but a few hours later I was hypoglycemic again. My blood sugar levels bounced around all day until I eventually leveled out 24 hours later. Never again I said to myself, but I have said that many times before.

So here I am, back in the present, on May 25th, 2011 facing that epic question again: to binge or not to binge?

So I started looking for something to eat in the refrigerator and poured myself another glass of lemonade while continuing to search the shelves for something to satisfy my growing appetite.

One of the best things I find is that during a reaction just about anything or any combination of food tastes great. So I found what I was looking for: pre-made tuna fish salad that I bought at the grocery store, nothing to make and easy to eat.

I grabbed the container and a small fork, the kind one uses when you’re just starting to eat real food as a child. With this little fork, I slowly ate in small forkfuls while sipping the lemonade. 

By the time my blood sugar had returned to normal and my hunger drifted away, I had had only 4 ounces of lemonade and 1/8th of a pound of tuna fish. I gave myself a small injection for the extra lemonade after seeing that my blood sugars had stabilized. I cautioned toward high blood sugar levels, so I didn’t give too much insulin.

Two hours later, my blood sugar levels were normal for me and my day wasn’t ruined by shifting high and low blood sugars. I consider this technique “Binge Prevention.” 

To get help or for more information on Diabetes-Focused Psychotherapy go to Eliot’s website or set up a free 30-minute phone consultation.

Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE, is a diabetes-focused psychotherapist. His private practice, located in New York City and is also available via Skype. LeBow, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1977, treats the many diverse cognitive, behavioral, and emotional needs of people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Medical Disclaimer:
All the advice included in this blog is therapeutic in nature and should not be considered medical advice. Before making any changes to your diabetes maintenance program, please consult with your primary physician or endocrinologist.

2 thoughts on “Diabetic Binge Eating

  1. I have had to rethink my pasta love! There can be none in my house. Only protein and slow carbs like veggies. My body responds well to this and my weight is slowly coming down. Water is my friend. Whatever, I eat I have two bottles of water. It fills space in my body and my dry diabetic skin needs all the help it can get.

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