Do Sugar Cravings Signal Diabetes

Q: I've been craving sweets lately - could that mean I have diabetes?

A: Nope. Craving sugar is not one of the symptoms of diabetes, or hyperglycemia (too much blood glucose). Symptoms to look for are frequent urination, excessive thirst, fatigue, weight loss, and blurry vision.

If you skip meals often you may be experiencing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. When your blood sugar starts to dip, you naturally long for a sugary snack to get it back up. But the body processes sugar fast, so the energy surge quickly wears off and you're left craving another cookie.

Another common culprit? Low levels of serotonin, the brain chemical responsible for making us feel happy. If you have chronically low levels, your sugar yen could be your body's attempt to fix the problem - studies suggest that sugar increases the absorption of the amino acid tryptophan, which the body uses to make serotonin.