Unravel the Mystery behind Your Incessant Hunger
Hunger is your body’s natural way to tell you that it needs food. Hunger is a biological drive to eat and it’s often associated with a rumbling stomach, weakness and in some rare cases, headache. It is a normal and good thing to get hungry because your body relies on food for energy. Although most people can go several hours before feeling hungry this isn’t the case for everyone. Some people just can’t stop putting food in their mouth at all times and for them, it feels as though there is a hole in their stomach that drains all the food away.
But if you keep getting hungry, even after a meal then something could be going on with your health. If you keep getting hungry all the time you should visit the doctor.
A medical term used to describe extreme hunger is called POLYPHAGIA also known as Hyperphagia.
Here are some reasons why you get hungry
Low blood sugar:
The condition of hypoglycemia can cause hunger. In adults and children older than 10 years, hypoglycemia is uncommon except as a side effect of diabetes treatment. Hypoglycemia is a condition that happens when the glucose in a person’s body drops to very low levels. In severe cases, people with hypoglycemia may act drunk because they may mumble their words or have trouble walking. Other symptoms may include: pale skin, shaking, sweating, etc.
When you don’t have enough sleep:
Getting adequate sleep is important for your health. When you don’t get enough sleep or rest, it could affect the hormones in your body that controls hunger. People who lack sleep do have a bigger appetite and find it hard to feel full. Sleep is required for the proper functioning of your brain and immune system. When you rest well, it helps to regulate a hormone called ghrelin which helps in appetite control. Lack of sleep leads to higher ghrelin levels and lower leptin levels, even if you eat you may be feeling hungrier than normal.
When you don’t take enough protein:
Protein plays an important role in appetite control by regulating hunger hormones. It has a reducing property that helps to reduce the calories you consume. Eating some protein with each meal or snack, rather than all at once, may help keep appetite steady throughout the day, Protein is satiating; it helps you feel fuller without having to eat more. Protein also impacts our hunger and satiety hormones: ghrelin and leptin. It helps reduce ghrelin levels (the hormone that tells us it’s time to eat) and may increase leptin sensitivity (the hormone that signals to us that we’re full).
Some people may confuse being bored for hunger and this causes them to eat more.
When you are tense your body releases a hormone known as the stress hormone which is called cortisol. This hormone tends to increase your feeling of hunger. Most people tend to consume or crave foods that are high in sugar, calories, etc. when they are stressed because it might be a way their body will want to block off the part of the brain that causes you to worry.
Some drugs are capable of making you eat more when taken. If you noticed an increase in your appetite since you’ve started taking a particular medication you should visit your doctor if there are other drugs you could take.
Most women during pregnancy experience an increase in appetite. This is because the baby needs enough nutrients to grow. At this time most women will experience an increase in their size during the first 3 months.
Type 2 Diabetes:
Excessive hunger could be one of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes causes glucose to stay in the blood instead of going into the cells which use glucose as a source of energy. This makes a person feel tired and hungry. Symptoms include; increased hunger, frequent urination, excessive thirst, etc. weight gain is most likely to occur in type 2 diabetes despite increased hunger.
People do get hungry all the time for many reasons. There are ways you could reduce this hunger:
- Consuming less alcohol
- Eating less sugar and salt
- Drinking more water
- Taking more protein and fiber
Increased/excessive hunger known as polyphagia could also be a side effect of some medications, don’t attempt to treat changes in your appetite using appetite suppressants without talking to your doctor first. If you keep having a constant feeling of hunger and also drastic weight loss visit your doctor.