Hunger and appetite are regulated by complex interactions between endocrine, digestive, and neurologic systems, each of which sends chemical signals to the brain to determine whether it is the time to feed oneself.
Feeling always hungry or excessive hunger despite just eating is called polyphagia. It is the urge to eat more food than one’s normal calorie requirements. Polyphagia can be brought on by multiple pathologic or even physiological processes.
10 reasons you may feel hungry
Here are 10 reasons why you may feel hungry although you just ate.
- Stress: Stress often triggers bingeing behavior because of hormonal imbalances it causes. Therefore, if you are worried about an upcoming exam or important presentation or even have relationship stress, it is bound to reflect in your eating pattern.
- Pregnancy: The hormonal change in pregnancy often makes you hungry all the time.
- Inadequate sleep: Studies have proven that people who have poor quality sleep often tend to eat in excess.
- Boredom: Eating or snacking because you are bored is often a common observation.
- Crash diet: People often feel hungrier after they have followed a crash diet for some time. This is the body’s way to nourish itself back to health.
- Recuperating from illness: You may often feel bouts of hunger if you had a recent bout of illness, and the body is trying to regenerate its tissues.
- Inadequate portions of food: If you are compelled to eat smaller food portions as an attempt to diet, you may feel hungrier after a meal.
- Medications: Certain medications such as steroids, antibiotics, antidepressants, and birth control pills may alter your feeding and satiety behaviors, making you hungry.
- Jet lag: Jet lag can often mess with your circadian rhythm and make you hungry all the time.
- Obesity: Often, insulin resistance that accompanies obesity may lead to an increase in insulin secretion (hyperinsulinemia). This causes the sugar to drop shortly after an intake of a high carbohydrate meal, which may result in hunger pangs.
However, constant hunger may often point to a deeper or graver problem, ranging from acid peptic disease, body image disorders to hormonal diseases, such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes mellitus. It is, therefore, important to consult your doctor and get thoroughly evaluated for your symptoms.
What are more serious reasons for excessive hunger?
- Graves’ diseases: In Graves' disease (or hyperthyroidism), the body generates too much thyroid hormone, resulting in weight loss, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, and a continual desire that is satiated by food.
- Diabetes mellitus: Another reason for hunger is diabetes, which is characterized by rapid variations in blood sugar due to insulin fluctuations in the bloodstream. Hypoglycemia is more common in people with type I diabetes. Insulin shock and coma occur in severe cases; therefore, maintaining correct blood sugar and insulin levels is critical.
- Eating disorders: Body image disorders such as bulimia can often lead to an uncontrolled urge to binge following an episode of stress or distress. This is often followed by induced vomiting. Bulimia is a serious mental health disorder that needs psychiatric care and medications at the right time.
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder: Extreme mood swings, change in eating patterns, cravings for snacks, episodes of migraine, anxiety, and increased weight just before periods are often seen in the premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Although the condition is manageable with lifestyle modifications, good eating habits, and the right stress management techniques, severe cases of the premenstrual dysphoric disorder may need treatment of mood stabilizers.
What other symptoms might be associated with excessive hunger?
Other symptoms may accompany excessive hunger depending on the underlying disease, pathology, or condition. Symptoms that commonly afflict the digestive tract might affect other parts of the body.
Excessive hunger may be accompanied by other gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:
Excessive hunger can be accompanied by symptoms from other physiological systems, such as:
- Sleeping problems
- Protruding eyes
- Weight gain or loss
Excessive hunger may be accompanied by additional symptoms that signal a dangerous ailment that should be evaluated immediately in an emergency room, such as:
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Why Do I Constantly Feel Hungry Even After Eating Related Articles
Diet and Nutrition: Breakfast Mistakes You're MakingCarb-filled pancakes and cereal, yogurts that are more like dessert, fatty bacon and sausage -- or no breakfast at all. Here are some morning meal mistakes you may be making and how to get back on track for a great day.
Signs You're Not Getting Enough ProteinAre you getting enough protein in your diet? Learn to spot the warning signs of protein deficiency, who is the most at risk, and when you need more protein.
Diet and Nutrition: Signs You're Not Getting Enough NutrientsIf you're short on an essential vitamin, mineral, or other nutrient, your body will let you know. Take note of these vitamin deficiency symptoms, and find out what to do about them.
FastingFasting: It's simple and trending, though it's been around for thousands of years. Find out whether it might be a good option for you, and what the risks and benefits are.
How Safe is the 3 Day Cardiac Diet?The 3-Day cardiac diet is one of the popular fad diets for weight-loss. The diet claims a weight loss of about 10 pounds or 4.5 kilograms in a week.
Jet LagJet lag (desynchonosis) is a temporary disorder that results from travel across time zones. Symptoms include anxiety, constipation, headache, nausea, dehydration, diarrhea, confusion, sweating, irritability, and even memory loss.
What Are the 4 Missing Nutrients in My Diet?Almost one-third of Americans are deficient in at least one nutrient, according to one study. The four missing nutrients in your diet are most likely to be vitamin B6, iron, vitamin D and vitamin C.
What Are the 7 Things You Need for a Balanced Diet?There are seven essential factors for a balanced diet. They are carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water.
What Is the Number One Diet?As per recent survey and analysis, research has confirmed that Mediterranean diet is the number one diet. As per research, people living in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and are at low risk of cancer or cardiovascular ailments than other people.
Why Is the Atkins Diet Bad for You?Atkins diet is a popular low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss but it may not be good for your heart.