LIFESTYLE & COMMUNITY

Being Hungry All The Time: 10 Possible Causes Of Increased Appetite

Date October 23, 2019 19:44

If you’re experiencing an unexplained, abnormal increase in appetite, it may be a sign of a medical condition. The medical term for excessive hunger is polyphagia (also called hyperphagia), and it can be a symptom of various health problems, especially if other symptoms are also present. If you are hungry all the time and don't know what to do with your increased appetite, it is better to consult with your doctor.

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Why I am always hungry: possible causes

One of the conditions and problems listed below may be the reason for your cravings:

1. Diabetes

Being constantly hungry may actually be one of the first signs of diabetes, along with excessive thirst and increased urination. Other symptoms of diabetes include:

  • unexplained weight loss;
  • vision problems;
  • constant tiredness;
  • cuts and bruises don’t heal as quickly as they used to;
  • pain or tingling sensation in your hands and feet.

READ ALSO: 8 Not-So-Obvious Habits That Harm Women's Health

2. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

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Hypoglycemia is usually associated with diabetes, but people who don’t have diabetes may develop it, too. Hypoglycemia may also cause these symptoms:

  • anxiety;
  • shaking;
  • sweating;
  • palpitations;
  • pale skin;
  • headache and/or dizziness.

3. Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)

Diabetes can also cause hyperglycemia, and eating more when your blood sugar is too high will make the problem worse. One way to lower your blood sugar level and increase insulin production is to exercise. If that doesn’t help, consult your healthcare provider.

4. Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)

Your thyroid produces hormones that help regulate various processes in your body, including metabolism. If your thyroid is overactive, you can be always hungry, along with the following symptoms:

  • nervousness;
  • increased perspiration;
  • excessive thirst;
  • increased heart rate;
  • weight loss;
  • muscle weakness.

5. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

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Not all women are always hungry before their period starts, but it’s quite common. Other symptoms of PMS include:

  • mood swings;
  • feeling bloated;
  • indigestion;
  • tiredness.

6. Pregnancy

Excessive hunger (and also unusual food cravings) may be a sign that you’re pregnant. Other symptoms include:

  • absence of period;
  • frequent urination;
  • nausea (especially in the morning, called ‘morning sickness’);
  • breasts grow bigger and may feel sore.

7. Sleep deprivation

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If you’re sleep-deprived, your hormones may start acting up, which leads to increased hunger and other symptoms. They include:

  • mood changes;
  • feeling drowsy throughout the day;
  • troubles with memory and concentration;
  • clumsiness;
  • weight gain.

8. Stress

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Stress increases your levels of the hormone cortisol, which makes you hungry all the time. If you’re stressed, you probably crave more fatty and sugary foods. Other symptoms of stress are the following:

  • headache;
  • tiredness;
  • irritability;
  • trouble sleeping;
  • upset stomach.

9. Poor diet

You need foods high in protein and high in fiber in your diet for adequate nourishment. If your diet lacks these foods and is high in fat and simple carbohydrates from processed foods, not only do you feel hungry all the time, but you also gain extra pounds. Try to include more of the following in your meals:

  • fruits and vegetables;
  • whole grains;
  • beans.

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In addition to feeling hungry, lack of nutrients also produces these symptoms:

  • lack of energy;
  • weight gain or weight loss;
  • troubles with memory and concentration;
  • hair loss or thinning;
  • GI symptoms, such as constipation and stomach pain.

10. Medications

Certain drugs can lead to increased appetite. They include:

  • antihistamines;
  • antidepressants, such as SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants;
  • antipsychotic drugs;
  • steroids.

If you think that the medications you take are causing increased appetite and weight gain, talk to your doctor about changing the dosage or switching to a different drug.

Treatment of the underlying condition will bring your appetite back to normal. A balanced diet, good sleep, and healthy lifestyle will also help. If you are always hungry and lifestyle changes don't help, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

READ ALSO: 10 Signs And Symptoms That Mean You May Have An Autoimmune Disease


This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.

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