Excessive hunger

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1. Overview

Hunger and appetite are regulated by complex interactions of the endocrine, digestive and neurological system. Each of these sends chemical signals to the brain to transmit him the feeling of hunger or satiety.

Excessive hunger is characterized by the need to eat, even if it exceeds the usual calorie needs. This can be caused by imbalances that coordinate systems appetite and blood sugar levels or various other circumstances, such as pregnancy.


1. Overview
2. Causes
3. Other symptoms that may accompany excessive hunger
4. Events that might indicate the presence of serious conditions
5. Other causes of excessive hunger
6. Potential complications of excessive hunger
7. How to control excessive hunger

2. Causes

Excessive hunger can be attributed to endocrine conditions such as Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism, where the body produces large amounts of thyroid hormones; the main symptoms are weight loss, hyperactivity, insomnia, constant feeling of hunger or lack of satisfaction after eating.

Hypoglycemia is another cause of excessive hunger and is caused by rapid fluctuations in blood sugar that contribute to increased levels of insulin. People with diabetes are prone, in particular, to hypoglycemia.

In severe cases, insulin levels surge can cause even coma. It is therefore essential adequate control of blood sugar and insulin.

Hunger is not caused only by physical imbalances but also a mental and emotional component. Some people consume more food when are sad, depressed, stressed or anxious. Taking certain medications such as antidepressants, sedatives, birth-control pills is associated with an increased appetite.

3. Other symptoms that may accompany excessive hunger

Along with excessive hunger may occur various events that vary according to its causes, the disease, disorder or condition that triggers it. Symptoms that frequently affect the digestive tract may also be the result of the action of other systems in the body.

Among gastrointestinal manifestations that may be associated with excessive hunger could be listed:
- Diarrhea;
- Heartburn;
- Nausea that relieves after meals;
- Nausea with or without vomiting.

Excessive hunger may be accompanied by symptoms caused by other systems in the body, including:
- Anxiety;
- Depression;
- Sleep disorders;
- Twitter;
- Sweat;
- Bulging eyes;
- Stress;
- Weight gain;
- Weight loss.

4. Events that might indicate the presence of serious conditions

Sometimes, excessive hunger can occur with other symptoms that could indicate a serious condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. It will seek medical attention immediately if you develop other serious events, such as:
- Confusion;
- Pallor;
- Seizures and tremors;
- Loss of consciousness and coma.

5. Other causes of excessive hunger

Excessive hunger will be relieved by food intake that will exceed the person’s caloric needs.

This condition can be caused by dysfunction of systems that are designed to regulate appetite or conditions that affect blood sugar levels. Excessive hunger can be determined including by endocrine conditions, hypoglycemia or psychological factors. Among hormonal or endocrine causes of excessive hunger status include:
- Diabetes;
- Graves’ disease;
- Hyperthyroidism;
- Hypoglycemia;
- Pregnancy;
- Premenstrual syndrome.

Also, excessive hunger condition can be caused by emotional problems, including:
- Anxiety;
- Depression;
- Eating disorders;
- Stress.

Excessive hunger can have other causes, including the use of certain medications (antidepressants, anxiolytics, steroids). In some situations, excessive hunger state may be a sign of serious illness or that could endanger a person’s life and that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. One of the worst is hypoglycemia.

6. Potential complications of excessive hunger

Because excessive hunger can be caused by serious illnesses, if not established a proper diagnosis of the cause and appropriate treatment is not administrated, may result in serious complications and permanent damage.

Once the cause is diagnosed, it is important to follow a personalized treatment plan recommended by the physician, that possibility of potential complications to be minimized. Among the complications that may occur can be:
- Complications of bulimia;
- Complications of hyperthyroidism;
- Diabetic coma.

7. How to control excessive hunger

Anyone suffering from excessive hunger will find it extremely difficult to lose weight. Adoption and compliance of a diet can be quite difficult with so much as hunger can be even more pronounced.

There are several steps that anyone can follow to control excessive hunger.

- Walking – Sometimes the reason a person is hungry, in fact, is that is bored and had nothing else to do. It is important to take action to relieve boredom. A simple thing is to walk away.

- Chewing gum – If you’re hungry, you can chew gum. By doing this the hunger can be alleviated, fooling the body gesture associated with chewing. Note that it is very importantly to use sugarless gum, because the chances of tooth decay to be as low as possible.

- Limited number of meals – Limit the number of daily meals and snacks. Ideally should be eating three meals and two snacks a maximum. It is advisable to eat healthy snacks that are composed of nuts and seeds, rather than chips.

- Real feeling of hungry – can be fun and simple enough for anyone to play the computer or watch TV and to take a bite even if he is not really hungry. If a person is not really hungry, he should not eat.

- Protein – Eating small amounts of protein at every meal helps stop excessive feeling of hunger. The best sources of protein are turkey, chicken, tofu or yogurt.



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