If even one of the usual meals is skipped, then the person may have a slight feeling of hunger, which is considered normal. But if you want to eat more often than usual, and your appetite increases excessively, this may mean that the body needs help and support. You should not be frivolous about constant hunger. If it does not go away for more than two weeks, you should contact a specialist and find out the true reasons.
Reasons For Increased Appetite
Here is the list of major causes of increased appetite that make you eat more.
1. Bad Sleep
People who sleep less than seven to eight hours a day can experience excessive appetite. Sleep is like food, a kind of necessary fuel for the body’s energy reserves. If a person does not have enough sleep, the body begins to ask for additional energy support in the form of food. Poor sleep can cause an increase in appetite-stimulating ghrelin and a decrease in leptin, a hormone that makes you feel full.
International studies in 2013 showed that, due to lack of sleep, a person begins to choose the most high-calorie foods that contribute to weight gain. Along with hunger, there are other symptoms of lack of sleep. These include mood swings, clumsiness, distracted attention, anxiety, drowsiness, loss of strength, weight gain, etc.
2. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
A glass of wine or beer with a daily dinner can be another reason for increased appetite. Drinking alcohol regularly leads to an increase in the hormone ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry even with a full stomach. Scientists found that people eat more than usual when drinking alcoholic beverages.
Alcohol dehydrates the body, and the brain can send misleading signals about food when the body actually needs water. It is always best to give up alcohol to control your appetite. So you can seek help from an alcohol and drug treatment center if you are unable to do it on your own. Giving up alcohol will also help you lose weight and normalize your sleep.
Diabetes, both type 1 and type 2, can cause frequent hunger pangs. Under normal conditions, the body converts sugar into fuel, glucose. But if a person has diabetes, the tissues of the body cannot absorb sugar from food to convert it into energy. This leads to the fact that muscles and other parts of the body ask for more fuel, which means that you want to eat more and more often.
In addition to an increased appetite in diabetes, people may experience intense thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, and blurred vision. With diabetes, it is important to always control blood sugar levels in order to avoid side effects and complications of the disease.
4. Problems With The Thyroid Gland
Excessive hunger can also be associated with hyperthyroidism, a common condition that affects the thyroid gland. In this case, the thyroid gland increases. When thyroid hormone levels are too high, vital body functions accelerate, and the body burns energy faster than normal.
The increased metabolism makes you feel hungry. With hyperthyroidism, a person does not gain excess weight even after a heavy meal since calories burn much faster. In addition to changes in appetite and an enlarged thyroid gland, other signs of hyperthyroidism include heart palpitations, bulging eyes, and nervousness.
5. Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, means that the amount of glucose in the body dropped significantly. There are various reasons for this, including diabetes. Low blood sugar can also often cause ravenous appetite and cravings for food, even after main meals. When blood sugar decreases, the brain starts to work worse and gives signals that the body needs fuel. This provokes hunger.
Scientists found that low blood sugar can negatively affect a person’s emotional well-being. According to research, married couples become angry and fight more often when their blood sugar levels are low. In addition to hunger, other signs of low blood sugar include anxiety, pale skin, sweating, and a tingling sensation around the mouth.
6. Severe Stress
During times of severe stress, the level of cortisol rises, which provokes poor sleep, excessive appetite, craving for sweets, and fatty foods. But eating more junk food during times of stress does not reduce negative emotions or anxiety. But, on the contrary, it causes the need to consume more food and leads to weight gain and with it to various health problems.
Scientists argue that the psychophysiological response to stress can influence subsequent eating behavior. Over time, these changes can affect both weight and health. There are many methods, sets of exercises, and meditation classes to deal with stress. Even listening to pleasant music can help you control your stress levels.
7. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Women before the onset of the menstrual period may also feel an increased sense of hunger and brutal appetite. Continued hormonal changes in the body that occur during the second half of the menstrual cycle and disappear within 1–2 days after the onset of menstruation can increase hunger.
This is also influenced by the basal body temperature, which rises during the PMS period. In addition to hunger, women with the premenstrual syndrome tend to feel tired and dehydrated. They often have flatulence, headaches, breast tenderness, mood swings, fatigue, and trouble sleeping. It is advisable to eat protein-rich foods to manage hunger during PMS.
When the body is chronically dehydrated, a person may also feel hungry. Many people often confuse feelings of hunger and thirst since the signals that they want to drink or eat are sent from the same part of the brain. If you feel dehydrated, the brain can send a signal to eat, although, in reality, fluid intake is necessary.
Water helps cells to absorb nutrients that enter the body through food. If this does not happen, then the body may experience a lack of nutrients, which will intensify the feeling of hunger. Symptoms of dehydration include constipation, dry skin, lethargy, fatigue, dizziness, dry eyes, and decreased urination.
Increased appetite may be due to a poor lifestyle or some health diseases. By knowing the major reasons for feeling hungry all the time, a person can get rid of this problem. However, if you are unable to identify the problem yourself, consult a doctor for help.