10 reasons you are hungry

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Depression

“Why am I always hungry?” is a question you may be asking yourself. Your mood could be a contributing factor. People who are depressed or anxious may turn to food as a means of coping. As a weight management specialist and director of the medical weight management program at New York University Langone Medical Center, Holly Lofton, MD, explains, this may be because they lack the feel-good hormone serotonin, and comfort foods like pasta and bread can help raise those levels. According to her, “celery is not a treatment for depression.” “It’s whatever your mother gave you to make you feel better.”

However, it is possible that this coping mechanism will backfire and make your mood even worse: According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, people who don’t eat a healthy diet are more likely to suffer from depression.

I’m always hungry because of stress and medical reasons. iStock/SIphotography

Stress

Stress hormone cortisol floods your body during fight or flight mode, encouraging your body to eat even if you don’t need the calories, says Shanna Levine, MD, an internist in New York. “Cortisol tells your brain that you’re not full,” she says. “It’s not a necessity.” It’s for this reason that stress leads to overeating. Instead of resorting to unhealthy coping mechanisms, people can find more productive means of managing stress.

All images are copyrighted. hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism

It’s possible that your thyroid is overproducing hormones and causing your body to go into overdrive when you’re constantly hungry and eating more than usual but still losing weight. Lofton describes the thyroid as an endocrine hormonal organ that accelerates everything within the body. Therefore, their metabolism would be accelerated, which would increase their desire for food. Dr. Levine says that because the thyroid is also involved in satiety, an overactive thyroid may make it more difficult to satisfy your cravings. There are many symptoms of hyperthyroidism that go hand-in-hand with a strong desire to eat.

As a result of medical reasons, I’m always hungry. iStock/adrian825

Obesity

When you’re overweight, you’re more likely to overeat, which causes you to gain weight. According to Dr. Lofton, having too much body fat can cause your insulin levels to soar, which in turn increases your desire to eat. Dr. Levine also claims that fat cells reduce your body’s sensitivity to the satiety hormone, leptin. According to her, “Because fat produces its own hormones, part of obesity is that people tend to feel more hungry than someone with higher metabolism and in better shape,” she says. Be on the lookout for these other unseen factors that may influence your weight despite your best efforts in the kitchen and at the gym.

A person with hypoglycemia, for medical reasons, is always hungry. IStock/champja

Hypoglycemia

Meal skipping to pancreas issues are just a few of the causes of low blood sugar. You still get a growling stomach and your body begs for an energy boost, so it doesn’t matter what you do. If your blood glucose levels are too low, your cells will send you a hunger signal, which your brain interprets as a request for food.

As a diabetic, you’ll be constantly hungry because of the medical reasons for it. iStock/monkeybusinessimages

Diabetes

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes both have an effect on sugar levels, which can lead to a vicious cycle of hunger when people are trying to get their blood sugar levels back in order. Low blood sugar makes you hungry, but overindulging will only intensify your cravings. Doctor Levine explains, “What happens is that people overeat and get too high of sugar levels, which also cannot be satisfying.” “It’s a back-and-forth relationship between cause and effect.” Avoid sugary and carbohydrate-heavy foods as much as possible, she advises, no matter how much you crave them. Instead, peruse the list of foods that are safe for people with diabetes.

Period-related medical causes of constant food cravings, courtesy of iStockPhoto user dolgachov

The time of your life

During your period, hormonal changes may cause you to eat a dozen cupcakes in one sitting. You’ll also need more calories during this time of the month to keep up with your body’s increased calorie needs. Women often complain of fatigue and dehydration because their bodies are in a high-energy state. “The body physically needs more calories when you’re in a high-energy state.” Discover what your food cravings reveal about your health.

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Medications

SSRI antidepressants, steroids for conditions like allergies or lupus, and anti-seizure medications all cause an increase in appetite as a side effect. Ask your doctor about switching prescriptions if you don’t want to stop taking your medication. Is a chemical in your body? That’s what Dr. Lofton tells me. Ask your doctor if there are any safer options you can try instead.

Dehydration

In spite of your hunger, your body’s cry for water may be misunderstood by you. It’s common for people to confuse hunger with thirst when they’re dehydrated, according to Dr. Levine. After drinking an eight-ounce glass of water in the morning, she suggests carrying a water bottle around for the rest of the day. Aim to drink plain water instead of sugary beverages, which can trick your brain into thinking you’re always hungry despite the extra calories they contain. Keep reading to learn the truth behind your constant thirst.

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Insomnia

The hormones that control your hunger levels will be more difficult to regulate if you don’t get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night. When ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is elevated, you are more likely to reach for food, even if you don’t feel hungry. Dr. Levine explains that “every day, you’re getting up and having metabolic demands.” As a result, “hormone dysregulation” occurs when you don’t get enough sleep. This is another side effect of not getting enough sleep.

First published on The Healthy: 10 medical reasons for your constant hunger.