Why Am I So Hungry? 10 Possible Causes

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When you’re hungry, your brain is saying, “Hey, I need more food.” But is your brain telling you the truth? Most of the time there are things going on in our body that cause us to be hungrier than we really are. There are stressors in life that make us eat.

Why Am I So Hungry?

There is a variety of medical conditions and medications that make us feel hungry. Many times we shrug these indicators off and we shouldn’t. Eating more food than we need can cause more harm to us. Gaining too much weight can cause more medical issues. If you are always asking yourself, “Why am I so hungry?” maybe you should write down when it occurs and how your body feels.

If you can’t figure out the mystery, talk to your doctor. Your health care professional can further investigate your hunger issues by doing blood work or other tests to determine your reason for asking: Why am I so hungry?

There are many reasons for being hungry. Here are ten main reasons you could be hungry.

10 Possible Causes of Hunger

  • Mental Health: Stress, Anxiety, Depression
  • Blood Sugar Conditions: Diabetes, Hypoglycemic, Thyroid Issues
  • Are You Pregnant?
  • Lack Of Proteins And Fats
  • Not Enough Calories
  • Not Enough Water
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Too Much Alcohol
  • Exercising Too Much
  • Medications

Your body needs food for you to have energy. If you don’t eat for several hours you become hungry. So, don’t ask yourself, why am I so hungry when it’s been a while. You should only become concerned when you are constantly hungry after you have already eaten. You could suffer from a medical condition, side effect, or it could be the consequence of some other issue.

1. Mental Health: Stress And Anxiety

Your mental health could be the cause of your hunger. Many times when we are stressed or anxiety ridden we eat to try to focus on something else. Eating pleases us so we might take out our problems by eating too much food. During these times our cortisol levels are higher, which makes us feel like we are hungry. So, if you keep asking yourself, why am I still hungry, and you recently went through a traumatic event, look into counseling. You want to address the mental health concern rather than eat too much food.

2. Medical Condition: Diabetes, Hypoglycemia, Thyroid Issue

Diabetes

When you eat, the food you consume is turned into glucose. When you are a diabetic, the glucose doesn’t reach your cells properly and you urinate it out. This makes you hungry and you eat more. Therefore people that have type one diabetes can consume lots of food and they still lose weight and stay thin. If you have this problem and don’t know why, it could be the reason you are asking yourself why am I so hungry.

Hypoglycemia

When glucose drops to low levels in your body is it called hypoglycemia. It can be a concern if you have diabetes. Other conditions such as kidney issues, adrenal and pituitary gland problems and hepatitis can also cause this. It can cause you to slur your words and appear like you’re drunk. It can make you crave more food.

Thyroid Condition

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck. It regulates how every organ in your body works and plays a role in weight gain and loss. Issues with the thyroid could cause you to feel nervous and eat more food. It can make your blood pressure go up and make you want more food. When blood pressure is higher, metabolism is too.

3. Are You Pregnant?

When you become pregnant, you may crave more food. This is a sign you need to eat for two, maybe three or four. It all depends how many children you're having. Women typically gain 4 to 6 lbs in their first trimester and one pound a week during their second and third.

4. Lack Of Protein And Fats

If you aren’t eating enough protein and fats, you can be still hungry after eating. Every food fills you up differently. Unhealthy foods such as high-carb items and cakes can make you still hungry after consumption. Protein fills you up and should make you feel less full. It is what you need to produce energy. Also, good fats keep you full longer because it takes longer to digest them.

5. Not Enough Calories

If you aren’t eating nutrient dense food or aren’t eating enough, you may need more calories per day. Heavy dieting and eliminating several food groups isn’t healthy. You need a healthy array of foods to eat and make sure you’re getting a baseline of 2,000 calories a day.

6. Not Drinking Enough Water

Hydration is important. It helps metabolism and organs to function better. It can also help you lose weight, but can also make food cravings. Drinking plenty of water each day is essential for a healthy body and it helps eliminate over eating. Drinking a glass of water before each meal is recommended.

7. Sleep Deprivation

When you don’t sleep, it irritates you and you feel lousy the next day. Staying up too late and not getting at least 7 or 8 hours of rest each night can make you eat more. Eating late is especially bad because the food doesn’t digest the same and it can make you put on weight faster. It is best if you eat during the day. You want high fat, high calories and sugar foods when you’re more tired.

8. Too Much Alcohol

If you drink alcohol regularly it stimulates your appetite. The alcohol makes you produce a hormone called leptin which can make you hungrier.

9. Too Much Exercise

Exercising makes your metabolism increase. This makes you consume more food. You can always reduce the intensity of your workout routine. Exercising in moderation will make you less hungry. 

10. Medications

Mental health drugs such as SSRIs, antipsychotics, anti-seizure drugs, steroids, and even diabetes medications can all make you feel hungry. Other medications may have this side effect. Even birth controls can make you want more food. Discuss the pros and cons with your doctor as this side effect can lead to more health problems.

Symptoms That Go With Hunger

When you are constantly hungry due to a condition mentioned above, you can have other feelings besides the hunger. Symptoms can vary.

  • Mood Change And Irritability
  • Weight Gain
  • Stomach Rumbling And Gnawing Feelings
  • Craving Specific Foods
  • Light-Headedness

Even when you keep asking yourself: why am I so hungry; the hunger won’t just go away.  It may distract you for a few minutes, but you still want food. Until you figure out the root cause of your incessant hunger, you will find what you want to snack on. Try to remember to eat more whole foods. The better, fresher foods will make you feel less hungry. Eat more proteins, food fats and drink plenty of water. Incorporate exercise and when you get hungry eat healthy snacks. Consider eating a few small meals a day to spread out your eating habits.

When You Should Contact a Professional

If you are eating a solid, healthy, and balanced meal and you are still hungry contact your doctor or consult with a dietitian. You don’t want to overlook an underlying disease or condition that can easily be addressed.

These Are Signs Something More Serious Is Affecting Your Health:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Shortness Of Breath
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Rapid Weight Gain Or Loss
  • Sleep Deprivation

What Should I Do About My Hunger And Why Am I So Hungry?

To keep track of hunger issues, logging your daily routine can help. This journal will help you and the doctor figure out what is going on in your body, along with blood work.  Blood work can tell you a lot, but your symptoms and times of day they happen can also be great clues to your hunger problem. Eating smaller and better foods with plenty of water should be where you start. If this doesn't help curb your hunger, make sure you log it and seek medical attention. If you haven’t checked your medication side effects list lately, you may want to. These can be a huge culprit when you want more food or find yourself craving certain foods. Also, if you are sexually active, you could be pregnant. Check into this as soon as possible.

Conclusion

Wanting to eat more after a meal or constant hunger could be many issues. To understand your symptoms better, keep a journal. This journal could be the key to figuring out your puzzling hunger problems.  By managing your stress, diet, water intake, and exercise routine you can improve your health. The healthier you are the fewer hunger problems you will have. If nothing works and you cannot eliminate your intense urge for more food, see your health provider. You want to put an end to your chronic question: why am I so hungry.

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