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Why am I always hungry?

ANSWER

Your body relies on food for energy, so it's normal to feel hungry if you don't eat for a few hours. But if your stomach has a constant rumble, even after a meal, something could be going on with your health.

Doctors call this condition polyphagia, and it can be a sign that you need to check in with your doctor.

From: Why Am I Always Hungry? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Aldrich, N. , May-June 2013. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Antihistamines and Weight Gain."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Eating During Pregnancy."

American Diabetes Association: "Diabetes Symptoms."

American Sleep Association: "Sleep Deprivation -- What is Sleep Deprivation?"

Chambers, L. , February 2015. Trends in Food Science and Technology

Cleveland Clinic: "Am I Pregnant?"

Coffin, C. , April 2006. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "Emotional Eating: Causes, Prevention, Treatment and Resources."

Harvard Health Publications: "Why stress causes people to overeat," "Could it be my thyroid?"

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health: "Artificial Sweeteners," "Fiber," "Sleep: Waking Up to Sleep's Role in Weight Control," "Carbohydrates."

KidsHealth.org: "Polyphagia."

Mayo Clinic: "Diabetes symptoms: When diabetes symptoms are a concern," "Stress Management," "Depression (major depressive episode)," "Hypoglycemia."

University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences/Science Life: "Sleep loss boosts hunger and unhealthy food choices."

UC San Diego Health: "Wide Effect: Drugs That Promote Weight Gain."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "When Your Weight Gain Is Caused By Medicine."

Van Den Eeden, S. , October 1994. Neurology

Yang, Q. , June 2010. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 30, 2019

SOURCES:

Aldrich, N. , May-June 2013. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Antihistamines and Weight Gain."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Eating During Pregnancy."

American Diabetes Association: "Diabetes Symptoms."

American Sleep Association: "Sleep Deprivation -- What is Sleep Deprivation?"

Chambers, L. , February 2015. Trends in Food Science and Technology

Cleveland Clinic: "Am I Pregnant?"

Coffin, C. , April 2006. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance: "Emotional Eating: Causes, Prevention, Treatment and Resources."

Harvard Health Publications: "Why stress causes people to overeat," "Could it be my thyroid?"

Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health: "Artificial Sweeteners," "Fiber," "Sleep: Waking Up to Sleep's Role in Weight Control," "Carbohydrates."

KidsHealth.org: "Polyphagia."

Mayo Clinic: "Diabetes symptoms: When diabetes symptoms are a concern," "Stress Management," "Depression (major depressive episode)," "Hypoglycemia."

University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences/Science Life: "Sleep loss boosts hunger and unhealthy food choices."

UC San Diego Health: "Wide Effect: Drugs That Promote Weight Gain."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "When Your Weight Gain Is Caused By Medicine."

Van Den Eeden, S. , October 1994. Neurology

Yang, Q. , June 2010. Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 30, 2019

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If I am always hungry, could it be diabetes?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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