Sometimes overeating is a protective reaction of the psyche to difficult life situations, stressful conditions, negative experiences.
This is how it sometimes happens: you go in for sports hard, you try to move a lot in order to lose weight, but your wolfish appetite immediately negates all efforts to reduce weight and waist. Sometimes we don’t even think that constant hunger can be a symptom of a serious illness.
Valery Savanovich, founder and owner of the medical Lab4U online laboratories, called the top 7 reasons that can cause exorbitant appetite.
1. Eating disorders.
The case when the psyche directly affects the physiology. The most common eating disorder is compulsive overeating, in which a person cannot control the amount and quality of food eaten. He does not eat out of hunger, but in order to drown out negative emotions, relieve stress, etc. In this case, overeating is a protective reaction of the psyche to difficult life situations, stressful conditions, negative experiences, etc.
Sometimes overeating affects people who are trying to lose weight. Looking at themselves in the mirror and getting upset by what they see, they eat up unpleasant emotions with a tasty treat, then they try to shed extra pounds, again they are dissatisfied with the result – and this is how a vicious circle arises, well known to many of those who are unsuccessfully fighting for weight loss.
Now it was suddenly, but yes – the parasites that have settled inside can cause both a lack of appetite and an increased feeling of hunger. Especially often this happens with lesions of the gastrointestinal tract parasites. It should be noted that parasitosis is one of the most common diseases in the world, and it is quite difficult to identify it on your own, because. The symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. If we talk about parasites in the gastrointestinal tract, then infection with them can be confused with food poisoning, appendicitis, and other disorders. That is why it is important to undergo a diagnosis there, which the doctor will prescribe.
Parasitosis is detected by analyzing feces, in which eggs remain, a general blood test showing a change in its composition due to waste products of intruders, and an analysis for antibodies to various types of parasites.
3. Problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is needed not only to eat in it. They produce hormones that activate areas of the brain responsible for regulating food intake. These hormones are released by endocrine cells in the gut in response to nutrient intake. Ghrelin is one of these hormones. When we get little food, the body increases the production of ghrelin, and when we eat enough, it decreases. This regulates the feeling of hunger. Accordingly, when the production of this hormone is disturbed, either a loss of appetite or a sharp increase occurs.
4. Sleep problems.
The quality of sleep also affects the level of the harmful hormone of gluttony: if we do not get enough sleep, then ghrelin increases. This leads to increased appetite and feelings of hunger. At the same time, sleep problems lead to a decrease in leptin levels, which, on the contrary, reduces the feeling of hunger. This double whammy leads to the fact that we begin to absorb food with the intensity of a vacuum cleaner, at which the feeling of fullness is dulled, which means that overeating occurs. That is why it is important for weight loss to sleep well, about 8 hours, and also to have a snack with something light 3 hours before bedtime so that the body does not crave calories at night.
5. Leptin resistance.
Leptin (hormone of proper appetite) transmits a signal to the brain that we are full, there are enough energy reserves in the body. If the energy supply decreases, then leptin signals a lack of nutrients, and we experience a feeling of hunger.
But if a person develops resistance to the appetite-suppressing leptin, then the brain no longer responds to the signals of this hormone, even if its level is elevated. So there is overeating due to loss of control over the feeling of hunger. To identify the causes of leptin resistance, you need to pass an analysis to assess the level of leptin in the blood. By the way, persistently high levels of leptin may indicate the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Hormones produced by the thyroid gland regulate the metabolic rate – i.e. how quickly cells use energy. Thyroid disorders affect mood, weight and energy levels, and diseases that lead to excessive production of thyroid hormones cause constant severe hunger, tachycardia that interferes with physical activity, which aggravates the situation. In addition, a person with such disorders often experiences severe fatigue.
Problems with the thyroid gland are solved by an endocrinologist who prescribes an analysis for TSH, aka thyroid-stimulating hormone, as well as tests for T3 and T4. Changes in the level of these hormones indicate the type of thyroid dysfunction and help prescribe therapy, monitor the course of treatment and adjust it if necessary.
7. Insulin resistance or diabetes.
The constant feeling of hunger is one of the symptoms of diabetes, the most common endocrine disease in the world. It is a metabolic disorder due to high blood sugar levels, insulin deficiency and impaired insulin sensitivity throughout the body (insulin resistance).
Due to low insulin or high insulin resistance, glucose does not enter the cells, which leads to a lack of energy for all life processes. The blood sugar remains very high. If there is no energy, then in order to get it, the body stimulates the feeling of hunger. However, even with increased food intake, glucose still does not enter the cells – and again we have a vicious circle. Blood sugar rises, energy is not added, hunger arises again.
Diabetes is a very serious, dangerous and yet incurable disease. It must be compensated by taking medication, but first you need to take tests to determine if you have diabetes. This is the HOMA-IR Insulin Resistance Index, which calculates insulin resistance based on fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels. They also take tests for the level of glycated hemoglobin, a urine test for glucose and ketone bodies. After that, the endocrinologist selects therapy and prescribes a diet.