Constantly hungry - what is the cause?

Patient

Q: Im always hungry.i eat at least 4 full meals a day and snacks. im not over weight or under weight.im 7 and a half stone and 5.2ft. I drink at least 3 litres of water a day and exercise 4-5 days a week.If i dont eat every 2 hours i feel very ill,dizzy,sweaty,nausious,faint etc.

Doctor

A:   I do understand your concern. Before assuming there’s a medical cause for your hunger, reassess your diet. If you’re not consuming enough calories during the day or not getting adequate nutrition, hunger may be your body’s way of telling you to eat more. Even if you’re taking in enough calories, if you’re not getting enough protein and fat, you may still end up feeling constantly hungry. Vegetarians who get their protein from plant based foods are more likely to experience hunger – especially if they’re not getting all of the essential amino acids. Protein increases satiety more than carbohydrates and fats, so eating protein with each meal may be one way to reduce those hunger pangs. If you’re still feeling constantly hungry after changing your diet, see your doctor for blood work and an evaluation. Some medical conditions can cause an increased appetite including diabetes, hypoglycemia, an overactive thyroid, or even an intestinal parasite. Sometimes feeling constantly hungry arises from stress or an underlying emotional problem.

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