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10 Medical Reasons Why You’re Always Hungry

woman with head in hands

Depression

Are you asking yourself the question, “Why am I always hungry?” One reason could be your mood. Eating can be a coping mechanism for people with depression or anxiety. Part of this might be because they dont have enough of the feel-good hormone serotonin, and eating comfort foods like pasta and bread can bring those levels up, says Holly Lofton, MD, weight management specialist and director of the medical weight management program at NYU Langone Medical Center. Youre not treating depression with celery, she says. Its whatever your mom gave you to feel good.

But this coping mechanism might backfire and make your mood worse: People who dont have a healthy diet are more likely to have symptoms of depression, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Stress

During fight or flight mode, the stress hormone cortisol floods your body, which convinces your body to eat, even if you dont physically need the calories, says Shanna Levine, MD, an internist in New York. Its not out of necessity, but cortisol tells your brain that youre not full, she says. Thats why stress causes people to overeat.

(Related: The Trick to Stop Your Nighttime Stress-Eating Habit, According to Science)

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