Why am I never hungry? (7+ common causes) 

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This blog post will answer the question, “Why am I never hungry?”. Hunger is a part of your normal physiological functions and is triggered by low blood glucose level, empty stomach and when your brain releases hormones which stimulate appetite. 

However, some people don’t feel hungry, no matter how hard they try. If you’re one of such people, this blog is specifically for you. We will cover what possible reasons lead to the loss of appetite and what could be done to help make you feel hungry again.

Why are you never hungry? 

You’re never hungry or barely feel an urge to eat, probably because of one of the following reasons:

  • Psychological or mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, stress etc. 
  • Endocrine disorders, including hypothyroidism and Addison’s disease. 
  • Kidney and liver diseases
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  • Unhealthy habits like smoking 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Medications 
  • Several other factors including age and genetics. 

Psychological or mental health conditions 

Mental health illnesses are well known for suppressing your appetite up to the point where you actually become malnourished. If we specifically talk about depression, it is a nerve-racking illness and kills the joy in everything you loved prior to being depressed. 

It includes enjoying your favourite meals. During an episode of depression, you don’t feel like eating or drinking anything as your brain becomes deficient of excitatory neurotransmitters that trigger an urge to eat, especially foods you love. 

Anxiety and elevated stress can also make you go through changes in your appetite. 

This is because during such mental health conditions, your brain releases stress hormones which not only suppress your appetite, but also make your digestion slower and delay the gastric emptying time. 

It results in you feeling full for a longer period of time, even after eating a small portion of food. Similarly, stress can also make your digestion slower and triggers nausea which makes the food unpalatable. 

Make sure you plan a visit to your mental healthcare professional if you suffer from depression or anxiety induced hunger suppression. Seek medical help before your condition worsens. 

Endocrine gland disorders

Disorders associated with endocrine glands can make a huge impact on your eating patterns. These hormones and chemicals are responsible for making you feel hungry and regulating digestion to make space for your next meal. 

When the amounts of these hormones are disturbed, you suffer from a variety of symptoms and hunger suppression is one of them. Hypothyroidism is known for diminishing an urge to eat food. 

This condition is caused as a result of an underactive thyroid gland which fails to produce the required amount of hormones. These hormones are responsible for turning food into energy. 

Addison’s disease can also result in hunger suppression and is caused by deficiency of adrenal hormones. 

Kidney and liver diseases

Underlying kidney and liver diseases can also play a huge role in suppressing your appetite and killing an urge to eat all the foods you love. 

When there’s an underlying kidney disease, it causes the release of certain chemicals in the blood which make you lose your appetite and also causes a bad metallic taste in your mouth, which makes food even more undesirable. 

Liver diseases can also make you lose your appetite, primarily by slowing your digestion down and causing stomach pain. Liver plays a major role in digestion and emulsification of fats. 

When it’s not working properly, you can’t digest fats properly and causes a feeling of heaviness in your stomach, which kills your appetite and makes you feel full for a longer period of time. 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss. However, you will experience a lot of other symptoms as well, including shortness of breath. COPD is a condition which affects your lungs and your ability to breathe. 

This causes fatigue, muscle weakness and abnormal heart rate. COPD patients not only lose their appetite as a symptom of their illness, but also as a side effect of the medications that are used to help relieve the symptoms of COPD. 

Studies have also revealed such patients start seeing eating as a big task and get tired during meal preps. They even find it tiring to chew their food, as the decreased amount of oxygen makes their muscles much weaker including the jaw muscles. 

Unhealthy habits like smoking 

Unhealthy habits can mess up your appetite big time. Smoking is a known cause of hunger suppression. 

When researchers noticed that the people who smoke are thinner as compared to the people who don’t, they begin to look for a link between smoking and thinner physical appearance. 

It turned out that they did find a link and revealed that nicotine, an addictive chemical present in cigarettes, can act on hunger suppression pathways in our brain, which are normally activated when we’re full and have already eaten. 

Researchers also indicated that nicotine can activate certain nerve cells in the hypothalamus, which is a gland in our brain and is responsible for regulating appetite. 

This activation leads to hunger suppression. Nicotine can trigger flight or fight response by acting on the sympathetic nervous system, which can also result in hunger suppression. 

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is also associated with hunger suppression. Yes, I’m sure you have seen women craving food during this magical time, but some women actually lose their appetite and suffer from olfactory changes associated with unpleasant smells that come from the usual foods and drinks. 

This makes eating extremely undesirable for them. Nausea and vomiting are other common reasons for appetite suppression in pregnant women as they can’t keep the food in their stomach and constantly throw up. 

This condition kills their appetite and they prefer having an empty stomach over eating because of the persistent nausea. 

Medications 

There are certain prescription medications that may cause loss of appetite as a side effect. 

One survey indicated that medications are one of the most common causes of appetite suppression, especially in people suffering from chronic illness which require a prolonged treatment. Some of the medications responsible for killing your appetite include:

  • Antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like escitalopram, citalopram, sertraline, fluoxetine and paroxetine. 
  • Drugs used to manage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. 
  • Chemotherapeutic drugs or anticancer agents
  • Antimalarial drugs 
  • Certain blood pressure reducing drugs
  • Drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease 
  • Antibiotics 
  • Antifungals

Several other factors including age and genetics. 

Several other factors also play an important role in hunger suppression. Aging is one of the most common factors responsible for causing appetite changes in your system. 

As you grow old, your physiological processes start to slow down, including your digestion. It makes you feel full for a longer period of time. Aging can also alter the levels of hormones and neurotransmitters in your body which can result in altered sense of smell and taste. 

This can also make eating less desirable and you don’t feel that urge to eat as you felt when you were younger. It is a natural process and there’s nothing you can do to reverse it. 

However, studies reveal that staying active as much as you comfortably can is one way to delay the process of aging. Genetical composition also plays an important role as certain people don’t feel the need to eat as much as other people do. 

This is because their cells are designed to survive with a lesser quantity of food and they actually thrive under such circumstances.

Is there any natural way to increase your appetite? 

Following are a few natural ways to increase your appetite:

  • Eat your favourite foods. It’s always a pleasure to eat foods you love. Try sticking to them, for a while. This will make you want to eat food and you will enjoy it as well.
  • Herbs and spices are known to add flavour in your meals. Try to incorporate these in your food so you won’t find it bland. If you like a little heat, you can spice up your food to enjoy it as much as you can. 
  • Exercise. When you workout, you burn calories. The more you burn, the more your body asks you to replenish those calories. It increases your appetite. However, it takes several days to increase your appetite through exercise. You can’t make that happen overnight. 
  • Drink less with meals. When you drink beverages along with your meal, they tend to fill up your stomach faster. 
  • Try liquid calories. You can make milkshakes, smoothies, protein shakes, yoghurt etc, instead of whole foods. This is just a way to drink your calories, if you don’t wish to eat them. 
  • Don’t skip breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. It gives you a head-start. 
  • Try eating in small proportions

Conclusion 

In this blog, we have discussed how several psychological and physiological factors can make you lose your appetite. We have also discussed some ways to help boost your appetite. 

Make sure you don’t let this become a habit as you need calories to perform your daily life activities. Talk to your healthcare provider if your hunger suppression persists. 

FAQs: why am i never hungry

What should I do if I don’t get hungry?

Talk to your healthcare provider if you consistently don’t feel hungry and you continue to lose weight. 

Why am I never hungry?

You’re never hungry or barely feel an urge to eat, probably because of one of the following reasons:

  • Psychological or mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, stress etc. 
  • Endocrine disorders, including hypothyroidism and Addison’s disease. 
  • Kidney and liver diseases
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) 
  • Unhealthy habits like smoking 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Medications 
  • Several other factors including age and genetics. 

Why do some people rarely get hungry?

Genetical composition plays an important role, as certain people don’t feel the need to eat as much as other people do. This is because their cells are designed to survive in a lesser quantity of food and they actually thrive under such circumstances.

Why am I overweight but never hungry? 

There is a possibility of hypothyroidism, if you’re never hungry but still continue to gain weight. Ask your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying health condition. 

Why am I never hungry and always tired? 

Lack of hunger and constant fatigue can be a sign of clinical depression or anxiety. Make sure you visit your mental healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis. 

What is it called when you never feel hungry?

The clinical term for consistent loss of appetite is anorexia. 

References

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