Increased appetite means you have an excess desire for food.
An increased appetite can be a symptom of different diseases. For example, it may be due to certain mental conditions and endocrine gland disorders.
An increased appetite can come and go (intermittent), or it can last for long periods of time (persistent), depending on the cause. It does not always result in weight gain.
The terms "hyperphagia" and "polyphagia" refer to someone who is focused only on eating, or who eats excessively before feeling full.
Causes of increased appetite include:
Emotional support, and in some cases counseling, are recommended.
If a medication is causing increased appetite and weight gain, your health care provider may decrease your dosage or recommend a different drug. Never stop taking your medication without first talking to your health care provider.
Contact your health care provider if:
Your health care provider will exam you, weigh you, and ask questions about your medical history. exam. You also may have a psychological evaluation.
Questions may include:
Tests that may be done include:
Hyperphagia; Increased appetite; Hunger; Excessive hunger; Polyphagia
Jensen MD. Obesity. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 227.
Clemmons DR. Approach to the patient with endocrine disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 228.
Becker AE, Baker CW. Eating disorders. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 8.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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