Are you hungry all the time?  Just finished eating and within an hour you are hungry again?  This leads to overeating and weight gain over time.  Then you start a diet and yet you are still hungry and even worse you don’t lose a pound.  READ ON for 3 reasons you might be hungry that are often missed…

The first reason you may be hungry involves your blood sugar.  When we eat our blood sugar increases depending on what we eat and the glycemic index of that food.  The glycemic index is a measure of how high of a blood sugar (glucose) spike you will get with a particular food.  The higher the glycemic index the higher the spike.  The body then produces insulin to basically go out into the blood stream and grab the glucose and pull it into the cell.  The higher the glucose, the more insulin gets produced.   In addition, some people have exaggerated responses to glucose which results in a big dip in blood sugars about 1 to ½ hours after eating.  You might be able to feel this drop and feel a little shaky, anxious or even hungry.  The bigger the drop the more symptoms you will have.  A recent study found that people who experience big drops in their blood sugar levels after eating had a 9% increase in hunger and tended to eat again 1 ½ hours early than those who didn’t have a big dip.  They also consumed 312 more calories in a day. This adds up!  Diets often make this worse so the focus needs to be switched to having more balanced meals using fats and protein to offset the sugars.  If you are a really big dipper then you will need to limit the sugars coming in regardless.

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The second reason for being hungry all the time is a yeast overgrowth.  Yeast craves sugar so sends a signal to eat more sugar.  This becomes a vicious cycle.  There is not a great test available to see if you have yeast overgrowth.  Sometimes you can find it in a stool analysis or antibodies for candida in blood but often you just have to have a suspicion it is there.  Decreasing your sugar intake helps starve the yeast.  In addition, adding some natural anti-yeast products like oregano, olive leaf extract and garlic to name a few can really help.  Often I use prescriptions like Diflucan followed by an herbal product for the best results and may need to have several rounds to completely get rid of it.

The third reason for being hungry is low serotonin.  Serotonin is a feel good neurotransmitter that sends a “happy” signal.  When serotonin is low we crave sugar because when we eat a little bit of sugar is releases serotonin.  Then a cycle starts.  Serotonin is made in the gut and is often low when the gut is not healthy.  Fix the gut and serotonin usually improves.  You can also boost serotonin with products that contain 5HTP or Tryptophan.  Be careful if you are taking an anti-depressant though as these products don’t play friendly with them in many cases.  As your physician for any contraindication before trying them.  A dangerous condition called serotonin syndrome can occur.

When you are hungry it is sometimes difficult to determine the cause but this might give you a few more areas to focus on.

To your health,

Laura