What Causes Excessive Hunger Pains?

Updated February 21, 2017

It's important to pay attention if your appetite decreases or increases rapidly. Such changes can be a sign of things going on with your body. Excessive hunger means a drastic increase in feeling hungry that is difficult to satiate. The causes of excessive hunger pains can be related to hormones, blood sugar issues or side effects from prescription medication.


A symptom of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, is excessive hunger. Sometimes it can even be accompanied by weight loss. If you are experiencing fatigue along with hunger pains, consider getting tested for diabetes. High glucose and low insulin levels are responsible for excessive hunger pains. High blood sugar is associated with diabetes.


If you are experiencing extreme hunger pains, you may have uncontrolled hypoglycaemia. This means low blood sugar. The drop in blood sugar and fluctuations from low to high blood sugar triggers a higher appetite. Along with the excessive hunger pains there is usually dizziness, shakes and feeling faint.


Hormonal imbalances can be responsible for strong hunger pains. That is especially the case in women. The thyroid can produce excess hormones and adrenal hormones. Both of those cause excessive hunger pains. Hormone fluctuations that happen prior to a woman's menstrual cycle or during pregnancy often cause a large appetite.

Prescription Medications

Prescription medications, such as steroids and withdrawal from prescription amphetamines can lead to excessive hunger pains. Steroids are notorious for raising the appetite and causing extreme weight gain. Stopping the use of amphetamines, such as Adderall, has a backlash effect in which it causes you to be terribly hungry.

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About the Author

Yvonne Van Damme is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She has been writing for several years with a focus on criminal justice and legal topics. In addition to various websites, she has been published in several academic journals. Van Damme holds a Bachelor of Arts in law, society and justice and sociology from the University of Washington.