Chronic severe hunger

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by adrbassplyr, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. adrbassplyr

    adrbassplyr Member

    For 3 1/2 years now I have had a chronic hunger but it has gradually gotten worse along with the fatigue. The hunger has a connection to the fatigue and to sleep. I cannot sleep when I am hungry, cannot, as soon as I eat I am extremely tired, but when the hunger returns I am much more awake. If I sleep just 30 minutes I will wake up starved. I gained a lot of weight then I lost it all and was doing better then recently I was overcome by such severe fatigue I've barely been able to function. Coincidently, the hunger became so severe now it is 24/7. It does not matter what I eat or how much I eat I am in a constant state of feeling starved. It is keeping me from sleeping. The fatigue is so overwhelming I can't do anything. I have to keep eating in the night just to sleep but I have gained weight and do not ever want to gain the weight back, I think about it constantly and know that if this continues I will either have to gain weight to sleep or I will eat normal and will be even more miserable and sleep deprived. When I gained the weight I was severely severely depressed. I just want the hunger to stop. I have been tested for any obvious reasons, blood sugar, thyroid, all the tests my doctors could think of. Has anybody heard of this chronic hunger being associated with chronic fatigue syndrome? I didn't have this hunger until I started having the fatigue. I was also given medication that is given to obese people to stop hunger and it didn't work for me which left doctors baffled. I just saw an endochrinologist, and she said she has never heard of this but she said she will look into it.
  2. MIssAutumn

    MIssAutumn New Member

    I have had this for years and learned to live with it. I was always hungry no matter how much I ate I never felt full - my stomach would growl right after eating and feel like nothing was in it! A few months ago I started to be treated by a Dr. Farr, one of the tests he did was was called a Comprehensive Stool Analysis, and that is where we found out I had no stomach acid or bile, long with a whole host of bacterium and viruses. Without these two - the acid and bile- none of my foods were being broken down or able to be absorbed- malabsorption. I first started off on a mild supplement for the stomach acid and now have move up to a heavy duty one. The first time in years I can eat and feel full and I can go 4-5 hours without eating! And I'm losing weight. You would think that if you can't absorb foods you wouldn't gain weight but I did. I would ask one of your doctors to do the test, if they won't then you can start taking Bragg's Apple cider vinegar, on the label is the recipe for the drink.

    One other thing, when I do get hungry I don't start to sneeze then if I don't eat right away I would throw up! Now that was weird and no one had heard of that.

    Have you been tested for EBV?

    We are also treating the Lyme and Epstein Barr viruses, along with all the crud i have going on. I was also tested for Candida Albican- positive and a few other viruses. Since then I do feel better- a lot better and the fatigue is not so bad.

  3. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I've not had chronic hunger, but reading your comment that yours has a connection to fatigue and sleep, I remembered something. When I have been on Xyrem for sleep problems, my hunger almost completely went away. I ate only about half the amount that I normally did. AND I didn't crave sweets at all. In fact, my mother-in-law took the family out to a great restaurant, and I didn't eat any of the appetizers, ate only 3/4 of the great sea bass, and was the only one not to order dessert -- I simply was too full.

    So I think that you have definitely hit on a connection between the sleep and the hunger.

    I wish someone could solve this.
  4. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    Since serotonin regulates sleep, mood, and hunger, and can also play a role in pain, it would stand to reason that it could be why you are constantly hungry and not sleeping well. Too little serotonin causes problems with sleep, makes people hungry, esp for carbs, and causes depression. If the body has normal amounts of it, it helps to reduce pain.
  5. Chelz

    Chelz New Member

    First of all, I know what you are talking about, I have chronic hunger as well, but for me that did not happen until I took an antidepressant years ago. The first one was Elavil which through my hunger through the roof, I could eat all day long. I gained so much rapid weight that I had blood red stretch marks all over my body.

    My doctor took me off that drug and put me on Paxil, and the huger and weight continued. I was on both of these drugs for 5 years, the Elavil for 9 months, then the Paxil for about 4 years. I went off both and the hunger subsided a little, but at that point I think it just pretty much ruined my adrenal glands, not sure about that, but I do think that is what happened with so much weight.

    Next issue, could you be suffering from systemic yeast problems? Systemic yeast can happen through a simple yeast infection that could have reached the blood stream, then it is called systemic yeast. I do believe I am suffereing from that now. Yeast problems can cause huge cravings for sweets, starchy foods such as breads, rolls, pizza dough, biscuits, potatoes of any kind of variety, etc.

    The reason I am asking this is because doctors still don't warn patients about weight gain and antidepressants, if you are not on an antidepressant, then obviously this will not be your problem. Also, it is very hard to detect yeast problems, most doctors, mostly all of them will never think of this as a possibility. Yeast problems are common for people with FM and CFS, yeast can also cause so much fatigue it can be unbearable.

    These are just two options, and they may not be your problem at all. Look up yeast problems on the internet and see if you have any of the common symptoms. Good luck and hugs to you, Chelz.
  6. adrbassplyr

    adrbassplyr Member

    Hey thanks for all the tips! I finally feel like I may have some leads and I will start looking into these as soon as possible.
  7. alangan1

    alangan1 New Member

    i can relate to your problem, i love sweets and starches, very hungry most of the time, but fill up easily too. i have often wondered if because i drink alatte all day long, maybe my stomach acids are off. i did start a probiotic, it helped with digestion.
  8. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    So sorry you are dealing with this! I thought I would share my story with the hope that it could help you out. I had a blood sugar issue in which I felt hungry all of the time. (I still do, but it's under control now.) It's so unusual that it doesn't have a name, and I was only the second patient that my endocrinologist has seen with this condition.

    After eating a meal, I would feel more hungry. Instead of feeling full, about 10 to 30 minutes later, I would feel symptoms of extreme hunger. IE, My body is not physically hungry, but I would feel symptoms that MIMICKED hunger, which made me want to eat more. It caused a lot of weight gain (which I've lost now that I know what it is). How confusing is that? As the situation got worse, it would keep me from sleeping also. I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking I was hungry, but I wasn't.

    Two endocrinologists ignored my symptoms and just told me to eat protein bars to stay full. It was difficult to diagnose the condition (especially given that it's so unusual that it doesn't have a name). My blood work also came back normal.

    It sounds like your endocrinologist is willing to listen, which is key. Are you monitoring your blood sugar at different times of the day? That can give you and your endo. really important clues as to what is going on. For me, the HIGHER my blood sugar was, the MORE hungry I felt, which is amazingly counterintuitive.

    I hope you find the answers you need very soon.

    All the best,


    [This Message was Edited on 02/12/2009]
  9. ladybugmandy

    ladybugmandy Member

    i got really really hungry during mono which is what triggered my illness. throughout my CFS, i have been hungrier than most people and dont stay full for long. i also cannot sleep if i'm the least big hungry either. i have gained a lot of weight and its really frustrating! i think i still have active infection.

  10. sascha

    sascha Member

    i have my own experience with foods to draw from: i love food and cooking and eating. i have found that i have non-stop insatiable appetite when i eat carbs, fats, and proteins together. and carbs and sugars. i can eat and eat and eat and never feel satisfied. i do SOOOOOOO much better when i do food-combining approaches: proteins with fats and vegs; carbs with low/no fats; fruits separate from these food groups for the most part. this isn't 100% perfect for me- i mean i'm not 100% consistent in this, but i have found over and over again that when i keep off certain foods, and don't combine foods as mentioned- i feel satisfied with what i eat and am not obsessing over food all the time. it feels almost miraculous.

    gradually over time i have found i do better with no wheat or gluten; no dairy (once in a while a bit of cheese or yogurt); no sugar except some raw honey; no baked goods, even gluten-free ones (although here again i lapse once in a while). i do WELL when i follow what i've found works best for me, and my appetite doesn't rule me.

    i've had that feeling that i have to eat during nighttime so i can get to sleep or get back to sleep, but i think you can train yourself out of it. but i don't know what's at the root of your situation- would be good to find that out, then take it from there. check out allergies and possible digestive problems, then you can really take action. but definitely cut out the junk that doesn't do us any good! my son got pizza last night- i allowed my impulses to rule and had some- result, wicked diarrhea the next morning. i'm glad that happened, too- shows me how right i am that when i eat 'my' way, it works best for me.

    hope you find the right anwers for your situation- best, sascha
  11. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    For me, when I'm flaring up bad, I have a tendency to binge. It's like I'm trying desperately to build back up whatever nutrients I'm missing that are making me sick. But it never works. And all I feel I'm doing is filling myself with probably a million empty calories. And I always say I won't do it again, but I do, like tonight. I've been flaring bad all day. And I ate alot. All kinds of stuff and alot. I probably ate several thousand calories. Hopefully, it will balance out, though, because I don't tend to do it the next day.
  12. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    This is one of our most annoying symptoms. I try to keep a large salad in the fridge at all times and take that out to eat with other food most of the time. I go light on the dressing or just use lemon-lime juice. I rotate my salads so I don't get bored. I look up salad recipes online and buy ready-made ones too. I eat a lot of Greek Salads since I have trouble digesting lettuce and I have to peel tomatoes and peppers but it's worth it.

    I've also noticed that I get raging hunger an hour or so after eating any MSG. KFC chicken and the potatoes too I think is loaded with MSG so be careful if you eat it. I peel the skin off and the hunger still happens to me. I limit myself to 2 pieces if we get it now and I eat other foods if I am hungry again later the same day.

    I agree with eating as healthy a diet as possible. I try to always have some vegetable soup going too and I make sure to eat a lot of protein.

    Btw, you can make your own pizza with corn crust pizza dough and your own sauce, veggies, lean meats like chicken breast. That helps my cravings for it.

    All this helps but I still suffer from this symptom at times and it is annoying.
  13. Jayna

    Jayna New Member

    This was a big part of my problem for several years. I was ragingly hungry and would fly off the handle if anything or anyone stood between me and food.

    Basically, no matter how much I ate, not much was getting into the cells. So I always felt like I was starving even though I was eating a lot and gaining weight.

    Switching to a low-carb diet, adding a chromium/vanadium supplment, and eating smaller meals every two-three hours gradually brought my insulin resistance under control and now I can pretty much eat what I want when I want without messing up my insulin/blood sugar. (lots of other dietary issues still, but not insulin resistance)
  14. adrbassplyr

    adrbassplyr Member

    Thanks for all the tips. I am going to see the endoch. today. I have printed out these tips and some others I have found on the internet to show her. I will let you all know what she thinks.

    Ever since I started having terrible sleep problems and then especially when the CFS started I have been experiencing severe anxiety. I have noticed that the anxiety makes the hunger a lot worse. It was there before the anxiety, but my anxiety has made it much worse. This also does not add up. One of the symptoms of taking amphetimines, like speed, is appetite loss, that is one reason they lose so much weight....the adrenaline. Others I have met w/ severe anxiety lost tons of weight b/c they lost their appetite, and I was given adderrall (3 amphetimines) to help w/ the fatigue and mainly the hunger but it only worsened it. This just does not add up.

    Before the CFS I ate by the Maker's Diet. It is an extremely healthy diet based on killing off the bad bacteria in our guts and growing the good bacteria. No sugar, only healthy carbs, lots of vegetables and fruit. I didn't eat any dairy, any bread, only rice products and other grains like millet and flax seed. I took the pro-biotics. But this did not help the hunger. Granted, it was a lot better at that time, much much better than presently. The puzzling thing is, a year 1/2 later I got CFS but I was eating this rediculously healthy diet. The hunger just seemed to get worse and worse and worse then the fatigue. I just mention all of this b/c people keep saying to follow a certain diet, which I quit following 2 months ago when the fatigue started, to help get better but how did I get sick in the first place following this diet?

    Enough rambling here. Hopefully this doesn't come off as complaining I'm just trying to figure out this hunger situation. Thanks again everybody,
  15. adrbassplyr

    adrbassplyr Member

    My endo. did a lot of blood tests and everything came back normal. She wants to try a shot that diabetics use to help slow down the digestion of food in the hopes that it will help curb my hunger. My mother is opposed to this because it has not been tested on non-diabetics and can cause problems with the pancreas. I asked her about CFS and she said that she believes it exists but that she was classically trained, not holistically. I have never seen a gastroenterologist, so that is the next move I'm going to take. I've been doing some research. I know the vagus nerve has something to do w/ hunger, maybe that could be a lead. If I find out anything new or find something that helps w/ my chronic severe hunger, I will let you all know.
  16. 3gs

    3gs New Member

    My dad suffered from this for so long. He would make a sandwhich and take it to bed at night to eat when it woke him up.

    I never understood it but now Ive have started this cycle. Wish I had known then what I know now, could have helped my dad more. He went undiagnosed for so long with fibro cfsand misdiagnosed. They just kept giving him meds for stomach.

    I have the some feeling of feeling starved even with eating. hope someone figures this out.
  17. MIssAutumn

    MIssAutumn New Member

    I just saw where I had answered this awhile back- that was way before I started being treated by Dr. Farr. Since we have healed the digestion/malabsorption/inflammation/Candida and inflammation I don't have it any more. I do wakeup at night and sometimes will be hungry but not like before and I can actually go 4-5 hours between meals. I can't believe it, this was something I thought I had to live with. If you can, have your doctor do a comprehensive stool analyzes for all of the above.

  18. zenouchy

    zenouchy Member

    That's so important. Your endocrinologist should be having you do a finger-prick test several times a day to see if your blood sugar is normal. If your blood sugar is low, it can explain why you are hungry. If it's high, it can mean that you are feeling artificially hungry for a variety of reasons, such as insulin resistance, other reasons. (If it's normal, that's a good sign.)

    This information is so important in providing several clues about why you are so mysteriously hungry. Something is obviously wrong, and this info. can tell you and your doctor why so you can fix it. While pricking your finger several times a day is no fun, I would ask your doc about this. It really provides vital information about your blood sugar! The bottom line is that blood sugar should be normal---not high or low, and you can find out what it really is.

    My doctor did lots of other blood tests, but this was the only thing that gave my doctor enough information to provide a definitive and accurate diagnosis. I'm hoping it will do the same for you.

    Good luck,

    [This Message was Edited on 04/04/2009]
  19. justdifferent

    justdifferent New Member

    I have been on a pro-methylation regimen for the last few weeks and I notice that my appetite has dropped, but if I don't eat, I'm in big trouble. It's as if my metabolism has stepped up and I need fuel for it - but I don't get the "munchies" as much.