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Q.

My appetite has increased suddenly. I have been eating more than I want to, but cannot resist and I am gaining weight.

I am a 64 year old male.  My appetite has increased suddenly.  I have been eating more than I want to, but cannot resist and I am gaining weight as a result.

 

Answers From Experts & Organizations (2)

Internal Medicine and Endocrinology
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Diabetes Association,
41 Answers
3,002 Helpful Votes
41 Followers
A.

A good appetite is a sign of good health, but if your appetite has suddenly increased, in might be a sign of disease.  An important distinguishing point is if you are gaining weight. An increase in your weight suggests that your increased appetite might be a response to boredom, stress, or depression. Certain drugs might also explain an increased appetite and weight gain. Steroids such as prednisone and dexamethasone, which are given for asthma, joint, and skin problems, can cause an increased appetite. Certain antidepressants cause an increased appetite and weight gain. Increased appetite is a side effect of tricyclic antidepressants; amitriptyline (Elavil), imipramine (Tofranil), and doxepin (Sinequan). Increased appetite also occurs with medications used for schizophrenia or bipolar disorder; olanzapine (Zyprexa) and clozapine (Clozaril).  Some women experience appetite changes right before a period. This is especially true for women with pre-menstrual syndrome who can experience craving for carbohydrates and increased appetite around the time of menstruation. Even changes in your diet can affect your appetite. Eating a lot of carbohydrates and junk food increases insulin secretion from your pancreas to stabilize your body’s blood sugar and that can make you hungry. 


If on the other hand your appetite is increased but you are losing weight, then diseases that affect your metabolism may be responsible. Elevated thyroid levels (Grave’s disease or hyperthyroidism) cause an increased appetite because thyroid hormone speeds up your metabolism. Diabetes can present with an increased appetite and weight loss.  Increased exercise can cause your appetite to improve and depending on the calories burned from exercise and your intake, your weight may vary.


Don’t ignore an increased appetite. Keep a diary of the foods you are eating and note whether your behavior is affecting your appetite. Check your weight and see if you are gaining or losing. See your doctor about a change in appetite to make sure that you do not have a medical condition that needs to be treated.


This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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Nutrition
302 Answers
5,367 Helpful Votes
61 Followers
A.

There are many things that can increase appetite -- some beneficial and some not.  For example, an increase in physical activity may give you a more robust appetite which is fine if you feed your body well.  But a lack of sleep or change in eating patterns, can also increase appetite, which is not so good.  Think about what has changed in your life both physically and emotionally that could be increasing your appetite.

Here are some other tips that can help:

  • Look not just what you are eating but how.  Try to sit for meals, be mindful of the food, enjoy eating an stop when you are comfortably full and satisfied. 
  • Avoid eaitng on the go or grazng all day which may not satisfy your hunger. Too many processed foods can also increase hunger because they aren't very filling or sustaining.
  • Eat filling foods including those high in fiber (whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans) and protein (lean meats) along with healthy fats (nuts, seeds, healthy oils). 
  • Get adequate sleep and physical activity.

This answer should not be considered medical advice...down arrowThis answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.up arrow

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