Can Anxiety Cause Hunger Pangs

Anxiety in Dictionary

Anxiety is a natural response to tension, stress and excessive worrying. It is not a physical response, but an emotional one. Adrenaline and cortisol are released and provide a quick burst of energy to help you get through a difficult situation. When we face stressful situations, the release of the chemicals give us the boost we need to move forward and accomplish whatever task is in front of us. By managing the amount of sugar in the bloodstream, your body is better able to handle the rigors of the situation without being injured.

The release of adrenaline and cortisol in response to a bout of anxiety, can lead to excessive hunger pangs if the chemicals are not completely utilized. If the amount of cortisol remains high, visceral fat can begin to form. As more and more fat is created, it will begin to store in various areas of the body including the stomach, lower back, hips and thighs. Visceral fat can lead to diabetes, heart disease and abnormal weight gain. This creates a cycle that leads to more cortisol and more weight. If high stress levels are maintained, the cycle will continue until something is done to break it.

Unlike the years where the body had to endure "fight or flight" situations just to survive, today's hectic society offers different levels of anxiety and stress. Meeting deadlines, being in a car accident or not being able to pay your bills on time all offer a certain degree of stress. The more stress a person experiences, the hungrier they may become. People who often deal with high levels of stress often have comfort foods they rely on to help satiate their hunger pangs.


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