Increased appetite means you have an excess desire for food.
Hyperphagia; Increased appetite; Hunger; Excessive hunger; Polyphagia
An increased appetite can be a symptom of different diseases. For example, it may be due to a mental condition or a problem with the endocrine gland.
An increased appetite can come and go (intermittent), or it can last for long periods of time (persistent). This will depend on the cause. It does not always result in weight gain.
The terms "hyperphagia" and "polyphagia" refer to someone who is focused only on eating, or who eats a large amount before feeling full.
Causes may include:
Emotional support is recommended. Counseling may be needed in some cases.
If a medicine is causing increased appetite and weight gain, your health care provider may decrease your dose or have you try another drug. Do not stop taking your medicine without talking to your provider.
Contact your provider if:
Your provider will do a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history. You also may have a psychological evaluation.
Questions may include:
Clemmons DR, Nieman LK. Approach to the patient with endocrine disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 208.
Jensen MD. Obesity. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 207.
Katzman DK, Norris ML. Feeding and eating disorders. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 9.
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.