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Learn about your hunger, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your hunger from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Hunger Checker

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Your Hunger May Also be Known as:
Feeling hungry
Hungry
Starving

Top 10 Hunger Causes

  1. 1.Diabetic Hypoglycemia

    Hypoglycemia (severely low blood sugar) can occur in Type 1 (more common) and Type 2 Diabetes. It is usually caused by poorly timed use of blood-sugar-controlling medication.

    Severely low blood sugar is extremely dangerous. You need to go to the ER immediately, where blood tests to assess your blood sugar will be done quickly and stabilized immediately if found to be low.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, anxiety, racing heart beat, dizziness
    Symptoms that always occur with diabetic hypoglycemia:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  2. 2.Viral (Norovirus) Infection

    Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. These viruses cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. When the diarrhea and/or vomiting is severe, dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, dizziness, urinating less frequently and dark urine.

    You can safely treat this condition at home. Make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids (Gatorade, Pediatlyte) to replace what is lost with diarrhea. If symptoms of dehydration occur or you are unable to keep down any liquids, seek care at your primary care physician or an urgent care.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, headache, stomach bloating
    Symptoms that always occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    hidden: gastroenteritis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    severe abdominal pain, throbbing headache, severe headache, tarry stool
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Viral (Rotavirus) Infection

    Rotavirus is a virus that causes an infection of the gut, known as gastroenteritis. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and fever. When the diarrhea and/or vomiting is severe, dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, dizziness, urinating less frequently and dark urine.

    You can safely treat this condition at home. Make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids to replace what is lost with diarrhea. Eat as normally as possible. If symptoms of dehydration occur, or you are unable to keep down any liquids, seek care at your primary care physician or an urgent care.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), headache, loss of appetite
    Symptoms that always occur with viral (rotavirus) infection:
    hidden: gastroenteritis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with viral (rotavirus) infection:
    constipation, tarry stool
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Normal Variation of Constipation

    Constipation is a very common condition affecting the large intestine. It is characterized by difficulty passing stool, or passing stool less often. Commonly it is linked to not eating enough dietary fiber, not drinking enough fluids, or not getting enough exercise. Some medications can cause constipation as well.

    For the short term, an over-the-counter laxative can help with your constipation. You can try to make changes at home to help prevent these symptoms. Dietary changes are typically effective: drink more fluids and eat more fiber (found in bran, root vegetables, nuts, and whole-grain flour). There are also over-the-counter fiber tablets that can help increase your dietary fiber.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, stomach bloating, constipation, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)
    Symptoms that always occur with normal variation of constipation:
    constipation
    Symptoms that never occur with normal variation of constipation:
    vomiting
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  5. 5.Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the upper airway is obstructed during sleep, which causes poor sleep quality and frequent awakening.

    You should visit your primary care physician within a few weeks to discuss your symptoms. The physician will likely order a sleep test to confirm the diagnosis.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, daytime sleepiness, trouble sleeping, sore throat
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Hunger Checker

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  6. 6.Recurrent Migraine

    Migraines are headaches of moderate to severe intensity, which happen when blood vessels in the brain swell up. They are episodic and thus can recur often. Most migraine sufferers experience increased sensitivity to sounds and/or lights and become nauseous and vomit.

    Migraines are diagnosed purely by your symptoms. Talk to a doctor if you have two or more migraines each month, as there are more effective treatments for preventing migraines. Medications, such as over-the-counter pain killers (e.g., ibuprofen or Tylenol) may help. However, it is important not to take them too regularly. Taking them more than two or three times a week can cause more headaches, as the body gets used to the drug, and the headache comes back when you stop taking the medication.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, fatigue, history of headaches, nausea, mild headache
    Symptoms that always occur with recurrent migraine:
    headache, history of headaches
    Symptoms that never occur with recurrent migraine:
    fever, productive cough, headache resulting from a head injury
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

    Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormone disorder characterized by irregular period, acne, and fertility issues.

    You should visit your primary care physician to discuss your symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal bleeding, fatigue, pelvis pain, painful periods, depressed mood
    Symptoms that always occur with polycystic ovary syndrome:
    oligo/amenorrhea or hyperandrogenism
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Common Cold

    The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract.

    The common cold is treated symptomatically. Since this is a viral infection, antibiotics are not effective. You can safely treat the symptoms of this condition with over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants, antihistamines & cough medicines.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, sore throat, congestion
    Symptoms that never occur with common cold:
    being severely ill, severe muscle aches, rash, severe headache
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  9. 9.Low Blood Sodium

    Hyponatremia is a deficiency in sodium. Sodium is one of the most important nutrients in the body, needed for nerves to conduct signals, muscles to contract, and blood pressure to be maintained at safe levels, etc. A deficiency in sodium can cause severe, widespread symptoms.

    You need to seek care immediately. A walk-in clinic will likely be able to help bring your sodium levels back up to normal levels safely.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, headache, abdominal pain (stomach ache), loss of appetite
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  10. 10.Overactive Thyroid

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid glands control how fast one burns calories and how fast the heart beats. If the thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than the body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who might take a blood test to measure your levels of thyroid hormone. The test will tell the doctor whether a referral to an endocrinologist is useful. Treatment plans would likely be set by the specialist and include drugs to reduce your thyroid activation.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, irritability, trouble sleeping
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Hunger

  • Q.Have you ever been diagnosed with diabetes?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our hunger symptom checker.

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Hunger Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced hunger have also experienced:

    • 10% Fatigue
    • 5% Nausea
    • 5% Bloody Vaginal Discharge
  • People who have experienced hunger were most often matched with:

    • 24% Diabetic Hypoglycemia
    • 7% Viral (Norovirus) Infection
    • 4% Viral (Rotavirus) Infection

People Who Have Experienced Hunger Also Read

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    Hunger Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having hunger.

    Take a quiz