A person with hyperphagia has an obsessive and compulsive behaviour towards food and often continues to eat long after they are full. This excessive eating can cause abdominal pain, guilt, or sleepiness. The obvious sign a person is suffering hyperphagia is having too much body fat, or being obese.
Hyperphagia is not necessarily a person’s inability to control themselves when it comes to food and what they consume. There are various triggers that cause this devastating disease.
Hyperphagia can be caused when a person experiences damage to their hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a portion of the brain that has a variety of functions which include controlling body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, and sleep. Disorders such as diabetes, Kleine Levin Syndrome (a malfunction in the hypothalamus), the genetic disorders Prader-Willi Syndrome and Bardet Biedl Syndrome can cause hyperphagia (compulsive hunger).
- Hyperphagia can be triggered by psychological problems, eating disorders, diabetes mellitus, endocrine gland disorders, and certain drugs
- Treatment varies depending on what caused hyperphagia, but it normally includes some counseling.
- It’s also referred to as polyphagia.