It goes without saying, feeling hungry is an interesting, albeit quite tangible, experience. To be specific, imagine the feeling that your stomach hurts, and your chest feels tight, all signs pointing to hunger. But, is that always hunger? Let’s dive deep into this topic.
First, let’s discuss the signs. Your stomach and chest hurts; and you hear your stomach growling, practically telling you it’s time to eat. We often dismiss these sensations as an intense hunger, causing us discomfort and leading us to grab a quick snack.
Naturally, we experience ‘hunger pangs’, signs your body sends when you’re hungry. The odd grumbling sound filling a silent room might embarrass most of us; yet, these are mere indicators from our humble stomach.
In essence, hunger pangs stem from muscle contractions in our stomach and intestines. They trigger when your stomach is empty. The release of the ‘hunger hormone’, ghrelin, further accelerates this. The feelings you get range from a gnawing sensation to abdominal pain.
Distinguishing & understanding hunger pangs and stomach rumbling can avoid unnecessary confusion too. ‘Stomach rumbling’ occurs due to the movement of gas and fluids in our digestive system. It’s fairly normal, and can occur even when your stomach is not totally empty.
Interestingly, the volume of these bodily noises depends upon the amount of food or liquid content of your stomach. If these sounds are due to hunger, then abstinence isn’t a solution. Thus, it’s better to eat a hearty meal about an hour or two before heading out for work.
Next, let’s explore why you might experience these torturous hunger pangs. Unsurprisingly, plain hunger is the first reason. Perhaps you skipped a meal? Or maybe your last meal wasn’t as heavy as you’d like? The solution to these problems is simple: eat properly and regularly.
However, factors like quality of food matter as well. When your body calls for nutrition, but all you feed it are instant noodles or fried snacks, it’ll obviously send out distress signals. Foods like instant noodles are quickly digested, causing your blood sugar levels to spike and then fall, leading to more hunger pangs.
Then, there’s dehydration, a sneaky enemy. It makes your body mistake thirst for hunger. Stomach grumbles and discomfort? Nope, it’s not always hunger. Simply drink more water throughout the day.
Yet, if you’ve tried all this and still your stomach and chest hurts, it might be a gastrointestinal issue. Persistent discomfort points towards potential conditions like lactose intolerance, constipation, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Results of certain medications might also fool you into feeling hungry. Some pain medications like NSAIDs can cause stomach upsets. Further, anxiety, stress, and emotional eating might ultimately trigger false hunger signals.
On that note, punishing hunger pangs got you down? Here are solutions. Practicing mindful eating helps promote a healthy diet. Eating at regular intervals keeps hunger at bay. Make sure you get your adequate protein intake. Also, indulge in regular physical activity to keep your digestive system active and healthy.
Lastly, if you’ve tried everything, and the problem persists, it’s time to visit a doctor. Chronic hunger pangs accompanied by symptoms like shortness of breath, diarrhea or nausea might indicate deeper issues.
In summary, the vital mantra remains, listen to your body. Your hunger pangs act as messengers. They might be directed at the fridge, but could also be nudging you towards a more balanced diet. Should they persist, don’t ignore the vital signs. Take it up with a healthcare provider and get the necessary support you need.