Adrenal Insufficiency Community
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Adrenaline and hunger spike

Is there a link between adrenaline and hunger?

Why does my hunger spike every time I encounter a stressful situation? I been getting panic attacks for years but never used to get hungry. The last few years; every time I get nervous I have to eat and have gained quite a few pounds as a result. My hunger goes away if i take a Xanax. On the other hand, if I go too long without eating I start to get weak, sweaty and irritable. I been tested for diabetes and I have normal blood sugar.

I blame my crazy mind for having a big belly!
3 Responses
Avatar universal
This is the action of adrenaline:
"Adrenaline is the body's activator, and is released in response to anxiety, exercise, or fear. This is the basis of the so-called 'fight-or-flight' reaction. When an animal is threatened, the options are usually either to stand its ground and fight, or run away as fast as possible. Both responses would require extra supplies of blood and oxygen in the muscles. "

It goes without saying, regular meals are good for you - even if you are overweight, cut calories and fat, but not the number of meals otherwise you get spikes in blood sugar and yeah, you won't feel well.

Weight gain around the belly is more often associated with cortisol, not adrenaline. That requires several sets of testing from a doctor to see if that is the issue. Oh and the supplements they sell OTC don't actually lower cortisol.
Avatar universal
weak, sweaty and irritable---sounds like low blood sugar.  I have had problems with it for years--but it never showed up every time I was pregnant and they would do those tests for diabetes.

After several years of major stress in our family, topped off by a major stressor for me, i got physically ill and lost 10 lbs in a week---and continued to lose weight--nobody seemed to care (except my daughters' with eating disorders)  people were asking my kids if I had an eating disorder.

It was the need for carpal tunnel surgery in both wrists, and a low-normal thyroid test that finally got me to an endocrinologist who diagnosed me with  secondary adrenal insufficiency and hypothyroidism--and multiple endocrine issues------and some of my blood work finally showed up mild hypoglycemia.

I have since learned that cortisol controls your blood sugar levels.  when I originally went on hydrocortisone, my fasting blood sugar jumped up to 113--which is too high, but it eventually has evened out to be normal over time--plus, the A1c test, that tests your average blood sugar levels over a 3 month period, was normal.

When my blood sugar would drop, I would get extremely hungry and would want to just keep eating until the feeling went away.  The weird thing, now, is that I rarely ever feel hungry---even when I can feel my blood sugar dropping, I have to force myself to eat.

Rumpled---is the adrenaline surge what makes some of us stress eaters???  I used to be a stress eater before I lost the hunger sensation---i only get the munchies in the evening for some reason.

I often wonder if my trouble with eating is causing my blood sugar to rise and fall and make me feel lousy, even though i am not feeling obvious symptoms of low blood sugar.
Avatar universal
At work when the stress and anxiety kicks in; I turn into a human garbage disposal. Before a big meeting,I have to chow down to calm my nerves. Same thing happens when I talk to hot women, I get really freakin hungry.

I think this is all adrenaline related. Stress and anxiety turns on th hunger button for me.
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