Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
An increase in appetite can be a normal physiological response that occurs, for example, in children and adolescents during periods of growth or following strenuous activity or excessive caloric demand. In some case, an increase in appetite can be a sign of an abnormal condition, such as some endocrinologic conditions. Increased appetite may also be seen in certain emotional or psychiatric conditions, as well as a response to stress, anxiety, or depression. Certain prescription drugs can also increase appetite. It is important to take into account the context and any related emotional or physical factors when determining whether one has an abnormally increased appetite. "Polyphagia" is the medical term for excessive eating.
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Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
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