Gastrointestinal problems that feel like hunger?

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oat_bran
oat_bran Posts: 370 Member
edited October 2016 in Health and Weight Loss
I just wanted to know if anyone here has had similar problem or knows what I'm talking about?

So for weeks I've been struggling with feeling ravenous all the time and not being able to keep any deficit. At first I thought it was something hormonal or metabolic but then I realized that it just can't be hunger because even when I eat hundreds of calories over my deficit for several days, it doesn't go away. It's actually getting more intense. So it made me think that it could be a gastrointestinal issue. Something like an ulcer or gastritis or something related to excess acidity in the stomach? I've read that peptic ulcer can feel like hunger/

If feels so much like hunger: this hollow concentrated somewhat gnawing sensation in my stomach and me salivating intensely at the thought of food. It feels like when you haven't eaten all day and the you eat something small, like 2 bites of a sandwich - you can feel there's something in your stomach, but it's only making you more hungry and you need MORE food. And like something is just not right. Only this is how I feel all day.

Eating a decent meal usually helps to make the feeling subside, especially if it includes a soup or is followed by a warm drink. But after an hour or so - sometimes less, the sensation is back! Raw fruit and veggies make things worse! Same with small-volume snacks like nuts. Drinking water or tea helps but only like for 5-10 minutes. Tums don't help. If I don't eat something the feeling gets more and more intense and becomes too uncomfortable to be able to concentrate on anything else. And falling asleep at night is extremely hard.

I've had gastritis/gastodeodenitis as a child and teenager, so it could be something related. Only I haven't experienced any pain so far, no burning sensation either, just some mild discomfort and lots of gas, sorry for TMI. And some slight sour taste in my mouth and extra salivation.

Because of my insurance and financial situation, it'll be a while until I can see a doctor. I guess I'm just hoping that someone has had this problem and would tell me if they were able to treat it eventually. I'm just panicking because I'm gaining weight really fast.

Replies

  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
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    What happens when you take OTC antacid?
  • goldthistime
    goldthistime Posts: 3,214 Member
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    I don't have an answer but I'm interested in the responses. A few times I have woken up in the wee hours of the night with a similar pain/ravenous feeling, despite having eaten plenty the night before. Eating takes it away and I can go back to sleep. Always wondered about it.
  • oat_bran
    oat_bran Posts: 370 Member
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    Sued0nim wrote: »
    What happens when you take OTC antacid?

    Tums don't work. I've started taking omeprazole (proton pump inhibiter) and so far no improvement. :( I'm hoping that maybe I should give it more time to have an effect.
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
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    So if no symptomatic relief what makes you think it's an ulcer or acid issue?
  • buckleten
    buckleten Posts: 205 Member
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    I know this feeling, and I have been diagnosed with a peptic ulcer several years ago. I can literally eat all day long and still have this, though not all the time (thankfully!) i find it is worse if I have had a period of eating badly/too much, and then try to get back on track - by late afternoon I inevitably cave in and eat loads in an attempt to stop it. However, if I can manage to stay on track for a few days or a week I find that it gets much better. It is just hard to get through that period!
  • shadowfax_c11
    shadowfax_c11 Posts: 1,942 Member
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    This is a question for your Dr,
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,988 Member
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    Please change your Diary Sharing settings to Public: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/account/diary_settings
  • oat_bran
    oat_bran Posts: 370 Member
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    I don't have an answer but I'm interested in the responses. A few times I have woken up in the wee hours of the night with a similar pain/ravenous feeling, despite having eaten plenty the night before. Eating takes it away and I can go back to sleep. Always wondered about it.

    The night is really hard for me. I usually wake up at least 2-3 times feeling ravenous and I need to eat something if I want to be able to fall asleep again. I usually eat some cereal with almond milk or almond milk and toast.
    Sued0nim wrote: »
    So if no symptomatic relief what makes you think it's an ulcer or acid issue?

    Because acidic/fibrous foods make things worse and foods that coat the stomach bring relief albeit temporary. Plus I have a history of gastrointestinal problems. I can't remember how exactly it used to feel before but I've read that ulcer can feel like hunger. And most importantly, if it's not grastrointestinal issue it should mean it's real hunger? which I have a hard time imagining it could be since I'm eating is all I do! Yesterday I ate 1000 calories over my TDEE!
    marm1962 wrote: »

    I've spent the entire week googling things and I've read this page and none of those things seem quite right as I don't really have any of the other symptoms.
    buckleten wrote: »
    I know this feeling, and I have been diagnosed with a peptic ulcer several years ago. I can literally eat all day long and still have this, though not all the time (thankfully!) i find it is worse if I have had a period of eating badly/too much, and then try to get back on track - by late afternoon I inevitably cave in and eat loads in an attempt to stop it. However, if I can manage to stay on track for a few days or a week I find that it gets much better. It is just hard to get through that period!

    Yes!!! It actually started after I had a period of overeating and eating junk food in general and since then I have a hard time getting back on track. Last week I had a day where I was running with not a minute of free time, so I just couldn't eat, so I decided to use it and fast to see what happens - and even though I was hungry, I felt much better. It wasn't this unbearable, uncomfortable feeling. But as soon as I have a small-ish breakfast next morning it came back full forse. It's almost as if eating makes it worse. The problem is I can't just stop eating completely.
  • oat_bran
    oat_bran Posts: 370 Member
    Options
    I don't have an answer but I'm interested in the responses. A few times I have woken up in the wee hours of the night with a similar pain/ravenous feeling, despite having eaten plenty the night before. Eating takes it away and I can go back to sleep. Always wondered about it.

    The night is really hard for me. I usually wake up at least 2-3 times feeling ravenous and I need to eat something if I want to be able to fall asleep again. I usually eat some cereal with almond milk or almond milk and toast.
    Sued0nim wrote: »
    So if no symptomatic relief what makes you think it's an ulcer or acid issue?

    Because acidic/fibrous foods make things worse and foods that coat the stomach bring relief albeit temporary. Plus I have a history of gastrointestinal problems. I can't remember how exactly it used to feel before but I've read that ulcer can feel like hunger. And most importantly, if it's not grastrointestinal issue it should mean it's real hunger? which I have a hard time imagining it could be since I'm eating is all I do! Yesterday I ate 1000 calories over my TDEE! And I felt just as "hungry".
    marm1962 wrote: »

    I've spent the entire week googling things and I've read this page and none of those things seem quite right as I don't really have any of the other symptoms.
    buckleten wrote: »
    I know this feeling, and I have been diagnosed with a peptic ulcer several years ago. I can literally eat all day long and still have this, though not all the time (thankfully!) i find it is worse if I have had a period of eating badly/too much, and then try to get back on track - by late afternoon I inevitably cave in and eat loads in an attempt to stop it. However, if I can manage to stay on track for a few days or a week I find that it gets much better. It is just hard to get through that period!

    Yes!!! It actually started after I had a period of overeating and eating junk food in general and since then I have a hard time getting back on track. Last week I had a day where I was running with not a minute of free time, so I just couldn't eat, so I decided to use it and fast to see what happens - and even though I was hungry, I felt much better. It wasn't this unbearable, uncomfortable feeling. But as soon as I have a small-ish breakfast next morning it came back full forse. It's almost as if eating makes it worse. The problem is I can't just stop eating completely.

  • Seffell
    Seffell Posts: 2,222 Member
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    Sued0nim wrote: »
    What happens when you take OTC antacid?

    Tums don't work. I've started taking omeprazole (proton pump inhibiter) and so far no improvement. :( I'm hoping that maybe I should give it more time to have an effect.

    Give it time.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
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    What is your weight change like on the last month?
  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,942 Member
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    I just wanted to know if anyone here has had similar problem or knows what I'm talking about?

    So for weeks I've been struggling with feeling ravenous all the time and not being able to keep any deficit. At first I thought it was something hormonal or metabolic but then I realized that it just can't be hunger because even when I eat hundreds of calories over my deficit for several days, it doesn't go away. It's actually getting more intense. So it made me think that it could be a gastrointestinal issue. Something like an ulcer or gastritis or something related to excess acidity in the stomach? I've read that peptic ulcer can feel like hunger/

    If feels so much like hunger: this hollow concentrated somewhat gnawing sensation in my stomach and me salivating intensely at the thought of food. It feels like when you haven't eaten all day and the you eat something small, like 2 bites of a sandwich - you can feel there's something in your stomach, but it's only making you more hungry and you need MORE food. And like something is just not right. Only this is how I feel all day.

    Eating a decent meal usually helps to make the feeling subside, especially if it includes a soup or is followed by a warm drink. But after an hour or so - sometimes less, the sensation is back! Raw fruit and veggies make things worse! Same with small-volume snacks like nuts. Drinking water or tea helps but only like for 5-10 minutes. Tums don't help. If I don't eat something the feeling gets more and more intense and becomes too uncomfortable to be able to concentrate on anything else. And falling asleep at night is extremely hard.

    I've had gastritis/gastodeodenitis as a child and teenager, so it could be something related. Only I haven't experienced any pain so far, no burning sensation either, just some mild discomfort and lots of gas, sorry for TMI. And some slight sour taste in my mouth and extra salivation.

    Because of my insurance and financial situation, it'll be a while until I can see a doctor. I guess I'm just hoping that someone has had this problem and would tell me if they were able to treat it eventually. I'm just panicking because I'm gaining weight really fast.

    Last year I was diagnosed with gastritis after a very stressful medical situation with my man (took him to ER and didn't know if he was going to live, and he had to have open heart surgery. He's 100% now) coupled with an extremely stressful job situation (now resolved).

    I was ravenous all the time and had out of control heartburn. I had an endoscope, was diagnosed and did an acid reflux diet for awhile. What helped me was that my guy's recovery and finally getting out of that horrible office I used to work in.

    I sounds like you have acid reflux. I urge you to see if there is a clinic you can afford.
  • oat_bran
    oat_bran Posts: 370 Member
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    Chieflrg wrote: »
    What is your weight change like on the last month?

    I am gaining weight rather fast. I gained 7lb in the last 4 weeks or so.
    SLLRunner wrote: »

    Last year I was diagnosed with gastritis after a very stressful medical situation with my man (took him to ER and didn't know if he was going to live, and he had to have open heart surgery. He's 100% now) coupled with an extremely stressful job situation (now resolved).

    I was ravenous all the time and had out of control heartburn. I had an endoscope, was diagnosed and did an acid reflux diet for awhile. What helped me was that my guy's recovery and finally getting out of that horrible office I used to work in.

    I sounds like you have acid reflux. I urge you to see if there is a clinic you can afford.

    But that's the thing, I don't have regular acid reflux symptoms (burning sensation in the esaphogus or stomach, bitter taste in the mouth etc.) But maybe it presents itself differently sometimes? I'll try to see a doctor as soon as possible. Thank you!
  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,942 Member
    Options
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    What is your weight change like on the last month?

    I am gaining weight rather fast. I gained 7lb in the last 4 weeks or so.
    SLLRunner wrote: »

    Last year I was diagnosed with gastritis after a very stressful medical situation with my man (took him to ER and didn't know if he was going to live, and he had to have open heart surgery. He's 100% now) coupled with an extremely stressful job situation (now resolved).

    I was ravenous all the time and had out of control heartburn. I had an endoscope, was diagnosed and did an acid reflux diet for awhile. What helped me was that my guy's recovery and finally getting out of that horrible office I used to work in.

    I sounds like you have acid reflux. I urge you to see if there is a clinic you can afford.

    But that's the thing, I don't have regular acid reflux symptoms (burning sensation in the esaphogus or stomach, bitter taste in the mouth etc.) But maybe it presents itself differently sometimes? I'll try to see a doctor as soon as possible. Thank you!

    So, are you eating so much over your TDEE that you are actually gaining fat? 7 pounds times 3500 calories is actually 27,500 calories it would take for you to gain weight. If that is the case, then you need to see a doctor because that is some uncontrollable hunger.

    Now that I've come across as a smarty pants (not intentionally, but I realize that's how it might sound. :)), I would think that some of that seven pounds could be water retention and natural weight fluctuations. Your body is not in it's normal state right now because you are not feeling up to par. When people don't feel well, they tend to move less, eat more (you already said you're having trouble sticking to a deficit), and your body often compensates.

    Please do make an appointment with your doctor, even if you think it's not acid reflux. Man, when my gastritis was full swing I was 100% miserable. It felt and sounds like there were a couple of lions in my stomach fighting or something. I was still able to stay in my deficit, but it sure was difficult.

    Keep us posted on what you find out from the doctor. I think it's pretty important you go. :)
  • SLLRunner
    SLLRunner Posts: 12,942 Member
    Options
    Sued0nim wrote: »
    What happens when you take OTC antacid?

    Tums don't work. I've started taking omeprazole (proton pump inhibiter) and so far no improvement. :( I'm hoping that maybe I should give it more time to have an effect.

    This only worked for awhile for me, then the MD put on a stronger RX medication. That didn't work for me either. Finally, I told the doctor I could not take them anymore because they made my chest hurt. What helped was monitoring and managing stress, and slowly changing the types of food I eat. No food is good or bad, but food type is beneficial to those of us who have acid reflux, gastritis, digestive issues and food intolerance.
  • Susieq_1994
    Susieq_1994 Posts: 5,361 Member
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    I have exactly this problem, and it's stopped me from eating salads for quite a while (and I love salads!) so I'm here to follow the replies/suggestions. :)
  • CattOfTheGarage
    CattOfTheGarage Posts: 2,750 Member
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    Acid reflux does not always cause pain, it can be bad enough to do damage (like scarring of the oesophagus) with no pain. So I was told in the hospital.

    Omeprazole doesn't take long to kick in, it should be fully working in 2-3 days in my experience, but if there is an ulcer it will take longer to heal.

    I've had phantom hunger before, most notably after childbirth - I think it was because my stomach had been squashed up and was sending false signals as it returned to its normal size. It was a weird feeling, persistent, insistent hunger accompanied by a nasty hollow feeling.

    I agree the best person to speak to is your doctor.
  • itsbasschick
    itsbasschick Posts: 1,584 Member
    edited October 2016
    Options
    I just wanted to know if anyone here has had similar problem or knows what I'm talking about?

    So for weeks I've been struggling with feeling ravenous all the time and not being able to keep any deficit. At first I thought it was something hormonal or metabolic but then I realized that it just can't be hunger because even when I eat hundreds of calories over my deficit for several days, it doesn't go away. It's actually getting more intense. So it made me think that it could be a gastrointestinal issue. Something like an ulcer or gastritis or something related to excess acidity in the stomach? I've read that peptic ulcer can feel like hunger/

    If feels so much like hunger: this hollow concentrated somewhat gnawing sensation in my stomach and me salivating intensely at the thought of food. It feels like when you haven't eaten all day and the you eat something small, like 2 bites of a sandwich - you can feel there's something in your stomach, but it's only making you more hungry and you need MORE food. And like something is just not right. Only this is how I feel all day.

    Eating a decent meal usually helps to make the feeling subside, especially if it includes a soup or is followed by a warm drink. But after an hour or so - sometimes less, the sensation is back! Raw fruit and veggies make things worse! Same with small-volume snacks like nuts. Drinking water or tea helps but only like for 5-10 minutes. Tums don't help. If I don't eat something the feeling gets more and more intense and becomes too uncomfortable to be able to concentrate on anything else. And falling asleep at night is extremely hard.

    I've had gastritis/gastodeodenitis as a child and teenager, so it could be something related. Only I haven't experienced any pain so far, no burning sensation either, just some mild discomfort and lots of gas, sorry for TMI. And some slight sour taste in my mouth and extra salivation.

    Because of my insurance and financial situation, it'll be a while until I can see a doctor. I guess I'm just hoping that someone has had this problem and would tell me if they were able to treat it eventually. I'm just panicking because I'm gaining weight really fast.

    i have that sometimes. i find taking pepcid can help, but also what i eat makes a difference. and i also find a tablespoon of light sour cream (20 calories per 15 grams/1 Tb) coats the stomach pretty well, and also mixes into some things in a tasty way. also lactose free milk (more soothing than regular milk with lactic acid) with extra calcium is settling to the stomach, and you can use it to make a small serving of oats (with stevia, for me) for a small carb meal that makes the tummy feel better.

    btw, sometimes regular water gives me that feeling, but some mineral waters help it. tea is full of tannic acid, so may be causing more irritation.
  • oat_bran
    oat_bran Posts: 370 Member
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    SLLRunner wrote: »
    Sued0nim wrote: »
    What happens when you take OTC antacid?

    Tums don't work. I've started taking omeprazole (proton pump inhibiter) and so far no improvement. :( I'm hoping that maybe I should give it more time to have an effect.

    This only worked for awhile for me, then the MD put on a stronger RX medication. That didn't work for me either. Finally, I told the doctor I could not take them anymore because they made my chest hurt. What helped was monitoring and managing stress, and slowly changing the types of food I eat. No food is good or bad, but food type is beneficial to those of us who have acid reflux, gastritis, digestive issues and food intolerance.

    What type of foods do you think are best to avoid and what are those that are beneficial.

    It's interesting because according to the classic quidelines in the country where I'm from there are lots of foods that are otherwise considered as very healthy, that are adviced to be avoided with gastritis or an ulcer. While according to the main medical US websides you need to stick to a 'classic healthy' diet of lean protein, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies (many of witch are actually on the avoid list in my country).