Why Am I Always Hungry And Tired? Here Are Five Typical Causes And What You Can Do About Them

Hunger and tiredness are two symptoms that often coexist. This was the case for me when I was always tired: I was very hungry even if I had eaten just one or two hours earlier, and I always had to eat right before I went to bed at night in order to fall asleep. If not I would become hungry again before I could sleep and I had to get up to eat.

Are you asking yourself why am I always tired, and more specifically why am I always hungry and tired? Let us look at what the causes may be and what you can do about it.


Meals with a high content of processed flours, simple carbohydrates, and sugars will cause your blood sugar to rise quickly. Your body will then release insulin into your blood stream and cause the sugar to be absorbed into the cells and used for energy. But if the rise in blood sugar is too fast, a lot of insulin will be released and your blood sugar levels will quickly fall below normal. Your body may interpret this as lack of available energy and cause you to be hungry even if you ate not long ago.

To test if this is the case for you: Reduce the amount of simple carbohydrates in your meals and add protein and fat that takes a longer time to convert to blood sugar. This will give your body a more stable energy supply.


For a long time I was not able to find out what caused my excessive hunger. But when I stopped working out for a period it disappeared. This was a clear indication that my body’s energy consumption had been higher than the energy supply. When I stopped working out, the amount of energy my body needed was lower and my excessive hunger disappeared.

Normally, this problem can be solved by eating more and eating the right foods to support your body’s restitution between workouts. But keep in mind that there may be a medical condition causing your body’s energy supply to be low even if you eat a lot.

A good way to test if over-consumption or under-supply of energy is the case for you, is to take 10-14 days off from your workouts and see if the hunger disappears.


Your thyroid gland regulates your body’s metabolism (and energy consumption) by producing thyroid hormones. Your levels of thyroid hormones will rise naturally (and so will the energy consumption) if you work out or do any other strenuous activities.

But your thyroid may also be producing more thyroid hormones than normal, even if your body does not need it. This is called hyperthyroidism and can easily be checked by your doctor and regulated using medicine.


If your body is not getting enough energy even if you eat a lot, then the reason may be that your digestion system is not able to absorb from the food the energy and nutrition that it should. If so, you will likely also be experiencing other symptoms related to your indigestion: stomach pains, constipation or diarrhea, excessive gas and stomach bloating.

The possible causes of this are plenty: food allergies or intolerances, parasites such as worms or fungal infections such as candida.


Being hungry and tired all the time is also a symptom of diabetes. But if you have diabetes you will also be thirsty all the time, you will frequently feel like urinating, and you may be loosing weight. If you have any of these additional symptoms, you need to get tested for diabetes by a doctor.


Make an appointment to see a doctor to find out if there are any medical condition causing your excessive hunger and tiredness. Start with an open question about why am I always tired. Then make sure your doctor tests your thyroid hormone levels to see if they are too high or too low. And ask him or her specifically about testing for parasites and allergies.

26 Responses to Why Am I Always Hungry And Tired? Here Are Five Typical Causes And What You Can Do About Them
  1. Dan Reams
    October 24, 2010 |

    If going to the doctor would help I would not be on here looking for answers. Doctors don’t answer or help. they just want write scrips.

  2. Rob
    February 28, 2011 |

    It would be high cholesterol and stress

  3. ak
    May 25, 2011 |

    i went to doctor he said it is due to diabiet

  4. naomi
    September 9, 2011 |

    i am constantly hungry and can not stop eating. have gained 20 kg in last 6 months.

  5. naomi
    September 9, 2011 |

    i am constantly hungry and can not stop eating. have gained 20 kg in last 6 months. how can i curb my appetite ?

  6. fluffgut
    October 13, 2011 |

    I agree with you Dan. I’ve been complaining of just constant hunger and fatigue for years and they just tell me that my diet is the problem. I am HUGE and gaining weight all the time because if I don’t eat my stomach is growling and cramping. Since I have to actually make a living, I have to eat so I can concentrate and not just be distracted by this lion in my gut. I am also just unable to do anything due to fatigue. I could go back to bed immediately after I get up in the morning (after eating something to calm the hunger that is always present, of course). I don’t sleep well, but I want to sleep ALL the time. I have zero energy and can’t even force myself to go for a simple walk without wanting to just stop and rest every few minutes. Resting does no good and I just feel like I am dragging myself along. Not sure how much longer I can take this.

    Go to the doc and they say “oh, you are fat. that is the cause of it all. Loose weight and it will all go away” Really? So I have to be in constant discomfort due to the constant hunger and have to torture myself endlessly to no avail. Thanks for nothing. Doctors are of no use at all and they just see this fat cow in front of them and assume that is the only issue.

  7. louise
    November 8, 2011 |

    dr can’t give any answers and say they can’t find anything wrong only a money making story.

  8. mike
    November 13, 2011 |

    i was tested for hyperthyroidism about 4 months ago. My tsh is normal. I work out only 2 days a week and generally stuff my face with good home cooked meals almost always made from scratch. However i am always hungry, tired, thirsty, lightheaded and usually dont have any energy to do much of anything.

  9. Claire
    December 1, 2011 |

    I will fall asleep when I get home from work. Wake up to eat. Then go back to sleep. It has gotten so bad, that I am constantly cancelling on friends etc because I cannot make it out of my bed. I will sleep for hours and hours but never feel better. I also get mega hungry.

    I think I have maybe fallen into a rut and my body is just having enough. I think I need to change my whole lifestyle. Eat differently and try to excersise.

    I hope you all find answers to your problem. It is really messing up my life.

  10. Jennifer
    December 19, 2011 |

    I feel all the pain from the posters here. I am 31 years old and have been almost too tired to function since I was about 13. I think my low-energy levels cause me to have depression. Therefore–since depression is not the root cause and only a symptom of what is really going on–the antidepressants the doctors have given me make me feel like a crazy person.

    I have also been tested for diabetes and hypoglycemia, but those both came back normal. I am going to the doctor this week to get another test for hyperthyroidism. This is all so confusing and frustrating.

    I am not sure if anyone else has this strange symptom as well, but I get energized at night and feel really great for about two hours or so until I have to go to bed. I feel worst after lunch until about 8:30. Mornings are okay but only after I have some caffeine.

    I also eat a very healthful diet and hardly any sugar. I really do not prefer sugar. I prefer fried foods over sweets. Not sure if any of this matters or helps to diagnose anything in particular, but I thought I would throw out some random facts of my experience just in case someone else can identify…

  11. Gabrielle
    January 18, 2012 |

    I am 20. I am always tired i can nap for hours. And I am always hungry very hungry. I am normal weight but i am really scared that i will give in and be huge. I fight my hunger. But i could just eat and then five minutes later I am hungry. Its a horror to deal with. No one i know has this happen to them. It really sucks

  12. No Name
    January 22, 2012 |

    There could be a different cause of hunger/tiredness for everyone on here but I have been feeling this way for over a month now where I just have no energy, I could sleep 8 hours and get up and then feel like sleeping another 8. I just plowed through practically the whole fridge of food today and I could still eat more now. But the thing is, I am very fit and I work out heavily 3 times a week so for those of you who are fat, that really may not be the problem. I have started to gain fat as a RESULT of this problem. You can’t go bust your ass in the gym when you have no energy. At this point I’m not sure what to make of it.

  13. sophie
    January 26, 2012 |

    for the past 3 weeks ive been eating alot. i get lightheaded easily, tired, hungry headaches and have no energy to do stuff. i walked up a flight of stairs today and felt exhausted. i play rugby in the summer and hibernate in the winter. what could be wrong??

  14. Emily
    February 2, 2012 |

    One other possible explanation is depression. It can cause strange rating habits and sleep habits. Another cause could be pregnancy. When I was 240lbs at 5’6″ I was very sluggish and tired and hungry all the time. I started a lifestyle change ( not a diet) where I started eating healthier and exercising more. My intake consisted of high lean meats veggies fruit and whole grains. I cut out sweets, junk food, and fast food and soda. After about 7 months I had lost 40lbs (exercised about 1 hr 3 days a week.). I continued to exercise and eat right and within a year and a half total my end weight was 163.

  15. annoymous
    February 3, 2012 |

    Jennifer I have the exact same thing as you and I am getting so mad that I can’t do anything because I gbedet so tired all the time but at night lyk you said you are ready to go but I have my coffee in the morning and a cigarette and then after that I get tired and just want to go back to bed and I am always hungry and in which I shouldn’t be and diabetes does run in my family history and thyroid does run on my dad’s side so I don’t know if I should go to the doctor and see what’s up with my body. But I could sleep all day if I could and eat all the time

  16. J.Victoria
    February 22, 2012 |

    am so tried and lookin fatwhat can i do

  17. Lori
    March 5, 2012 |

    Some of you are way too young to be feeling the way you do. I am 47 years old and have been feeling sluggish for about a year. I think it’s time for a big lifestyle change, diet and exercise should help with my depression, tiredness as well as the hunger. Start today!

  18. Kim
    March 6, 2012 |

    Hi all, I suffer from the same symptoms (obviously) and have tried many different things. Typical doctors don’t help. I’ve complained of being tired since at least 13, and my doctor tells me its lifestyle. It’s not, I do all the proper things to have a good nights sleep, and even if I do I’m still tired. I have hypoglycemia (untested, but fairly certain) but according to my dietitian my diet “should be ok”. I believe I’ve been tested for Thyroid. I had bloodwork but my doctors never told me what they were testing (I didn’t ask either). I don’t have Diabetes. I’m not overweight, I’m on the lower end of normal. I don’t exercise (tried to go consistantly for a few weeks and got so exhausted I gave up). It’s clearly not lifestyle, I’ve been tested for Diabetes and had other bloodwork, and I’m fairly in control of my hypoglycemia (my dad and aunt do not have the same problems as I do). I was at my wits end until I made the decision to see a Naturopathic Doctor. She is great, she really listens and looks at the wole picture, not just my symptoms. She strongly believes I have a food allergy and we have taken a test to find out what I am allergic to. I am awaiting results, and am really hoping this will finally solve my mystery. I’m tired of being tired, and can’t possibly eat more than I already do.

    My suggestion to everyone here: see a Naturopathic Doctor. My best friend swears by hers, and in my experiences with typical doctors, NDs are the only way to go. Each one of you are individuals and your ND will see that and treat you to what is really affecting you.

    Good luck everyone!

  19. Melike
    March 22, 2012 |

    I have experience both symptoms, not necessarily ay the same though.

    3 years ago I had this hunger problem. I was always hungry I would eat like a whole meal every two hours – or snack constantly. I would even eat before I went to bed and still wake up in the middle of the night to eat. I was such a pain to make food for myself to eat then I started to hate eating… Even though I was starving I was just too sick of eating that I would wait till I could no longer handle my hunger.
    Like a year later, it went into not eating at all. I could last the whole day on a single meal. This only lasted for few months…
    And here I am, 3 years later, I have the eating problem again. I am always hungry- always! Sometimes I can distract myself with things. For example; if I am at work or with friends doing something really interactive I can ignore my hunger… sometimes it makes me think that I get hungry because I am bored… but then I still wake up in the middle of the night to eat again. And if I don’t eat within 15 minutes or so I get this puking sensation and I feel like my stomach acid will destroy my stomach…
    As for sleeping I have been experiencing some weird patterns. I have noticed that I can sleep 5 hours a day and wake up feeling absolutely normal, after few days my body would just crash and I would need to take a nap. It worked fine. But if I slept 8 hours, I would wake up and feel like my brain is not functioning… I can’t think, or move… It would feel like as if I was drugged and cannot think straight. In order to get rid of this feeling I would sleep up to 12 hours and would still have this numb/concrete feeling like headache.
    With the eating problem, I have to eat fresh vegetables every morning if not during the day. If I don’t eat vegetables(like cuke or tome..) I get headaches and it almost feels like there is no oxygen in my brain and it makes me want to take deep breaths. Maybe it is because vegetable have always been the biggest part of my diet..
    And In regards to the sleeping issues; I used Accutane like a year ago.. When I was on it I have experienced almost all the symptoms. I would wake up in the morning and I would completely know nothing. I would lay in my bed for 1-2 minutes to recover all the data.. Like, who I am, what day is it today, what time it is, What I have to do today… It was horrible! I was VERY forgetful too! And My brain would feel numb/concrete all the time..
    As for exercising I don’t exercise but I am pretty active.
    I don’t know if those two reasons could affect my sleeping issues and hunger issues but I have started to keep a journal of what I eat and how often I go to washroom along with my sleeping patterns and how I feel afterwards.
    I hope, there is a cure to these issues because it can really make you stressed…

  20. Nunya
    March 26, 2012 |

    What so many people are saying here is exactly what I’m feeling. I tried staying on adderall for a while but that was just a band aid. I have spent literally thousands upon thousands of dollars at the doctor trying to figure out what is wrong, no one can find anything. Not thyroid, not hypoglycemia, not vitamin related, not depression ( I know depression, believe me), not diabetes. Last weekend I slept 42 out of 48 hours. This is just not right. I’m so frustrated at this point. I really don’t understand why no one can find anything wrong with me, SOMETHING HAS to be wrong! UGH

  21. t. minjarez
    March 31, 2012 |

    I am always sleepy/tired and exhausted and hungry all the time.

  22. angela
    April 11, 2012 |

    i have had this since child hood. i lost nine and a half stone 10 yrs ago and went from a size 26 to a size 8 hard bloody work when your hungrey all the time. i thought the hunger would go as i lost the weight but no i eat and 2 mins later im starving its there day and night it must be something we cant all just be greed.

  23. roberta
    January 9, 2013 |

    I can fully relate to all these posters problem, I was thinking today all the dietary and supplemenation I have done these last 15 odd years, and still I have trouble sleeping through the night, have had a ton of blood work, I have constant hunger sometimes for days at a time, maybe pms? but fatigue and lack of drive have been a long standing problem, I am wondering how much damage are they really doing to our food supply, is it possible the foods just don’t have all the nutrients we need especially living under the stresses and strains of just dealing with living in a wicked filled world? could they be deliertaly ruining our food supply to weaken us? I have heard many people in power lamenting there are to many people on the planet, maybe they are trying to speed up death?

  24. Belle
    January 28, 2013 |

    I take vitamin supplements and I have cut down my carb intake to less than 150 per day….not sure how someone can survive on less than 50 per day. I am very tired, and very hungry. I have only been at this for 4 weeks and I do not see the benefits of a low carb diet. I am irritable and tired. I can’t force myself to eat another cold, disgusting vegetable, so I just go to bed hungry and feel worse when I wake up. My adult children think I am mentally ill and that is why I am overweight. They tell me to go to the gym and exercise so I do, but all it does is leave more tired and sore. The only time I have felt good is when I ate 2 servings of special K and a cup of skim milk or 6 oz of orange juice. I have not lost any noticeable weight in the last month. I log in everything that goes in my mouth too. I consume less than 1500 calories a day and less than 100 carbs. I am beginning to think weight 292 lbs for 2 years and eating satisfy food is better than living in this carb/calorie controlled hell. I ate when I was hungry, no I did not lose weight, but I didn’t gain any either. I agree with people on here about doctors…they just write scripts and don’t really care. I don’t think I am mentally ill because I am overweight, I have a college education and I am intelligent person. I do not see the benefits of this low carb nightmare. I think I would rather sleep well at night, not have constant hunger pangs and die before 50.

  25. Shaboon
    February 10, 2013 |

    Ive had this problem for years!!
    Im glad I can help now.
    Im gonna keep it simple.
    For most of you – its actually a digestive issue. You have to “clean” out your insides.
    DONT buy anything. Simply drink a gallon of water even if it kills you – for a month or more. Stick to a vegan diet (no meat, no milk, cheese, sweets).
    And only RAW foods (fruits and veggies)
    Look it up on youtube. Its called Raw food diet. Theres nothing to buy or none of that. The idea is the sh*t we eat ISNT NATURAL – our bodies are not made to process the foods. And they have chemical interactions with each other that can last FOREVER.
    You have to kill whats in there by naturally cleansing (thus, lots of water, only fruits and veggies). Youll flush your insides. Your skin will luminate and soon you wont be AS sluggish. Youll later on want to exercise to sort of “get things going” in terms of energy. And thats only walking and light jogging.
    Im sure everyone can benefit. Give it a try. BUT dont buy books/videos/cleanses etc. Just freakin do it.
    If you have to eat 10 bowls of salad and 2 oranges and 2 apples to fill you up. DO IT. Better than crappy chemically processed malnourished blahblahblah that is bad for you.
    Oh and try to drink lemon water. Squeeze one whole lemon into a glass of water in the morning. It will cleanse your insides pretty well.
    Also i should retract my statement. You may wanna buy this stuff called uniodized sea salt? I dont know exactly. But make sure its uniodized. Drink that in the morning. Youll get diahrea. Thats a good flush too. Youll absorb the nutrients from all the veggies and fruits.

  26. MLN
    August 1, 2013 |

    I had the same problem. It turned out to be a breathing problem. If It’s difficult for your body to get oxygen then you get tired and hungry.

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