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Why do we feel hungry?

We can resist most of our feelings, be it anger, irritation , frustation or even happiness but when it comes to hunger pangs it gets really hard to control it for long. While we are hungry, we would need something to eat. Have you ever wondered why do we feel hungry and how does our body get to know that its time to eat. Lets find out.

Simply put, whenever the level of nutrients like fat , proteins and carbohydrates drops down below a certain threshold in blood, our brain senses it and makes you feel hungry. Brain sends the signal to the body that its low on energy and must consume some calories.

Now who decides this threshold of energy and how does the brain sends the hunger signals?
Certain hormones in our body plays the vital role in deciding when the body is hungry and how much to eat. Leptin and Ghrelin are two major hormones which influence the level of our hunger.

Ghrelin (Causes the feeling of being hungry):

Whenever the fat level drops , the brain releases the Ghrelin hormone which causes the hungry feeling. Sometimes, while we are hungry the stomach creates the gurgling noise which is because the digestive juices are secreted but the stomach is empty so nothing to digest and hence the stomach contracts. So, its the Ghrelin hormone which is necessary to arise the feeling of being hungry.

Leptin (tells the body when to stop eating) :

Leptin is the hormone which sends the message to the brain when to stop eating. Leptin, also known as “fat hormone” decides the energy threshold. So, if the Leptin is above the threshold, the brain gets to know that there is enough energy in the body and sends out signals indicating to stop eating which is why we get the feeling of fullness. Whenever, the Leptin goes below the threshold and brain senses it as low energy and we feel hungry.

Apart from these two hormones which play major role , there are few other cells residing in our intestine and colon which not only keep track of our nutrients level but also send signals to the brain when we eat something. So, this enables the brain to know when did we last eat.

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