Polyphagia or Increased Appetite

Mouth | General Practice | Polyphagia or Increased Appetite (Symptom)


Polyphagia (sometimes known as hyperphagia) is a medical sign meaning excessive hunger and abnormally large intake of solids by mouth. Disorders such as diabetes, Kleine-Levin Syndrome (a malfunction in the hypothalamus), the genetic disorders Prader-Willi syndrome and Bardet Biedl syndrome can cause hyperphagia (compulsive hunger).


An increase in appetite can be a normal physiological response that occurs, for example, in children and adolescents during growth or periods of vigorous activity. In some cases, an increased appetite can be a sign of an abnormal condition, such as some endocrine diseases.

The increased appetite can also be seen in certain psychiatric or emotional conditions, as well as a response to stress, anxiety or depression. Certain prescription drugs can also increase the appetite. It is important to consider the context and emotional or physical factors related to determining whether there is an abnormal increase appetite. Polyphagia is the medical term that usually refers to an excessive supply.