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Polyphagia refers to excessive hunger; increased appetite. [1]. It derives from the Greek words πολύς (polys) which means "very much", and φαγῶ (phago), verb for "I eat".[2]


In medicine

In medicine, 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).[3]


Causes of increased appetite include:[4]

Diabetic ketoacidosis

Polyphagia usually occurs early in the course of diabetic ketoacidosis.[5] However, once insulin deficiency becomes more severe and ketoacidosis develops, appetite is suppressed.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Berthoud HR, Lenard NR, Shin AC (2011). "Food reward, hyperphagia, and obesity.". Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 300 (6): R1266-77. doi:10.1152/ajpregu.00028.2011. PMC 3119156. PMID 21411768. //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3119156/. 
  2. ^ "Search: polyphagia - iVillage". Yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com. 2012-09-20. http://yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com/polyphagia.html. Retrieved 2012-09-24. 
  3. ^ OMIM::Prader-WilliOMIM::Bardet-Biedl
  4. ^ NIH Medline plus
  5. ^ Elliott RE, Jane JA, Wisoff JH (2011). "Surgical management of craniopharyngiomas in children: meta-analysis and comparison of transcranial and transsphenoidal approaches.". Neurosurgery 69 (3): 630–43; discussion 643. doi:10.1227/NEU.0b013e31821a872d. PMID 21499159. 
  6. ^ Masuzaki H, Tanaka T, Ebihara K, Hosoda K, Nakao K (2009). "Hypothalamic melanocortin signaling and leptin resistance--perspective of therapeutic application for obesity-diabetes syndrome.". Peptides 30 (7): 1383–6. doi:10.1016/j.peptides.2009.04.008. PMID 19394382. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/eutils/elink.fcgi?dbfrom=pubmed&tool=sumsearch.org/cite&retmode=ref&cmd=prlinks&id=19394382. 

External links