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The physiology of hunger is a complex process. Hunger and appetite are mediated by several molecular signalling pathways in mammals. Hormones known to affect hunger include ghrelin, leptin, and Peptide YY3-36 .
When hunger contractions occur in the stomach, these are called hunger pangs. Hunger pangs usually do not begin until 12 to 24 hours after the last ingestion of food, in starvation. A single hunger contraction lasts about 30 seconds, and pangs continue for around 30-45 minutes, then hunger subsides for around 30-150 minutes. Individual contractions are separated at first, but are almost continuous after a certain amount of time. Emotional states (anger, joy etc.) may inhibit hunger contractions. Levels of hunger are increased by lower blood sugar levels, and are higher in diabetics. They reach their greatest intensity in 3 to 4 days and may weaken in the succeeding days, though hunger never disappears. Hunger contractions are most intense in young, healthy people who have high degrees of gastrointestinal tonus. Periods between contractions increase with old age.
References & BibliographyEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 A. J. Carlson (1931) Hunger The Scientific Monthly 33: 77-79.
- ↑ A. J. Carlson; F. Hoelzel (1952) The Alleged Disappearance of Hunger during Starvation Science 115: 526-527.