Feeling Full and Hungry At The Same Time? | What Early Satiety Means

Dec 30, 2021

It’s a strange feeling, but one that quite a few people experience from time to time: feeling full and hungry at the same time. Odd as it may seem, it’s known as early satiety, and this article will explore some of the causes behind this phenomenon.

What Is Early Satiety?

Normally, we have a pretty good understanding of what it means to be hungry and to be full. Most people experience hunger after having not eaten for a few hours, and feel themselves getting full as they finish a meal.

However, you might sometimes experience difficulty finishing a normal-sized portion. After just a few bites of food, you may feel full. You might also feel like eating any more could make you feel nauseous.

Feeling like you’re full after eating a tiny amount of food is early satiety. If you have this feeling regularly, you might not be eating enough food to supply energy to your body, which may lead to you becoming malnourished.

Feeling Full And Hungry At The Same Time: Symptoms

There are a few common symptoms that you might feel when you feel full and hungry at the same time, particularly around mealtimes:

  • Lack of appetite.
  • Nausea. This may even make you feel averse to food after just a few bites.
  • Stomach pain. Some people may experience a sensation of bloating.
  • Vomiting. Eating past a certain amount could make you vomit, even if it’s a regular portion you’re otherwise used to having.
  • Constipation.
  • Lightheadedness, shakiness, feeling faint. A result of your blood sugar level dropping due to gastroparesis, a condition where the stomach cannot digest food properly and retains it instead of passing it through to the small intestine.
  • Heartburn.

There are several causes that can contribute to these symptoms.

Causes of Early Satiety

As mentioned earlier, a common cause of early satiety is gastroparesis, which means partial paralysis of the stomach muscles.

The stomach is a muscular bag that contracts very strongly to crush food, digest it with the help of stomach acid, and pass it along to the intestines for further digestion. With gastroparesis, though, the stomach can’t perform these contractions normally. This results in food accumulating in the stomach, causing bloating, pain, nausea, and heartburn, among other symptoms.

Gastroparesis is common in people with long-term diabetes, but it can sometimes occur due to:

  • nerve injury
  • viral infections
  • specific antidepressants
  • narcotic medications
  • complications arising after gastric surgery.

Finally, some other causes for early satiety include ulcers in the stomach lining. These peptic or gastric ulcers can cause stomach pains, ultimately decreasing your appetite and leading to a feeling of fullness after only a few bites.

Conclusion: Visit a Doctor For A Diagnosis

So, if you’re feeling full and hungry at the same time, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor, especially one that specializes in gastrointestinal tract disorders. A GI specialist will be able to diagnose your symptoms and give you an appropriate treatment.

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