On Being Hangry

By Tracy Gowler 6 years ago
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Hangry is not a pleasant state of mind. Well, it is very far beyond a state of mind. It is more like a state of body but before we go there; let’s just explore what being Hangry feels like.

I was a terribly Hangry person. I’m pretty sure I could be compared to the picture of this dog on occasion and I’m also pretty sure if they could have tied me up like this dog, they might have. They being my family. Our days revolved around my need to eat. Now, eating your meals is important but this was so much more. It was to the point that my family could see it coming and would stop everything to make sure I would eat; otherwise Terrible Tracy was about to surface. That is likely not the name they had for me. I’m sure it was so much worse.

Let’s dive into the depths of what a hangry person experiences. First of all, the state of being hungry for me didn’t happen slowly. Nope. I was good, no hunger pains, felt like I could go all day on the energy that I had. Then all of a sudden, without warning my body would be famished. Beyond famished. My mood would shift almost instantly from being tolerant, patient, happy to one of intolerance, uncontrollably pissed off, lack of focus, loss of energy, severely fatigued, short tempered and I had the shakes.

Essentially I had just done my Jekyll and Hyde transformation resulting in snapping at people that were not deserving and I was just downright unpleasant to be around. Many of you can likely relate to that in some form or fashion. Hangry hasn’t gotten the title because a small percentage of us exist. No, there has to be a good handful of us out there for Hangry to get the attention that it has.

Let’s dissect it a little more by diving into the science of being Hangry. So, the food that we eat: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats break down through digestion into simple sugars like glucose, amino acids and fatty acids. These move through your small intestine into your system via the bloodstream and eventually make it to your organs and your tissues and they are used for energy. They are like the fuel for your body. As you get farther and farther from your meal, your fuel starts to wane and it is time to fuel your body again, just like you would your car. If you don’t and the levels of glucose drop far enough in your blood, hence the term “blood sugar”, then your brain is going to assume you are in a life threatening situation. And, your brain is dependent upon glucose to function properly. With this in mind, it isn’t difficult to understand why concentration and focus can become more difficult when your blood sugar drops. Words can also get a little slurry.

But why is hunger linked to anger?

Well, when the blood sugar drops to a certain level, your brain is going to require the glucose from somewhere so it goes into back-up mode and communicates to the body to begin the process of increasing the amount of glucose in your blood. Your adrenal glands are activated and your body actually enters into fight-or-flight mode. Your body gets flooded with adrenaline. Not really a good thing because it isn’t a true fight or flight mode, I mean the tiger isn’t chasing us. Anyway, it creates a lot of stress for the body and starts to wreak havoc with hormone levels and weight gain just to name a few. But that is for another blog. It can create or promote a response of aggression or anger.

As if that wasn’t enough, the same gene used to control hunger, neuropeptide Y and the Y1 receptor also regulate anger and/or aggression. High levels of this neuropeptide Y will make it highly likely that anger will also accompany hunger.

Crazy, I know but Hangry is a very scientific response. Understanding this absolutely made me feel better but my family wasn’t really as psyched about it as I was.

The reality is that hanger can be managed. What does it take? Well, a good, well-balanced, healthy diet; one that supports your metabolism properly. You are probably wondering how are you supposed to know what that is exactly and that is where I come in. If you know someone that suffers from being Hangry have them contact me. I’d love to help them stop the not-so-fun blood sugar rollercoaster that they are on. It is possible to fix it and take back your health in the process. You can find me on www.yourhealthmadesimple.com. I’d love to chat with you.

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 Tracy Gowler

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