HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >



I seem to remember that at one time, if I heard my tummy gurgling, I also felt hunger pangs. I entered this century over 50yrs old and have noticed since then that, although I (still overly) enjoy eating, I don't often FEEL hungry. If it is quiet, and I haven't eaten in, say, 4-5 hours, I can hear my gastric juices gurgling, without any accompanying sense of hunger. I have coffee and sometimes a mini-muffin when I get up. I can then go 6 hours before feeling a little light-headed, which is my cue to eat lunch. Sometimes, but rarely, I'll have hunger pangs 30 minutes after having lunch. They don't last long.

When it began, I was on digoxin, which does suppress appetite. But I haven't taken it in many years. At the time, my doctor ran all sorts of tests to make sure there wasn't a dangerous reason. So at this point it's not a medical concern, but I am curious if anyone else shares my absence of hunger pangs.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: MGZ

      Me too. And it's always a surprise to me when people say they're not. Or that they don't care about food.
      I wish. That's been the case for me about three times EVER.

    2. not making light of your situation, but i never feel hunger pangs...but that's because i'm always eating! it's rare that more than 3 hours go by without me shoving something down my mouth hole. and, unfortunately, it shows.

      1. i get ravenous between meals. and i get the hungry horrors the day after i do high intensity interval training at night. i want to eat everything not nailed down. and i'm hungry as hell. i'm in my 30's.

        1. Are you eating less carbs than you used to? For me, hunger pangs seem tied to my carb intake. If I eat rice, bread or pasta, I will get hungry soon again. But a meal with protein and some fats leaves me full longer. I had leftover lasagna for dinner last night and found myself hungry less than an hour later.

          4 Replies
          1. re: EM23

            I don't think it's carb-related. My morning coffee is decaf with less than 1/4 tsp sugar, a packet of Splenda, and a bit of evaporated milk. Sometimes a mini-muffin sized brownie, or a small cookie. So there are carbs, yet no hunger until mid-afternoon (I'm a late riser). I have 2 meals a day, on rare occasions 3. Dinner usually not until after 9pm. Bad knees and ticker keep me sedentary, unfortunately. Knees to be fixed soon, so I hope to get more exercise. However, this all started before retirement, when I delivered mail full time and got plenty of exertion, including the repetitive motion injury type.

            1. re: greygarious

              Could it be the Splenda? Splenda makes my stomach "growl" gently. Aspartame, on the other hand, makes my stomach rumble loudly enough to disrupt conversation.

                1. re: pdxgastro

                  Because a tiny bit of sugar masks the alcohol aftertaste of the Splenda. Now that I look it up, Splenda came on the market at about the same time I developed this suppression of hunger pangs. Could be that this is the cause. Not that I'm complaining - just curious.

            2. I would say if you're getting to the point of being light-headed, you're not eating enough. I'm not always hungry when I eat, but I know I need to eat because otherwise, it'll hit in a less convenient time and I'll end up making bad food choices (like if it hits when I'm driving home from work, next to fast food places).

              So, even if you aren't hungry, you should probably eat SOMETHING every few hours... even if it's just a small snack like a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit. Getting lightheaded means your body is starving for food... you don't want to get to that point on a regular basis.

              I have witnessed the appetites of all my older relatives decrease as they age though. My paternal grandmother was always a hearty eater, and pleasantly plump... until she was older and it became a struggle to get her to eat enough, and she was only 100lbs.

              1. Here's a word for you:
                which is the term for the gas-in-intestines rumbling

                and is a ton of fun to teach to a crew of pre-K kiddoes.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                  Thank you for introducing "borborygmus"! Learned that years ago for GRE prep and loved it so. Then it left my brain, like a gas bubble in the night.
                  Good word. Throw it out in conversation.

                  1. re: globocity

                    Sounds like something that would give me Hipster "street cred"-
                    "Yeah, I had borborygmi all the time when we lived in China but sometimes it made me feel gassy."

                    KB now in NoVA

                      1. re: greygarious

                        This Health Sciences major is cracking up.
                        That borborygmi is on the GRE is cracking me up. "Like a gas bubble in the night" = best ever.
                        Hipster street cred, LOL. It totally would!

                2. Is it a rumbling or a gurgling?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: beevod

                    The technical definition IS a rumbling sound, with no mention of the sound of bubbles racing and gurgling and popping.

                    1. re: Kris in Beijing

                      Aha! It must be the dreaded shortcake syndrome.

                    2. re: beevod

                      If you're asking ME (the OP), it's the sound of gastric juices, so more of a gurgling. Guess my choice of title wasn't the best. Borborygmus, AFAIK, is more of a rumbling.

                    3. Late May last year I had an attack of the flu which turned into gastroparesis. I rarely am hungry nowadays. If I don't actively think about it I forget to eat all day because I am just not hungry

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: suzigirl

                        I have GP too, as a result of a virus. Most often it is mild, but it is exacerbated by stress and then I lose all appetite for weeks on end. OP, were you checked for GP?

                      2. The same thing is happening to my Dad, in his mid-'70's and diabetic, who has been ravenous and food-obsessed all his life until recently. (Well, he's still food-obsessed, but now he's mostly concerned with what everybody else is eating...)

                        Like Pwmfan, I think it's the Splenda. He only has a teaspoon every day with oatmeal, but he's been doing that for a long time and before that it was Nutra-Sweet. Two of the commonly noted side effects of Splenda use are stomach upset and loss of appetite. (And tingling or numbness of the extremities; do you have that?) There don't seem to be any major studies on long-term use of it, but a really smart Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor we know (who's also an MD) says, from what he's seen in his patients, it seems to mess with insulin production, stomach function and gut flora in such a way that people don't feel hungry, partly because their digestion is compromised. And from what I read, even though it's not supposed to "read" as sugar, Splenda does cause insulin levels to spike, which would explain the faintness. My Dad gets very faint too, about six hours after breakfast, as you describe.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ninrn

                          In the interest of providing full information, I have no long term use history of either Splenda or Aspartame. The rumbling occurs almost immediately after ingestion (with Aspartame the amount contained in a breath mint sets this in motion). Therefore I have consumed very little of either but I'm certain everyone's tolerance is different.

                        2. <<absence of hunger pangs.>>
                          what is that?
                          i'm always hungry.