This is something I just noticed the other day but has been going on for quite a while. I know that MS can effect the operation and feeling for bowel and bladder function and does with mine, but this is the opposite part of the equation. I don't seems to feel hunger at all.
I say hunger not appetite because I do have a very good appetite. I love to eat, probably a little too much. I will drive 1.5 hours to go to red lobster when they have their endless shrimp dinners and will eat until I am about to bust wide open. But I never feel hungry and no stomach rumbling either. Most days I end up only eating dinner and then only because I notice it is dinner time. The only time I seem to eat breakfast or lunch it is because I get a craving for a nice cheeseburger or maybe some French toast and it happens to be breakfast or lunch time. But some days I will not notice it is any particular meal time and as such I will not eat anything at all.
For example on Tue. I had a large dinner salad with grilled chicken on top plus 6 tortilla chips with salsa for dinner. Wed I did not eat at all. Thursday evening at dinner time ( even though I didn't feel hungry) I had Hawaiian Chicken, baked potato, and steamed broccoli for dinner. Friday I had the same thing for dinner as I had on Thursday. And tonight (Sat.) I drove 1 hour to have Chinese as I had a craving for crab legs. My meal consisted of 12 fried shrimp, Beef with mushrooms, Beef with peppers, Egg-roll with hot Chinese mustard (got have the mustard), sweet & sour chicken, Spicy Chicken, Terriaki Chicken, 1 pound of crab legs, and banana pudding.
They other thing I have noticed lately is that when I do eat after only 2 - 3 of food I will feel full. I continue to eat as I know that 2 - 3 bites of food is not enough food for me. I also consume about 36 ounces of fluid each day in the form of tea or coffee (decaf).
So does anyone else experience this or something similar? Do you think this might be MS related?
My neurologist says that this problem is uncommon, but it does happen. It sounds like you have a lesion that is having an affect on my vagus nerve. I would report it to your doctor. They may decide to do a test that watches how long it takes for food to exit your stomach.
There is someone else here who has this problem too. You have to be careful of fiber containing foods. There are other things to look after too.
Look up "gastroparesis". I'm sorry you're going through this.
I've never experienced hunger, um yeah strange but true, no dr has ever got this and believe me i've tried and tried to get the answer, just never ever have. For me though, the family stories go back to babyhood, so i was probably just born this way.
My first thought is to look up any new medications your on, lots of meds affect appetite though its more common for them to have the opposite effect but it can still happen. Drugs.com is a good place to look meds up, though they may not have enough specific info, but it may give you some clues.
I just saw my typo... Sorry. I meant to type "the" instead of "my". Not sure how I did that. I frequently substitute words when I'm speaking, and now it seems to passing over into my typing as well. So much for my neuro rehab, LOL!
I looked up "gastroparesis" and I'm pretty sure that is not the problem. If anything things go too fast through my digestive system at times. Most of the time when I eat I end up having to go to the bathroom before I even finish my meal even though I had just gone before I sat down to eat.
I think it is more like my body is saying that since I wasn't hungry and just ate something then I must be full.
As I tried to explain it isn't a lack of appetite but hunger. Drugs can effect appetite and I have not been taking anything new for a long time.
I love food of just about any thing you can name and don't dare keep snacks at home as I always eat them all as soon as I get home from the store. A good example is my Mom loved turtle candies so I would get her some for her birthday every year. But I had to buy them on her birthday plus two extra boxes as I would eat two boxes on the way to her home only 5 minutes from the store.
Sorry to confuse, these terms are often interchangably used by people, because both are commonly used to express the desire to eat or the feelings associated with the desire to eat though not necessarily because of a physical need to but you are right, appetite is psychologically related and hunger is the physiological response, so they are different.
"Appetite is psychological, dependent on memory and associations, as compared with hunger, which is physiologically aroused by the body's need for food." http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/appetite
I believe the correct term for the lack or loss of appetite is anorexia and its when your 'hunger' is reduced or absent but if id said that, you like most people would probaby think of anorexia nervo'sa, which is a specific psychological condition and would probably confuse even more.
Anyhoooo, blood sugar levels have a roll to play in hunger, wiki (though admittedly not a good source to use) states "Levels of hunger are increased by lower blood sugar levels, and are higher in diabetics." so that angel might be worth looking into. Interestingly it takes 12 plus hours before your expected to experience the physical sensation or a true pain from hunger.
Medications can effect both appitite and hunger responses, if a person taking the types of medications that target the brain (eg SSRI, psychotropics etc), can experience an increase in appitite and no longer has the feeling of being full, then theoretically the opposite is also possible too. If you look you'll find brain injuries associated with it too, but i've not come across anything specifically to do with MS, a lesion in the right spot would be damage enough from my way of thinking though.
ps hmmm i wonder if my mum dropped me on the head as a baby lol i was once told by a dr, it was because i have a tiny tiny stomach like the rest of me, which doesn't make sense if i can eat half a cow in one meal. lol
Agh i also can't hang onto my weight, my dad was the same on that part, not sure if he never felt hunger, he died a long long time ago so i'll never know. My weight (just like my dad) has stayed around the same since puberty, no matter how much food is consumed. lol for my height i'm suppose to be 50 kilo (110) but i can't ever get there, i hover on 45-47 with 18% body fat. Well i did, its been awhile since i've wanted to look, lets just say 'all' my curves are absent now, how do we say minimus gluteus maximus (maxnotus)? lol.
Interestingly though when i was eating a hypoglycemic diet of 5 meals a day (i upped it to 7 + snacks) I actually lost 2 kilo's and my blood tests were spot on so it appears that my matabalism functions on the faster side. Weight is a bugger no matter if its too much or too little, for me each relapse drops my weight and then i play catch up, trying to get it back again, fatigue of my oral muscles soooo isn't helping lol DH thinks that since the tremors went 24/7 i'm burning fuel at an even quicker rate, what can i say other than its driving me nutts!
I went looking and found a few research papers that give clues as to where the lesion(s) could be, note research found is mainly regarding anorexia nervo'sa and brain damage causation but it really is slim pickings. Firstly anorexia with out the psychological aspects is being classed as “atypical anorexia” (underweight without food or body weight related preoccupations, rituals, or purging), remember though the type of research you'll find isn't specifically for lack of hunger sensation.
"Results: Although simple changes in appetite and eating behaviour occur with hypothalamic and brain stem lesions, more complex syndromes, including characteristic psychopathology of eating disorders, are associated with right frontal and temporal lobe damage. "
I'll just give you the one thats most interesting, the others seem to be saying the same things anyway. The Hypothalamus seems to be more commonly associated with eating disorders, an autonomatic(sp) function, according to wiki "The hypothalamus regulates sleep and wake cycles, eating and drinking, hormone release, and many other critical biological functions."
Thalamus or subthalamic is inter-related, maybe possible lesion location too "The subthalamic area (zona incerta) seems to contain action-generating systems for several types of "consummatory" behaviors, including eating, drinking, defecation, and copulation"
I haven't started looking for things about brain stem lesions, if i find something i'll pass it on.
I use to be very under weight up until I developed MS when I was 39. I was always 115 lbs. but should have been 145 for my height. Made it a real hassle buying pants since they didn't make many that had a small enough waist for my height. My high weight level was 217 but I have manage to take off about 20 lbs in the last two years but it seems to be stuck at that level now.
Thanks for all that great information. I think a brain stem lesion is the culprit in my case since I have had other symptoms of a lesion in that area. I happen to be one of those lucky people that have few visible lesions but lots of symptoms.
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