According to Healthline, an increase in appetite can be a symptom of various conditions, including stress, anxiety, depression, premenstrual syndrome, Graves disease or hypoglycemia. A person's appetite can also increase as a reaction to certain medications, including corticosteroids and antidepressants. A significant increase in appetite over a prolonged period may be a symptom of a serious ailment, such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism.
Healthline explains that it is normal to experience an increase in appetite after physical exertion, but someone who is still hungry after eating a meal or who has a strong desire to eat large quantities of food frequently should consult a physician. According to MedlinePlus, the desire to eat frequently can come and go, or it can last for extended periods, depending on the cause. Medical professionals refer to excessive hunger or increased appetite as hyperphagia or polyphagia, and the underlying causes of these conditions determine how they are treated.
According to MedlinePlus, doctors may perform a variety of tests, including blood tests, a chemistry profile and thyroid functioning test, to determine why a person has an increased appetite. In some cases, psychological counseling may be required, notes Healthline. If the desire to eat stems from the use of a specific medication, a doctor may change the dose or use an alternative medicine.