Starving beyond measure makes you irritable and more likely to respond negatively to small inconveniences. The term used to describe this combination is known as hangry.
Hunger is directly proportional to one’s behaviour, therefore a person’s level of hunger has a significant impact on their behaviour. There is a medical reason as to why this happens, which is when a person is hungry, their blood sugar level drops, releasing both stress hormones (cortisol) and fight hormones (adrenaline), which in turn makes them more cranky.
Hence, this phenomenon is quite similar to when a child cries for milk.
In an interview with the Indian Express, a Senior Consultant-counseling psychologist, Dr Nisha Khanna from Max Hospital said, “These hormones, when released into our bloodstream, can increase anger, irritability, and aggression in the face of frustrating experiences. In some people, the cortisol hormone can lead to aggression as well.”
A report in Science Daily suggests that excessive starvation leads to “37% of the variance in irritability, 34% of the variance in anger, and 38% of the variance in pleasure recorded by the participants.”
The report also suggested that negative emotions including irritability, anger, and unpleasantness are caused by both day-to-day fluctuations in hunger.
People who have anger issues tend to get hangry more often than others. People who are on medications should be extra cautious.
Furthermore, those who are underweight should also be careful. In addition to making one feel angry, hunger can cause several other reactions such as:
- Susceptibility to making mistakes
- Difficulty in concentrating on things
- Poor coordination
In order to avoid this situation, you should eat numerous small meals in a day. Abstain from skipping your meals and make sure that your food is abundant in nutritious in addition to being filling.
Furthermore, make certain lifestyle alterations like exercising regularly and avoiding junk.