Food Cravings and Narcolepsy

In a case-control study conducted by the Sleep Research Society (SRS), it was found that Narcoleptics are more prone to having eating disorders. I found this study on The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) website, and I will include a link to it at the end of this post.

The results showed:

“23.3% of the [Narcolepsy] patients fulfilled the criteria for a clinical eating disorder, as opposed to none of the control subjects. On the symptom level, half of the patients reported a persistent craving for food, as well as binge eating. Twenty-five percent of patients even reported binging twice a week or more often.” 

This finding explains my entire life to me. I’ve had a huge sweet tooth since I can remember, and I tend to find any excuse I can to justify eating snack after snack. Now, I’m not overweight; but then again, I’m still young. Who knows what health problems I may develop in the future once my hummingbird metabolism slows down?

But, why are we more prone to binge eating anyway? According to the SRS, Narcolepsy is believed to be caused by the lack of hypocretin (in the brain) which…

“…are located in the perifornical area of the lateral hypothalamus and are involved not only in the regulation of sleep, but in endocrine and autonomic regulation as well.”

So, what does that even mean? The endocrine system produces hormones that are in charge of regulating metabolism, growth and development, tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, sleep, mood, etc. Yes, the key word there was metabolism!

I guess we’ve cracked the case behind our insatiable appetites! If you want to curb any unnecessary snack breaks and avoid an uncomfortable stomach ache, try drinking water! We often confuse hunger with thirst, you can replace a chocolate bar with water, a smoothie, juice, etc.

Remember: eating is important, but everything in life should be enjoyed in moderation.

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