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Fitness & Health

05th May 2018

It turns out that being hangry is a real emotion and not just one you made up

It's not all in your head

Michael Lanigan

It’s not all in your head

If you’ve ever flew off in a temper and attempted to justify it as hunger, the news is good. You’re not actually a terrible person. “Hanger” is a genuine emotion.

Granted, the ingenious combination of the words “hunger” and “anger” doesn’t necessarily do any justice to this form of behaviour.

In truth however, this is an all too real issue caused by neuropeptides, which are protein-like molecules secreted and used by neurons use to communicate with one another.

According to Sophie Medlin, a lecturer in nutrition and dietics from King’s College London: “When our blood sugars drop, cortisol and adrenaline rise up in our bodies — our fight or flight hormones.”

In turn, these affect the brain as they cause the release of neuropeptides, which can control the brain’s chemicals. “The ones that trigger for hunger are the same ones that trigger for anger and rage and impulsive behaviours. So that’s why you get that sort of same response.”

Interestingly enough, men have far more of the receptors for neuropeptides than women, due to their higher levels in testosterone.

So now you know how to avoid most arguments. Remember, those insults hurled were not in any way personal. They were simply the result of the neuropeptides secreted by your neurons.