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Name of Symptom/Sign:
ICD-10 R63.2
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ICD-9 783.6
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DiseasesDB {{{DiseasesDB}}}

In medicine, polyphagia (sometimes known as hyperphagia) is a medical sign meaning excessive hunger and abnormally large intake of solids by mouth. Disorders such as diabetes, Kleine-Levin Syndrome (a malfunction in the hypothalamus), the genetic disorders Prader-Willi Syndrome and Bardet Biedl Syndrome can cause hyperphagia (compulsive hunger).[1] It is associated with excessive hunger or increased appetite.[2] It derives from the Greek words πολύς (polys) which means "very much", and φαγῶ (phago) meaning "eat".


Causes of increased appetite include:[3]

Diabetic ketoacidosis[]

Polyphagia usually occurs early in the course of diabetic ketoacidosis.[4] However, once insulin deficiency becomes more severe and ketoacidosis develops, appetite is suppressed.[5]

In biology[]

In biology, "polyphagia" is a type of phagy, referring to an animal that feeds on many kinds of food.

See also[]


  1. OMIM::Prader-WilliOMIM::Bardet-Biedl
  2. Berthoud HR, Lenard NR, Shin AC (2011). Food reward, hyperphagia, and obesity.. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 300 (6): R1266-77.
  3. NIH Medline plus
  4. Elliott RE, Jane JA, Wisoff JH (2011). Surgical management of craniopharyngiomas in children: meta-analysis and comparison of transcranial and transsphenoidal approaches.. Neurosurgery 69 (3): 630–43; discussion 643.
  5. Masuzaki H, Tanaka T, Ebihara K, Hosoda K, Nakao K (2009). Hypothalamic melanocortin signaling and leptin resistance--perspective of therapeutic application for obesity-diabetes syndrome.. Peptides 30 (7): 1383–6.

External links[]

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