The term “hangry” is often used to describe when someone becomes highly irritable due to hunger. Surprisingly, there has always been a scientific explanation for this emotional state but the playful term hangry originated from social media after merging the words “hungry” and “angry”.
What Causes People to Feel Hangry?
Increased irritability due to hunger occurs when blood glucose levels drop and cortisol and adrenaline levels increase. These substances are known as our fight or flight hormones and they have a significant impact on the brain.
Neuropeptides secreted by neurons control the chemicals in our brain. The chemicals trigger hunger are the same that trigger anger and impulsive type behaviours. As a result, feeling hangry occurs because hunger leads to the same reaction as rage.
Who’s More Likely to be Affected?
Everyone has experienced increased feelings of irritation when they become hungry. Nevertheless, women are generally depicted as hangry more than men. In the mainstream media, articles about being hangry are often illustrated by clearly distressed woman shouting at an unknown subject.
However, women are not more susceptible to hunger induced rage than men. In terms of neuroscience, men are more likely to become hangry than women. Men have more receptors for neuropeptides that combine with the higher levels of testosterone.
Surprisingly, It’s a Genuine Problem
Irritability caused by hunger is a genuine affliction that can greatly affect personal relationships. A study conducted in 2014 found that low blood glucose levels caused greater aggression amongst married couples.
In order to avoid becoming hunger induced rage, it depends entirely on how long it’s going to be until your next meal. A meal that’s going to raise and then maintain blood glucose levels is the most ideal. Additionally, eating fulfilling but healthy snacks can also keep anger at bay until your next meal.