What Really Causes You To Get 'Hangry'

Have you ever been at a restaurant with friends and suddenly had trouble being friendly while waiting for your food? Or have you ever driven home from work, and suddenly could only think negative thoughts while your stomach growled? There is a term for this other than just grumpiness. You were probably "hangry" in both of these instances. 

According to Merriam Webster, hangry is an adjective used to describe a person's foul mood brought on by hunger. If you've been lucky enough not to have experienced this reaction while hungry, then you probably are thinking of a few instances where you've observed someone else in a snippy state. Here is what causes them to become hangry.

When your body and brain are not fueled with sufficient calories, then your blood sugar levels begin to plummet along with your self-control, Shape shares. And it's not just your blood sugar at the bottom end of a roller coaster, your serotonin levels also plummet, leaving you with little ability to manage your anger.

Low blood sugar may interfere with higher brain functions

It is also proven that when you have low blood sugar, the stress hormone, cortisol, and adrenaline disrupts your ability to think reasonably. Gastroenterologist Christine Lee explains to Cleveland Clinic why it is important to not let yourself get to a hangry state. "The release of cortisol can cause aggression in some people," she says. "Also, low blood sugar may interfere with higher brain functions, such as those that help us control impulses and regulate our primitive drives and behavior." Dr. Lee goes on to state that, "People who struggle with controlling their anger or who have impulse-control issues may be more susceptible to becoming hangry."

And it's not just feelings of anger that appear when you let yourself get too hungry. Healthline lists a number of negative symptoms that can happen when the body is deprived of nutrients including: shaking, weakness, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. So what do you do if you suddenly find yourself in a hangry state? We're thinking you should find something to eat ASAP, and apologize in advance to those you're with.