Polyphagia

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Polyphagia

 

(1) In man, excessive consumption of food. In a healthy person, polyphagia may be caused by increased requirements for energy and protein after strenuous physical work, infection, or a lengthy period of undernourishment. It may also be caused by such diseases as diabetes mellitus and diffuse toxic goiter. In addition, the condition may result from false hunger, caused by inadequate stimulation of the part of the hypothalamus regulating food intake, as with, for example, neuroses or dementia. Polyphagia sometimes intensifies into bulimia.

(2) In animals, the ability to be nourished by various plant and animal fodders. In this sense, polyphagia is the opposite of oligo-phagy.

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