Loss of appetite is when you have a reduced desire to eat. it may be food you’re used to or those you aren’t used to. Loss of appetite is medically referred to as anorexia.
Loss of appetite can be caused by a multitude of factors. These include both mental and physical ailments.
If you lose your appetite, you may have other symptoms like weight loss or malnutrition. If left untreated, these can be dangerous, so it’s critical to figure out what’s causing your loss of appetite and cure it.
Causes of Loss of Appetite
A lack of appetite can be caused by a variety of factors. Once the underlying ailment or reason is cured, your appetite will usually return to normal.
Bacterial, viral, fungal, or other infections
Here are a few examples of the infective causes:
- an infection of the upper respiratory tract
- an infection of the skin
Your appetite will usually return when you have received effective medical care for your condition.
Causes that are psychological
Appetite loss can be caused by a variety of psychological factors. Experts aren’t sure why, but many older folks lose their appetites.
When you’re unhappy, depressed, grieving, or anxious, your appetite may also diminish. A decrease in appetite has also been linked to boredom and stress.
Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa can cause a loss of appetite in general. Self-starvation or other weight-loss measures are used by people with anorexia nervosa.
The majority of people with this illness are underweight and fearful of gaining weight. Malnutrition is a side effect of anorexia nervosa.
Your appetite may be affected by the following medical conditions:
- Chronic hepatitis is an illness that affects
- renal disease
- failure of the heart
- Cancer can also induce a loss of appetite, especially if it is concentrated in the locations such as the colon, stomach, ovaries, pancreas
- During the first trimester of pregnancy, you may experience a decrease of appetite.
Some medications and substances can make you feel hungrier. Illicit drugs including cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines, as well as prescribed pharmaceuticals, are among them.
The following are some examples of prescription appetite suppressants:
- a few antibiotics
When you should seek emergency medical help
If you begin to lose weight quickly for no apparent cause, call your doctor straight away.If you have a diminished appetite as a result of depression, alcohol, or an eating condition like anorexia nervosa or bulimia, you should get medical care right away.
Treatment for a loss of appetite
The cause of a loss of appetite will determine the treatment. If the cause is a bacterial or viral infection, you won’t need to treat the condition because your appetite will return once the infection is cleared up.
Care at home
It can be tough to regain your appetite if you are suffering from a medical condition such as cancer or a chronic sickness. Taking enjoyment in food by eating with family and friends, making your favorite foods, or going out to dine may, nevertheless, stimulate eating.
To cope with your lack of appetite, try limiting yourself to one major meal each day, with light snacks in between. Eating numerous small meals, which are usually easier on the stomach than large meals, might also be beneficial.
Light exercise may also aid in the stimulation of hunger. Meals should be high in calories and protein to ensure you obtain enough nutrients from food. Liquid protein drinks are another option.
Keeping a diary of what you eat and drink for a few days to a week can be beneficial. This will aid your doctor in determining your dietary intake as well as the amount of your loss of appetite.
Your doctor will strive to get a complete picture of your symptoms during your appointment. They’ll take your weight and height and compare them to the national average.
You’ll also be quizzed on your medical history, current medications, and nutrition. Prepare to answer questions about the following topics:
When the symptom first appeared, how bad it was, how much weight you lost, and whether there were any precipitating events
if you’re experiencing any other symptoms
It could be required to run tests to figure out what’s causing your loss of appetite.
The following are some examples of possible tests:
- an ultrasound of your abdominal cavity
- A complete blood count (CBC) is a test that looks at how well your liver, thyroid, and kidneys are working (these usually require only a blood sample)
- X-rays of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine are part of an upper GI series.
a scan of your head, chest, belly, or pelvis with a CT scanner
- You may be tested for pregnancy and HIV in some instances. Drug residues may be detected in your urine.
If you are malnourished due to a lack of appetite, you may be given nutrients through an intravenous line.
Oral medication to enhance your appetite may also be prescribed by your doctor.
You may be sent to a mental health expert if your loss of appetite is caused by depression, an eating disorder, or substance abuse.
Medication-induced loss of appetite can be managed by altering your dosage or replacing your prescription. Never alter your prescription regimen without first seeking medical advice.