Loss of appetite: causes, symptoms, treatment

Loss of appetite: causes, symptoms, treatment

Loss of appetite is caused mostly by variety of illnesses as well as conditions. It makes an individual to lack the desire to take in foods as they did normally. Signs of loss of appetite include lack of hunger, weight loss, depression, and lack of taste sensation. Some people feel nauseous whenever the idea of eating runs into their mind. Some of the loss of appetite conditions can be reversible and temporary such as loss of appetite from medication effects.

Hungry but no appetite
Loss of appetite causes
Sudden loss of appetite

Loss of appetite conditions such as those that come from underlying cancer effects are very serious. Are you suffering from this condition? Well, visit any trusted health care professionals for evaluation. Here we will share with you causes, symptoms, and treatment of loss of appetite.

Causes of diminished appetite

Loss of appetite is one of the symptoms caused by a number of health conditions. Some health conditions are common such as flu while others are very serious like underlying cancer. When your appetite is diminished, you tend to feel extremely tired because you body lacks nutrients and calories to boost your energy levels. Long-term or even chronic pain has the ability to interfere with normal appetite causing a feeling of sluggish and fatigue.

Some of the causes of loss of appetite include pregnancy, heat emergencies, syndrome of alcohol withdrawal, syndrome of chronic fatigue, common cold/flu, PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome), and postpartum depression.

There are some medications renowned for causing loss of appetite, nausea, drowsiness, and fatigue. These medication effects are normal because your body is in a state of fighting off an infection. Some of the medications that can cause the condition include antibiotics, morphine, anabolic steroids, sleeping pills, diuretics, codeine, and medications for blood pressure

Psychological disorders such as depression, stress, anxiety, grief, anorexia, bulimia, and bipolar disorders also cause loss of appetite.

Loss of appetite
Hungry but no appetite
Loss of appetite causes
Sudden loss of appetite
Sudden weight loss and loss of appetite

Causes of poor appetite in children and older adults

Children and older adults tend to develop unique hungry, but no appetite symptoms. Potential causes for children include cancer, lupus, depression/anxiety, intestinal worms, anemia, constipation, acute appendicitis, not taking in a balanced diet, lack of adequate sleep, having a slow growth rate and being under medication like antibiotics

Sudden loss of appetite in older adults is common. Studies proves that increased age is among the factors for loss of appetite as well as feeling fatigue. Some of the common loss of appetite causes for older adults include cancer, heart disease, depression, hypothyroidism, COPD (Chronic lung disease), neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease or even multiple sclerosis, hormone changes, rheumatoid arthritis and sleeping disorders.

Note that there are health conditions that accompany loss of appetite. They include HIV/AIDS, anemia, celiac disease, liver damage/cirrhosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chemotherapy, Addison’s disease, congestive heart failure, gastroparesis, crohn’s disease and kidney disease.

When to seek medical aid

If you are experiencing diminished appetite along with chest pain, fainting, dizziness, sudden loss of weight, confusion, racing/irregular heartbeat, blurred vision, shortness of breath, and having difficulties in cold temperatures, then you should get immediate medical attention.

How doctors diagnose loss of appetite

Loss of appetite causes
Sudden loss of appetite
Sudden weight loss and loss of appetite
Poor appetite
Diminished appetite

The health care professional will review the patient’s medical history, ask the patient about the symptoms, and he/she will physically examine the patient as well. This is because there is no specific test for loss of appetite. What most doctors order after asking the patient’s symptoms is:

  • Blood test – The doctor will be searching for underlying health conditions such as HIV, Hypothyroidism, or celiac disease.
  • CT scan – The doctor will perform a stomach ultrasound scan.
  • EKG – This is a stress test meant for suspecting cardiac movement.
  • Gastric-emptying test – The doctor will be able to diagnose any gastric emptying that has been delayed.

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How to treat sudden weight loss and loss of appetite

If you visit a medical care doctor, he/she will prescribe therapies as well as treatments depending on the condition. If you are having pain, probably pain relief medication will be prescribed. Sometimes medication can be the cause of your sudden loss of appetite, in such a case the doctor will most probably adjust or swap your dosage.

If you want to treat loss of appetite, try to formulate a flexible diet incorporating and scheduling your favorite snack as well as meals. When you enhance the smell as well as the taste of some of your favorite foods, you will be able to improve your appetite. You can also add seasonings as well as sauces to boost your appetite; go for foods that will boost your calorie intake. Here are other methods you can use to treat loss of appetite.

  • Anti-nausea medications such as Zofran. Zofran is used to treat nausea that is caused by medications.
  • Appetite stimulants such as Marinol.
  • Physical therapy that can gradually increase exercise.
  • Lose-dose corticosteroids, which will boost your appetite.
  • Antianxiety/antidepressants medications; they treat anxiety/depression.
  • Counselling to help you reduce anxiety as well as depression-related cause of loss of appetite.

Natural remedies/treatment for poor appetite

For you to treat loss of appetite naturally, you have to change your normal eating habits, boost your energy levels, fight fatigue, get adequate physical exercise, treat nausea, identify underlying digestive issues and treat them, and lastly, take easy steps to treat anxiety and depression.

Tips for changing your normal eating patterns

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Loss of appetite causes
Sudden loss of appetite
Poor appetite
Diminished appetite

They include:

a) You should eat a heavy meal whenever you feel extremely hungry. It does not matter if it is lunch, supper, or breakfast.

b) Split your daily meals into 5-6 small meals per day instead of eating 2 big ones that will result to fullness.

c) Avoid taking in liquids before meals.

d) Add spices, condiments and sea salt to your food to make it tasty.


If you are having a decrease in appetite, get immediate attention from a medical dietitian or doctor. He or she will offer you with many suggestions that will help boost your appetite. For instance, your dietitian may request you to change your normal diet and include protein-rich foods, high calorie foods, empty calorie foods, or even fewer sugary foods. You can also take your meals in liquid form like protein drinks or even green smoothies; they will be easier to your stomach that is if you have difficulties in taking heavy and big meals. Loss of appetite is caused by variety of health condition that can be either serious or just common. If you visit the doctor, he/she will evaluate the condition.


The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for the professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content including text, graphics, images, and information contained on or available through this page is for general information purposes only.

READ ALSO: Types of stress, symptoms and management

Source: Yen.com.gh

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